This leaflet is created from first aid advice provided by St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid charity. This advice is no substitute for first aid training - find a training course near you.
If you see someone who has collapsed, you need to confirm whether they are unconscious and breathing or unconscious and not breathing.
The safest thing to do is get professional help as quickly as possible. If other people are around, get someone to dial 999/112 for an ambulance. If you are alone, shout for help and as soon as someone arrives get them to dial 999/112 for an ambulance.
While you are waiting for help to arrive, follow the primary DRAB survey steps - Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing.
Check that neither you nor the unconscious person are in any danger. If necessary make the area safe and then assess them.
If you are still alone, shout for help again, then see if the person responds:
If it is an unconscious infant (under 12 months), to check for a response:
If they respond, they are breathing but check for severe bleeding and other injuries. You may need to help them to breathe by opening their airway:
If they don't respond, you need to check if they are breathing:
If they are breathing put them in the recovery position until help arrives:
If help still hasn't arrived, dial 999/112 for an ambulance.
Having completed the DRAB survey steps above and established the person is not breathing, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is a technique whereby oxygen is pumped around the body, using a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths.
If you are unable, unwilling or untrained to give rescue breaths, give chest compressions only and continue at a rate of 100-120 per minute.
If help still hasn't arrived, dial 999/112 for an ambulance, then reassess and continue with CPR or just chest compressions until the ambulance arrives.
If it is an unconscious child (1 year to puberty) who is not breathing, start with rescue breaths:
Then give compressions:
After 30 compressions, give 2 more rescue breaths and If help still hasn't arrived dial 999/112 for an ambulance. Repeat the sequence of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives.
If the infant is not breathing, start with 5 rescue breaths as for a child, followed by compressions:
After 30 compressions, give 2 more rescue breaths and if help still hasn't arrived, dial 999/112 for an ambulance. Repeat the sequence of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives.
Note: these hints are no substitute for thorough knowledge of first aid. St John Ambulance holds first aid courses throughout the country.
This leaflet was taken from the St John Ambulance website: unconscious but breathing and unconscious and not breathing. Copyright for this leaflet is with St John Ambulance.