First Aid: Rescue Breathing
Rescue breathing is needed if a person collapses and stops breathing. In CPR, rescue breathing may also follow chest compressions if a person's heart is not beating. A person may need rescue breathing in the following situations:
By breathing into another person's lungs (rescue breathing), you can supply enough oxygen to preserve life. Act quickly, because brain damage can occur after only 3 minutes without oxygen.
If the person is an infant or child (age 1 to puberty) and he or she is not breathing, do chest compressions and rescue breathing for 2 minutes (5 cycles), then call 911.
In adults, call 911 first and begin CPR.
Please note: If you are alone, not trained in CPR, and a phone is nearby, call 911.
You may use a protective facemask. Follow the instructions that came with the mask.
Step 1. Open the airway
Place the victim on his or her back.
Press your palm against the person's forehead. At the same time hook your fingers under the chin and lift it away from the spine, as if pulling out a drawer. This tilts the head back and opens the airway.
If there is a possibility of a broken neck, place the victim on his or her back without moving the neck or chin.
Step 2. Check for breathing
Check to see if the chest is rising.
Listen for normal breathing (not gasping for air).
If there is no normal breathing, start mouth-to-mouth breathing as described in Steps 3 to 5.
Step 3. Pinch and seal
Step 4. Start with 2 "rescue" breaths
Step 5. Give more breaths
It is best to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Look for classes offered by your local hospital, the American Heart Association, or the American Red Cross in your area or on the Internet.
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.