Rescue Breathing

Check the Scene

Key Questions to ask: 

  • Is it safe for me to help? 
  • What happened? 
  • How many patients are there? 
  • Am I going to need assistance from EMS? 
  • Do I have my personal protective equipment ready to use?

Check the Patient

Tap and shout. Is there any response?

Activate EMS - Call 911

Send someone to call and tell them to come back. The caller should give dispatch the patient’s location, what happened, how many people are injured, and what is being done. 

If alone and no one is available:

  • PHONE FIRST for adults and get the AED. Return to start CPR and use the AED for all ages. 
  • CARE FIRST for children and infants by providing about 5 cycles or 2 minutes of CPR before activating the emergency response number. 
  • CARE FIRST for all age patients of hypoxic (asphyxial) arrest (ei., drowning, injury, drug overdose).

Check Pulse

  • Check the Circulation for no more than 10 seconds
    • Adult and Child– Check the carotid artery in the neck.
    • Infant– Check the brachial artery on the inside of the upper arm.
  • If unsure a pulse exists, start CPR. Don’t waste more critical time searching for a pulse.
  • While checking the pulse, look for normal breathing by looking at the person’s chest and face. Is the patient breathing normally?
  • Agonal respirations are not normal breathing. They would be characterized as occasional gasps. The chest does not rise.

Begin Rescue Breathing

  • If there is a pulse but no breathing, apply face shield and start rescue breathing. Each breath should last 1 second.
    • Adult – 1 breath every 5 seconds
    • Child– 1 breath every 3 seconds
    • Infant– 1 breath every 3 seconds
  • Reassess circulation every 2 minutes for no more than 10 seconds. If unsure a pulse exists, start CPR. Don’t waste more critical time searching for a pulse