Basic Life Support Guidelines
For many reasons, it is important to know these basic life support guidelines. No matter if you are interested in going into the healthcare field and are looking for some tips, or simply want to be prepared in case of an emergency, knowing how to perform some basic life supports methods can come in very handy!
- Ask the person if they can hear you. This is one of the most important steps to properly perform life support. If the person is conscious, you never want to do chest compressions or the other methods described in this article. Ask several times "are you okay?" before continuing to any of the following steps.
- Call 911. If another person is with you, instruct him or her to make the call. That way, he or she can stay on the line, providing an address and information about the patient. However, if you are alone, you will have to do this yourself.
- Check the patient's ABCs, or airway, breathing, and circulation. This will tell you what type of life support the person needs. Do this by putting your ear down by the patient's nose and mouth. If you can't feel or hear the patient breathing, quickly run your finger inside their mouth to make sure there are no obstructions. If there are none, and the patient is not breathing, they will need you to perform mouth-to-mouth on them.
- Next, check the patient's pulse. If the patient is breathing with a pulse, you will only need mouth-to-mouth. However, if the patient is not breathing and has no pulse, you will need to do chest compressions. Place your hands firmly in the chest of the patient's chest, and press down approximately one inch at a rate of 90 compressions per minute. Perform 15 compressions, give the person two breathes, and continue doing this until medical relief comes to help.