- If confronted with a person who is not breathing, start by laying them flat on their back.
- Call 911 or have someone else call 911 while you proceed with rescue breathing.
- Check the person’s pulse. If there is a heartbeat, you can proceed with rescue breathing. If not, you would need to start with chest compressions with or without rescue breathing.
- Place one hand on the person’s forehead and use your other hand to lift the chin. Tilting the chin straightens the trachea (windpipe), providing a straight passage from the mouth to the lungs.
- Check for breathing. Listen carefully but for no longer than 10 seconds. If there are no signs of respiration, start rescue breathing. If you hear crackling or strangulated sounds, they may be choking.
- Finally, check to see if there anything blocking the trachea, including vomit, food, or the back of the person’s tongue. If there is, reach in with your fingers and clear it out.
Never start rescue breathing until you are sure the airways are clear of debris and other obstructions.