If breathing and the heart stop, the person will die within a few minutes unless first aid is administered at once. Here is an action list. Start with the first step and follow each step in the order given. Act as quickly as you can, but stay calm.
- Check if the patient is conscious. If not, try to wake up the patient. Shout "Are you all right?" and gently shake the shoulders, but take care not to make any injuries worse. Pinch the skin on the neck and watch the face. A patient who is just sleeping will wake up, but an unconscious patient will not.
- Open the airway. The airway is the tube through which air passes from the mouth and nose to the lungs. If it is blocked the patient cannot breathe and air cannot get into or out of the lungs. A patient who cannot breathe will die within 4 minutes. In an unconscious patient, the tongue may block the throat and the airway.
- Make sure the airway is open and air can get down the throat. Place the patient on his/her back. Tilt the head back and lift the chin up with the finger and thumb of one hand on the bony part of the chin, while pressing the forehead back with the other hand. This will open the airway and stop the tongue blocking the throat.
· Check whether the patient is breathing after opening the airway; quickly check whether the patient is breathing. Look for the belly or the chest moving up and down. Feel the chest moving up and down. Feel the patient's breathe on your cheek. Listen for breath sounds. Put your ear close to the patient's mouth. Use all four checks. Remember that the chest may move up and down even when the throat is completely blocked and air cannot get to the lungs.