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First Aid: MOUTH-TO-MOUTH RESUSCITATION

Updated on July 26, 2009

 This is an effective method of introducing air into the victim’s lungs, if the victim has stopped breathing but still has a pulse.

  • Place the victim on his back. Loosen his shirt around the neck.
  • Open his mouth and sweep a hooked finger deep inside to remove any debris (e.g., blood, vomitus, knocked teeth and dentures).
  • Hold the back of the neck with one hand. Place the heel of your other hand on his forehead and tilt his head as far back as you can.
  • Using the hand on his forehead, pinch his nostrils, take a deep breath, open your mouth, seal it over his mouth, and blow.  His chest will rise as the air is forced into his lungs.
  • If the victim is a child, cover his nose and mouth with your mouth but do not blow as hard as you would for an adult. This is also known as the mouth-to-nose resuscitation.
  • Wait for the victim’s chest to fall, then repeat the procedure. Do it four times in quick succession.
  • Continue mouth-to-mouth resuscitation steadily at the rate of 10 breaths per minute until the victim starts breathing on his own or medical help comes.
  • Once the victim is breathing normally, put him in the recovery position.

If there has been or you suspect a spinal injury, and breathing and/or pulse are absent, then you still need to resuscitate the casualty and maintain the airway.

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