Basic life support

Posted by Pia Abrahams on

What would you do if a workmate was unconscious, unresponsive and not breathing properly?

Basic life support is the provision of critical and immediate care before emergency medical help arrives. It can mean the difference between life and death for a seriously ill or injured person.

To provide basic life support remember DRS-ABCD:

Danger: Ensure safety for yourself, the patient and others.

Response:  Ask the patient’s name, squeeze their shoulders. If they respond, place them into recovery position, check for injuries and continue to monitor their breath. If there is no response send for help. 

Send for help: Call Triple Zero (000) or mobile 112 for an ambulance. Ask a bystander to locate a defibrillator.

Airways:  Ensure the patient’s mouth and nose are clear of foreign objects. Open the airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin. If an obstruction is present, put the patient in recovery position and clear their mouth or nose. Once the airway is clear, move the patient onto their back. 

Breathing: Look, listen and feel for breath for 10 seconds. If breathing is normal, put the patient in recovery position, check for injuries and continue to monitor breathing until the ambulance arrives. If there is no normal breathing, commence CPR until the ambulance arrives.  .

CPR: 30 chest compressions then 2 breaths in 4 cycles per minute until the ambulance arrives or the patient recovers.  

Defibrillator: Attach a defibrillator as soon as possible and follow the voice prompts.  

Find out more about basic life support resources and aids here.