Once you have an operator on the line, put the phone on speaker mode. Turn the patient over to lie on their back on a hard surface. Lift the chin gently to clear their airways. Check if the patient is breathing normally and the chest moves up and down regularly. Feel for the patient’s breath with your cheek or the back of your hand. Don’t spend more than 10 seconds to assess whether the patient is breathing. If after this you cannot feel or see the patient breathing, start CPR. If a patient is in cardiac arrest, they may take irregular and intermittent breaths, and the breathing is noisy and sounds like snoring.
When should you start CPR?
1. Talk to and shake the patient
2. Call 112
3. Clear the airways
4. Is the patient breathing normally?
5. If the patient is not breathing start CPR!
How do I perform compressions?
Find the correct spot for compressions, which is in the centre of the sternum. Place your hand on the centre of the breastbone and your other hand on top of it. Keep your arms straight and position yourself directly above the patient’s chest. Lift your fingers to focus all your force on the breastbone.
The compressions must continue without a break as consistently as possible. Press the chest firmly downwards 100–120 times per minute by 5–6 cm. The compressions should be made directly from above as consistently and regularly as possible. Let the chest rise back up in between compressions but do not remove your hands from the chest. It is essential not to have breaks in the compressions.
Give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if you can. Mouth-to-mouth is particularly critical for children or patients who are unresponsive because of lack of oxygen after drowning or suffocation. Press the chest down for 30 times and blow air into the mouth of the patient twice for one second each time. After 30 compressions, blow two steady, short breaths into the patient’s lungs. Make sure that the air reaches the lungs by checking that the chest goes up and down.
If there are many of you at the scene, take turns giving compressions, because it is hard work and you will get tired. If you are alone giving CPR and you have already called for help, giving compressions alone is enough.
How to give compressions?
On the centre of the breastbone
Continuously up and down 100–120 times/minute
Press the chest down by 5–6 cm