CHECK FOR BREATHING
Check to see if the casualty is breathing adequately (figure 3-4). Many times,
opening the airway is all that is necessary to restore breathing in an unconscious
casualty. This check usually takes 3 to 5 seconds to perform. Keep maintaining the
casualty's airway (head-tilt/chin-lift or jaw-thrust) while you perform the check.
This is the first time that you actually check to see if the casualty is breathing
adequately. Even if an unconscious casualty is breathing when you find him,
his breathing could deteriorate or stop altogether while you are performing
other measures if you do not take the precaution of positioning him so that his
airway stays open.
a. Place your ear over the casualty's mouth and nose and look towards the
casualty's chest. For the best results, your ear should be almost touching the casualty.
b. Look at the casualty's chest. If the casualty is breathing, you should be able
to see the chest rise and fall.
c. Listen for the sound of breathing (air being inhaled and exhaled).
d. Feel for the flow of air on the side of your face caused by the casualty
Figure 3-4. Check for breathing using the head-tilt/chin-lift.
EVALUATE YOUR FINDINGS
a. If your check shows that the casualty is not breathing, try to open his airway
again and check for breathing a second time. If he is still not breathing, begin
administering ventilations immediately (paragraph 3-9).