Medical First Aid Guide
Table 2: CPR (CARDIO-PULMONARY RESUSCITATION)
Basic life support comprises the ‘‘A-B-C” steps which concern the airway, breathing, and circulation respectively.
Basic life support is indicated for:
- Airway obstruction
- Breathing (respiratory) arrest
- Circulatory or cardiac arrest.
Any inadequacy or absence of breathing or circulation must be determined immediately.
Assessment of breathing
- Tilt the head firmly backwards with one hand while lifting the neck with the other hand to relieve obstructed breathing.
- Pull the tongue forward.
- Suck or swab out excess secretions.
- Clean any vomit from the mouth and back of the throat. Remove any loose dentures.
- Listen and feel for any movement of air, because the chest and abdomen may move in the presence of an obstructed airway, without moving air. The rescuer’s face should be placed close to the casualty’s nose and mouth so that any exhaled air may be felt against the cheek. Also the rise and fall of the chest can be observed and the exhaled breath heard.
- Look, listen and feel for five seconds before deciding that breathing is absent.
Assessment of heart function
- Check for a pulse. The best pulse to feel in an emergency is the carotid. Feel for five seconds before deciding it is absent. If it cannot be felt or is feeble, there is insufficient circulation.
Full advice on CPR: see appendix 2.
|Signs and symptoms||Treatment|
|Breathing, heart is beating, unconscious||
|Further advice on the unconscious casualty: see table 4.|
|Not breathing but heart is beating||
|Further advice on the oxygen administration: see table 3.|
|Breathing and heart have stopped||