Being able to assist a person who is not breathing is an important skill and can save a life. To learn proper techniques, take an accredited first-aid training course that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These courses are widely available.
If you see a teen or adult collapse, the American Heart Association recommends immediately taking two simple actions:
- Call 911, or send somebody to call.
- If you are not trained in CPR, then provide Hands-Only CPR. That means uninterrupted fast and hard chest compressions, in the middle of the chest, at about 100 compressions per minute until paramedics arrive. You don’t need to perform rescue breathing.
Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for sudden cardiac arrest at home, at work, or in public. It can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. A 60-second video and more information are available at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr.
NOTE: The American Heart Association still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants, children, victims of drowning or drug overdoses, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.
Because knowledge and techniques for assisting victims change over time, it is highly recommended that everyone take a first-aid and CPR class.