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Basic Life Support and CPR

How to carry out basic CPR:


  1. Look for danger to yourself before approaching the casualty so you are not putting yourself at any risk.

  2. Is there a response from the casualty? Use talking and gently touch/pinch the earlobe or back of the hand.

  3. Shout for help. Shout to any people nearby to attract their attention, but do not leave the casualty.

  4. Check for breathing. Extend the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin to open the airway.

  5. Look, listen and feel for breathing. Once the airway is extended, put your cheek close to the persons mouth and look down toward the chest/stomach. Is the chest/stomach rising and falling?

  6. Put the casualty in the recovery position if they are breathing (unless you suspect a spina/neck injury), then call 999 and monitor until the medical services arrive.

  7. If the casualty is not breathing then call for emergency services immediately before doing anything else.

  8. Commence Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately using 30 chest compressions of 5/6 centimetres depth followed by two rescue breaths.

  9. Continue CPR until emergency services arrive to take over.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life saving procedure which is given to someone whose heart has stopped. It is most commonly used for people in cardiac arrest, but can also be performed on people who have had a drug overdose, who have drowned and on people who are choking (when other procedures have been carried out but the casualty has collapsed).

By combining chest compressions with rescue breaths, blood is kept flowing around the body and oxygenates the brain until an ambulance arrives. Should you witness a cardiac arrest it is imperative to call 999 and start CPR immediately, as this dramatically increases the chance of survival. Without CPR, brain death may start to occur after as little as 3 minutes and if a casualty is not breathing, they will die if resuscitation is not attempted.