Life saving procedures

New resuscitation techniques for untrained bystanders’ announced.

As a first aider the priorities when dealing with a casualty are always the same:

  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • Circulation

A primary survey of a casualty will establish your priorities. When dealing with an unconscious casualty you should open and maintain their airway as your first priority. If the airway should become obstructed, possibly by the tongue falling to the back of the throat, then the casualty will be unable to breathe and this will lead to death if untreated.

If the casualty is breathing, the simple procedure of placing the casualty into the recovery position should ensure that the airway will remain clear of obstructions.

If the casualty has stopped breathing you can assist them by performing a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. You breathe out enough oxygen to potentially keep the casualty alive until the emergency services arrive, the oxygen you breathe into the casualty will need to then be pumped around the body using chest compressions.

It is important to remember that in any life threatening situation the emergency services should be called as soon as breathing or absence of breathing has been identified.