What would your course of action be if a patient stopped breathing?

Asked By: Mohamadou Fekter | Last Updated: 12th April, 2020
Category: medical health first aid
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If they are unresponsive and not breathing, push firmly downwards in the middle of their chest at a regular rate. Ideally, you should alternate two rescue breaths with 30 chest compressions for anyone who has been rescued from drowning.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, what to do if patient stops breathing?


  1. Check for responsiveness.
  2. Call 911 if there is no response.
  3. Carefully place the person on their back.
  4. Perform chest compressions:
  5. Open the airway.
  6. Look, listen, and feel for breathing.
  7. If the person is not breathing or has trouble breathing:

Also, what is the first thing you should do if a person is unconscious and not breathing? If an unconscious person is not breathing, it may be necessary to move them carefully onto their back, while protecting their neck, so that they can receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Call 911 before administering CPR. Signs, such as moving, coughing, or breathing are good signs.

Herein, what do you do if you find a patient unresponsive?

Call or tell someone to call 911. Check the person's airway, breathing, and pulse frequently. If necessary, begin CPR. If the person is breathing and lying on their back, and you do not think there is a spinal injury, carefully roll the person toward you onto their side.

Can you stop breathing but still have a pulse?

It often occurs at the same time as cardiac arrest, but not always. In the context of advanced cardiovascular life support, however, respiratory arrest is a state in which a patient stops breathing but maintains a pulse. Importantly, respiratory arrest can exist when breathing is ineffective, such as agonal gasping.

33 Related Question Answers Found

How long can a person survive without breathing?

After five to ten minutes of not breathing, you are likely to develop serious and possibly irreversible brain damage. The one exception is when a younger person stops breathing and also becomes very cold at the same time. This can occur when a child is suddenly plunged into very cold water and drowns.

How long will heart beat after breathing stops?

For this, a general rule of thumb is that brain cells begin to die after approximately 4-6 minutes of no blood-flow. After around 10 minutes, those cells will cease functioning, and be effectively dead. That said, there are some exceptions to that rule.

What causes someone to stop breathing?

Apnea is the medical term used to describe slowed or stopped breathing. Apnea can affect people of all ages, and the cause depends on the type of apnea you have. Apnea usually occurs while you're sleeping. Untreated apnea can lead to heart and brain problems due to a lack of oxygen.

When should you not do CPR?

It should only be performed when a person shows no signs of life or when they are:
  • unconscious.
  • unresponsive.
  • not breathing or not breathing normally (in cardiac arrest, some people will take occasional gasping breaths – they still need CPR at this point. Don't wait until they are not breathing at all).

What is the last thing to go when you die?

Remember: hearing is thought to be the last sense to go in the dying process, so never assume the person is unable to hear you. Talk as if they can hear you, even if they appear to be unconscious or restless.

What happens when a person becomes unresponsive?

When a person is unresponsive, their muscles relax and their tongue can block their airway so they can no longer breathe. If they are breathing, you will see their chest moving and you may hear their breath or feel it on your cheek. If they are breathing, move on to step two.

What causes a person to be unresponsive?

Common causes of temporary unconsciousness include: syncope, or the loss of consciousness due to lack of blood flow to the brain. neurologic syncope, or the loss of consciousness caused by a seizure, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA) dehydration.

What is the difference between unconscious and unresponsive?

The term “unconscious” is vague in a medical sense but commonly refers to someone who simply is not awake. Stupor is deep unconsciousness from which you can only be aroused briefly using noxious or painful stimuli. Coma is deep unconsciousness from which you cannot be awakened at all–truly “unresponsive.”

How do you assess an unresponsive patient?

For the unresponsive medical patient perform the rapid medical assessment. If the patient is or STABLE, perform the appropriate focused physical exam (for the medical pt. perform the focused physical exam; for trauma patient perform the focused trauma assessment.) Re-consider the mechanism of injury.

How long should a pulse be checked for in an unresponsive patient?

The pulse should be checked for no less than 5 seconds and no more than 10 seconds. If there is a definite pulse, then rescue breathing should be done for one second every six seconds with a recheck every 2 minutes.

How do you know if someone is conscious?

This involves checking to determine if the victim is conscious or unconscious, has an open airway and is breathing, and has a pulse. Once you have approached the victim, if they are unconscious you need to look, listen, and feel. Place your ear over the person's mouth and look for the rise and fall of the chest.

How can you tell if someone isn't breathing?

To check if a person is still breathing:
  1. look to see if their chest is rising and falling.
  2. listen over their mouth and nose for breathing sounds.
  3. feel their breath against your cheek for 10 seconds.

What are two simple actions you can take to assist a person who is not breathing?

Non-Breathing Victim
  • Call 911, or send somebody to call.
  • If you are not trained in CPR, then provide Hands-Only CPR. That means uninterrupted fast and hard chest compressions, in the middle of the chest, at about 100 compressions per minute until paramedics arrive. You don't need to perform rescue breathing.

What position do you put someone having a stroke?

If you're caring for someone else having a stroke, make sure they're in a safe, comfortable position. Preferably, this should be lying on one side with their head slightly raised and supported in case they vomit. Check to see if they're breathing. If they're not breathing, perform CPR.

What to do if someone passes out and stops breathing?

If someone else faints
  1. Position the person on his or her back. If there are no injuries and the person is breathing, raise the person's legs above heart level — about 12 inches (30 centimeters) — if possible.
  2. Check for breathing. If the person isn't breathing, begin CPR.

Do you give CPR if there is a pulse?

If the victim has a pulse but is breathing abnormally, maintain the patient's airway and begin rescue breathing. Administer one breath every 5 to 6 seconds, not exceeding 10 to 12 breaths per minute. Check the patient's pulse every 2 minutes. If at any point there is no pulse present, begin administering CPR.

What happens if you do CPR on someone who is breathing?

It causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing, or stop breathing normally. Without CPR the person will die within minutes.