Sunday, May 25, 2008


Written by Neill Abayon

Prompt action during an emergency could mean the difference between life and death. The following article describes how to assess a victims airway and breathing.

CHECK THE RESPONSE if faced with a person who appears to be unresponsive, check the response by gently shaking and asking loudly "Are you all right?". Speak loudly and clearly and squeeze gently because there may be a neck injury.


1. Place one hand on the forehead and gently tilt the head back. Open the victims mouth and remove any obvious obstructions, including dislodged dentures, but leave well-fitting dentures in place.

2. Place the fingertips of the other hand under the point of the victims chin and lift the chin. If injury to the neck is suspected, handle the head very gently and try to avoid tilting the head.

IF THERE IS NO RESPONSE shout for help. If possible leave the victim in the position in which you found him and open the airway. When it is not possible to carry out an assessment of the victim in the position found, turn the person into his back and open the airway.
Apply the same techniques for a child as for an adult. For a baby, use only one finger under the chin and be very careful not to over-extend the neck when tilting the head back.

CHECK FOR BREATHING keep the airway open and look, listen, and feel for breathing for no more than 10 seconds.
* Look for chest movement.
* Listen for sounds of breathing.
* Feel for breath on your check.

* Unconsciousness, stillness.
* Pale skin with possible blue lips.
* No movement of the chest.
* No feeling or sound of breathing.

These are the easy and quick tips of assessing a victim in an emergency.

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