Airway obstructions are the first thing to look for if you suspect that a person is not breathing. It is imperative that you open the airway quickly and safely. Before administering First aid*, you should always double-check for any missed signs of breathing:
Look at the chest to see if it rises and falls, Listen for the sound of air moving in and out of the nose or mouth, and Feel for air by placing your cheek against the nose and mouth area.
If you determine that a person’s airway is not open, there are a few simple steps that you can follow to help restore normal breathing. When performing these steps, it is very important that you DO NOT tilt or rotate the person’s head, as doing so may cause further injury.
- Start by taking a position at the top of the injured party’s head, and rest your elbows on the ground at either side of their head area.
- Next: Carefully reach forward and gently place one hand on each side of the lower jaw, so that your hands are placed at the same angle of the jaw.
- Stabilize the injured party’s head between your forearms. Using your fingers, gently grasp the angle of the lower jaw and lift it upward. You may need to retract the lower lip with your thumb in order to keep the mouth open.
- Check for breathing again. If breathing has been restored, continue monitoring the injured person until help arrives. If breathing has not been restored, it may be best to begin CPR or “mouth to mouth” resuscitation. Instructions for performing CPR and “mouth to mouth” resuscitation can be dialed from the main menu.
- Military Field Guide