Time is of the essence, but before you attempt CPR on someone, follow these steps:
- Make sure the environment is safe. A fire, traffic accident, or other dangers could put your own life at risk.
- Try to wake the person. Tap on the person’s shoulder firmly and ask “Are you OK?” in a loud voice. Move on to the next steps after five seconds of trying to wake the patient.
- Call 911. Anytime a patient won’t wake up, call 911 immediately or ask a bystander to call. Even if you will perform CPR on the spot, it’s important to get paramedics to the scene as quickly as possible.
- Put the person on their back. If it’s possible that the person may have had a spinal injury, turn them carefully without moving the head or neck.
- Check for breathing. Tilt the patient’s head back to open the airway and determine if they are breathing. If the patient doesn’t take a breath after 10 seconds, start CPR.