When someone is unconscious, they are in a life-threatening condition. Their airway will be at rick of becoming blocked by their tongue or vomit, and if this happens, they will be unable to breathe.
Prompt action in such a situation is essential, and by applying simple first aid steps, you could save their life.
Firstly, are you or they in any further DANGER. Make sure that the area is safe for you to enter.
Then, check their RESPONSE. You can do this by asking them “Can you hear me?” and asking them to open their eyes. If they do not respond to you, tap them gently, but firmly on both shoulders. If the do not respond to you, SHOUT for HELP.
Kneel to the side of them, next to their chest. Then, with your hand nearest to their forehead, place this hand onto their forehead, and place your index finger and middle finger on your other hand under the tip of their chin. Then roll their head back with the hand you have on their forehead, whilst lifting the tip of their chin, with the two fingers on their chin. This will open their AIRWAY.
Now put your head over their nose and mouth, with your ear above their nose and mouth, so that you can listen for them breathing and feel them breathing on your cheek. Whilst doing this, look at their chest, to see if it rises and falls. Do this for ten seconds. They need to be breathing normally. If they are taking infrequent, or noisy gasps, you will need to perform CPR.
If they are not breathing, or not breathing normally, you will need to commence CPR. Before you do so, ensure that an ambulance has been called.
- Place the heel of one hand (it doesn’t matter which hand) onto the centre of their chest / on their breast bone. Then place your other hand on top
- Lean forward, over the casualty, so that your shoulders are directly over the chest, and ensure that your arms are straight
- Using your body weight and pivoting from the hips, compress the chest down about 4 or 5cm, or a third of the depth of the chest, at a speed of 100 to 120 beats per minute. So that’s about two every second. Do this 30 times
- If you feel that you can, give two rescue breaths, by pinching their nose, between the index finger and your thumb, on your hand nearest to their head, and place your index finger and middle finger on your other hand under the tip of their chin. Then roll their head back with the hand you have on their forehead, whilst lifting the tip of their chin, with the two fingers on their chin. This will open their AIRWAY.
- Then seal your mouth over their mouth and breath into their mouth in the same way that you would normally breathe. Do this twice
- Then go back and give another 30 chest compressions, and continue to repeat this process, of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths
If for whatever reason, you feel that you are unable, or unwilling to give the rescue breaths, then just continue to give the chest compressions, without stopping.
This is hard work, so it is recommended that you alternate this process with another person every 2 minutes. If you are on your own, try to keep going for as long as you can.
Remember, no-one has ever been sued for administering first aid, and the worst thing you can do, is to do nothing.
If you would like some first aid training in relation to these and other conditions, please do not hesitate to contact Passion First Aid on 01452 446020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our website, www.passionfirstaid.co.uk