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Six Steps to Restart A Heart

If someone is unconscious and not breathing, perform the actions below and become a life saver.

Step 1: Shake and shout

Always look out for risks before you start. Check for a response by gently shaking the shoulder and shout for help.

Step 2: Check if the person is breathing

Open the airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting the chin. Listen, look and feel for normal breathing for no more than 10 seconds. If they are making gasping noises, this isn’t normal.

Step 3: Call 999 emergency services

If no one is around to help, put your phone on loudspeaker so your hands are free, the operator can talk you through how to perform CPR if you're unsure.

Step 4: Give 30 chest compressions

Start compressions as soon as you can. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest. Place the other hand on top of the first. Interlock your fingers.

With straight arms, use the heel of your hand to push the breastbone down firmly and smoothly, so that the chest is pressed down between 5–6 cm, and release.

Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute – that’s around 2 per second.

Step 5: Give two rescue breaths

Open the airway - tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch the soft part of the person’s nose closed. Take a normal breath, make a seal around their mouth and breathe out steadily.

The person’s chest should rise and fall. Keeping the person’s head back and the chin lifted, take your mouth away, take another normal breath, and give a second rescue breath. The two breaths should take no longer than five seconds.

Step 6: Roll the person into the recovery position

Once the person is breathing normally again, roll them into the recovery position and make sure the head is tilted back so the airway can stay clear.

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