When the person is not breathing the body suffers from shortage of oxygen, and if no action is taken this will eventually lead to death. The air that a healthy adult breathes out contains a valuable amount of oxygen, which can be shared with a person who is not breathing to help, restore his or her oxygen levels. This process is often called mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or artificial respiration; the actual breaths are called rescue breaths.
Rescue breathing is provided to a person who is not breathing.
When an adult is not breathing, the cause is very likely to be a problem with the heart. It is therefore essential that as soon as you realize that an adult is not breathing, you make sure that an ambulance has been called. If you have a face shield or mask and know how to use it, this can be valuable, but do not waste time looking for one.
In the case of face injury or if a person has been poisoned, provide mouth-to-nose rescue breathing. Lift the chin, tilt the head, seal the mouth, and breathe into the nose, removing your mouth to let the air escape.
1. Place the victim on her back. Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin with 2 fingers.
2. Pinch the soft part of the nose closed with the finger and the thumb of the hand that was on the forehead. Open the mouth.
3. Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with air and place your lips around the victim’s mouth, making sure you have a good seal.
4. Blow steadily into the mouth and watch the chest rise. Maintaining head tilt and chin lift, take your mouth away and watch the chest fall.
An effective breath is one where you see the chest rise and fall. Your goal is to give 2 effective breaths. Try up to 5 attempts to give 2 effective breaths.
CHECKING FOR CIRCULATION
After giving 2 effective breaths, the next step in the ABC of first aid is to check that the oxygen is being circulated through the body. Look, listen, and feel for breathing, coughing, movement, normal color or any other sign of life for not more than 10 seconds. If there are clear signs of circulation, then continue give rescue breaths at a rate of 1 every 6 seconds until help arrives or the person begins to breathe for himself. Continue to check for signs of circulation, you will need to move to giving the casualty full CPR--combining rescue breaths with chest compressions.
ABC OF RESUSCITATION
Airway Use head tilt and chin lift to keep an open airway while providing rescue breathing.
Breathing Provide rescue breathing to somebody who is not breathing.
Circulation Check for signs of circulation.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CHEST DOES NOT RISE
• Check for any obvious obstruction around the neck or on the chest which may be preventing the breath from going in.
• Re-open the airway. Tilt the head, look for and remove any obvious obstructions, and lift the chin.
• Re-seal the nose and mouth and breathe in again.
• Try up to 5 more attempts to give 2 effective breaths.
If the chest still does not rise, it is likely that the airway is blocked either by an object such as food or vomit or because the air passages have swollen up due to a condition such as anaphylaxis. In these circumstances, the best treatment is to move straight to CPR, checking for circulation and combining further attempts at rescue breaths with chest compressions.