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Breathing – ARC Guideline 5

A quick summary of Who does this guideline apply is that this guideline applies to all persons in need of resuscitation. Some frequently asked questions in regards to these guidelines also include who the audience for this guideline is? And to put it in simple terms this guideline is for use by bystanders, first aiders or first aid providers, first responders and health professionals who help someone in need of resuscitation.

Recommendations that The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) make the following recommendations:

• Persons who are gasping or breathing abnormally and are unresponsive require resuscitation as once they stop breathing their heart won’t last much longer.

• When assessing breathing, the rescuers should look with their eyes, listen which their ear and feel with their cheeks: LOOK for movement of the upper abdomen or lower chest; LISTEN for the escape of air from nose and mouth; and FEEL for movement of air at the mouth and nose as these can all be indicators that the person is breathing.

• The ratio of compressions to rescue breaths is 30:2 however rescue breaths are not compulsory and continuous compressions are an option.

• Mouth to mouth, mouth to nose, and mouth to mask are all viable methods of rescue breathing and the rescuer will need to assess the situation and decide on which method they believe will be the most beneficial for them and the person they are helping. Mouth to stoma should be used where a person has had a laryngectomy.

• Risk of disease transmission is very low and rescuers need not be deterred from providing rescue breaths without a barrier device. However, rescuers should consider using a barrier device if this is available.

• Those who are trained and willing to give rescue breaths do so for all persons who are unresponsive and not breathing normally

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