Unconscious – not breathing

Someone who isn’t breathing has probably suffered a ‘cardiac arrest’ – an emergency situation where the heart has stopped beating. They require early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in order to have a chance of survival

Step 1: Check for any dangers to yourself or the casualty

Ask yourself – “what has happened, am I in any danger?”. If there are dangers present ensure these are dealt with. If the situation is too dangerous then stay back and call for help from the emergency services immediately.

Step 2: Try to wake the person up

Shout loudly in both ears and tap the person on the shoulders. Do not shake the person excessively as this could worsen any injuries.

Step 3: Check to see if the person is breathing

First, tilt their head back. Then feel for breath coming out of their mouth and look to see if their chest is rising and falling.

Step 4: If no breathing is felt/seen, call for an emergency ambulance

You can always ask a bystander to do this for you

Step 5: Using two hands, push down in the person’s chest at a rate of 100 – 120 per minute

These are known as chest compressions. They work to take over the job of the stopped heart and push blood around the body. You should use all your upper body (not just your arm muscles) to deliver effective chest compressions

This is known as ‘hands only CPR’. Rescue breaths or the “kiss of life” is not required unless you have been formally trained to deliver them. See the video below for more information

Hands only CPR video