First-Aid: How To Restore Breathing ?

Mouth to mouth ventilation (Kiss of Life)

After the airway is cleared, listen for five seconds with your ear close to the victim’s nose and mouth. If breathing has not been reestablished, perform mouth to mouth breathing by the following technique.

1. Put the person on his back.

2. Tilt the head back as far as possible (nostrils then point directly upwards at you).

3. Cup one hand under his chin.

4. Put the heel of the other hand on his forehead so that the fingers of that hand can pinch his nose.

5. Use both hands together to leen the head back.

6. Pinch and compress nose to close nostrils.

7. Make sure the person’s mouth is open.

8. Take a deep breath.

9. Place your mouth over the victim’s mouth, making an airtight seal.

10. Breathe into victim’s mouth firmly and quickly, taking quick breaths in between to refill your own lungs with fresh air.

11. Allow patient to exhale passively by elastic recoil of his chest between two breaths.

12. Try to ‘blow’ a breath into the patient about every six seconds. Be guided by common sense on this. For example, the first few breaths can be given much more quickly to try to get some oxygen into the patient.

13. Stop when the patient shows clear signs of starting to breathe but even then keep a close eye on his chest movements until professional help arrives.

Some useful hints

1. Don’t blow too hard as this may send air into the stomach and make the person vomit, which is dangerous for him and unpleasant for you.

2. Should he vomit, turn his head to one side and let the vomit dribble out of his mouth. Clean out the mouth and carry on with resuscitation.

3. If a child is the victim, seal your lips over both nose and mouth after positioning the head as before. Only blow gently. Be guided by what procedures a rise and fall of the chest wall. In babies, use only the amount of air you can hold in your cheeks — don’t blow from your lungs.

4. If the abdomen starts swelling up, you’ll know you’re blowing air down the gullet into the stomach instead of down the windpipe. Stop resuscitation for a moment, turn the child to one side, press firmly over the swollen stomach. This will probably force the air out.

5. Check that the person’s heartbeat hasn’t stopped by feeling in the neck for the carotid pulse from time to time.

How long to continue ?

Either until the person starts to breathe easily again. Never try breathing into someone who is already breathing spontaneously. It can be helpful though to give the odd helping breath if he is gasping or breathing irregularly.

Or until professional help arrive. This may take time, so get others to help you. Keep going until a doctor says the person is dead. Don’t give up too readily, especially in cases of drowning or electric shock.

Calling an ambulance

1. Dial ‘102’ or any other number available for your local area ambulance.

2. When the operator answers give him your telephone number so that he may ring you back, should your be cut off.

3. When you get through to the ambulance officer, tell him briefly what the emergency is.

4. Give directions to guide the ambulance to your home, especially if it is difficult to find, or has a name of the place and no number etc. It would be helpful to go out to the nearest road intersection, or to a major landmark to meet the ambulance, if you live in an out-of-the-way place, which they might not find easily.

5. When he ambulance arrives, describe what has happened.

6. Get someone to look after the children or other relatives while you go off. If your child is the patient, always try to go with him.

7. Take your money with you and your front door key. Ambulance are under no obligation to deliver you back home. You will need money for a taxi or bus to come back.

Mouth to nose ventilation

Mouth to nose ventilation has to be used in situations such as mouth injuries making a good seal impossible or rescue from water.

1. With the victim’s mouth closed, form a tight seal with your lips around the victim’s nose.

2. Breathe into his nose four times quickly.

3. Open the mouth to let the breath out after every breath in.

4. Watch victim’s chest movement for rise and fall of chest with each breath to confirm adequacy of your ventilation. If the chest does not rise, check that your have a firm seal around the victim’s nose and you have close the mouth completely.

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