1. Remove any visible objects from the patient’s mouth.
2. Maintain the head-tilt, chin-lift position.
3. Pinch the patient’s nostrils shut to prevent air from escaping.
4. Take a deep breath.
5. Make a tight seal with your mouth around the patient’s mouth and blow until you see their chest rise.
6. Give two steady, effective breaths, pausing momentarily between each breath.
7. Each breath should take one second to deliver.
8. Turn your head and look towards the patient’s chest. You should be able to see the chest fall and feel air coming out of the mouth.
9. If the patient’s chest does not rise, reposition their head and try again. If the chest still does not rise after five attempts, the airway may be obstructed.
Mouth-to-nose breathing You can use mouth-to-nose breathing if:
• The patient is in water.
• There are injuries to the mouth that make mouth-to-mouth breathing impossible, or the mouth cannot be opened.
• The patient has taken poison. However, do not do any mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose breathing if you suspect cyanide poisoning. To give mouth-to-nose breathing:
• Lift the patient’s chin to close the mouth, using your fingers on the bony part of their jaw.
• Seal your lips around the patient’s nose, and blow into it.
• Open the patient’s mouth to enable them to breathe out.
REMEMBER The head-tilt, chin-lift position keeps the tongue off the airway. This position prevents air entering the stomach, which may cause the patient to vomit. Breathing faster than one steady breath per second may also cause them to vomit.
Try not to overinflate their lungs.
• The only way you can tell that the rescue breaths are effective is to see if the patient’s chest or upper abdomen rises and falls with each breath.