The air that you breathe out contains about 16% oxygen which is enough to save a life if blown directly into the lungs of a casualty. This process is called artificial breathing. If circulation is absent, artificial ventilation must be combined with chest compression (see how to give CPR), otherwise the oxygen will not reach the body’s vital organs.
USING FACE SHIELD
Artificial ventilation carries little or no risk of the transfer of infection. However, First Aiders may receive training in the use of lace shields for hygienic purposes. If you are trained to use a shield, carry one at all times but if you do not have one with you, you should never hesitate to give a casualty’ mouth-to-mouth ventilation.
GIVING MOUTH-TO-MOUTH VENTILATION
- Make sure that the airway is still open with two fingers under the casualty’s chin and the other hand on his forehead
- Remove any obvious obstruction, including broken or displaced dentures, from the mouth. Leave well- fitting dentures in place.
- Close the casualty’s nose by pinching it with your index finger and thumb. Take a lull breath and place your lips around his mouth, making a good seal.
- Blow into the casualty’s mouth until you see the chest rise. Take about two seconds for full inflation.
- Remove your lips and allow the chest to fall fully; which takes about four seconds. Repeat this once and then assess for signs of circulation
If the circulation is absent with no pulse or other signs of recovery; such as return of skin color, or any movement, such as swallowing, coughing, or breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately. If circulation is present, continue ventilation and check the pulse after every ten breaths.
If breathing returns, place the casualty in the recovery position
IF THE CHEST DOES NOT RISE
If after attempting two artificial ventilation the chest does not rise, check that:
- the head is tilted sufficiently
- you have closed the nostrils completely;
- you have a firm seal around the casualty’s mouth;
- the airway is not obviously obstructed by vomit, blood etc
If the casualty is not known to have choked, attempt three further breaths then assess for circulation
IF YOU NEED TO CLEAR AN OBSTRUCTION
- If you can see any obvious obstruction inside the mouth, use your finger to take it out carefully:
- Attempt three further breaths. If, after carrying out the above checks again, the chest still does not rise, treat as for unconscious choking adults
DO NOT use your fingers to feet blindly down the throat.