3 If the casualty begins breathing again on his own, look for
injuries. DO NOT leave the casualty since his breathing may stop again. The casualty
may still require help to keep his airway open.
4 If air goes in and out of the casualty's lungs, but he does not
start breathing on his own, administer the rescue breathing procedures given in the
paragraphs that follow.
(d) Feel for the carotid pulse. After you have successfully given the
initial two full breaths, check the casualty's pulse. Getting fresh air into the casualty's
lungs will not help if his heart is not beating and the blood is not circulating. There are
two major arteries, called the carotid arteries, in the neck. On the left side of the
trachea is one artery (windpipe); the other artery is on the right side of the trachea.
Either artery may be used to check the casualty's carotid pulse, but normally you should
use the artery on the side of the neck nearest you. The carotid pulse is used because
you are already near the neck and a pulse can sometimes be felt at the carotid arteries
when the pulse is too weak to be detected at arteries further from the heart. Procedures
for checking the casualty's carotid pulse are given below. The procedures take about
five seconds. Follow these procedures to feel for the carotid pulse:
1 Place the index and middle fingers of your hand that is not on
the casualty's forehead on the side of the casualty's trachea (figure 1-5). Use the side
nearest you. (IMPORTANT: Do not use your thumb to feel for the pulse. The pulse
you find may be your thumb's pulse, not the casualty's carotid pulse.)
2 Slide your finger into the groove beside the Adam's apple (The
"Adam's apple" is actually the larynx. The Adam's apple is smaller in females than in
3 Gently feel for the pulse. Maintain the head-tilt with your hand
on the casualty's forehead.
Figure 1-5. Feeling for the casualty's carotid pulse.