Rescue Breathing

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Respiratory complications are the common precursors of cardiac arrest. It is, therefore, crucial to detect problems in respiration in order to take action against cardiac arrest.

When a patient of any age has a pulse but is not breathing (or is not breathing comfortably and normally), quickly open the airway using the head-tilt/chin-lift maneuver and start releasing breaths. See Table 2 for details about rescue breathing.

Age GroupHow OftenBreaths per MinuteDurationEvaluation
Adultevery 5 to 6 seconds10 to 12 breaths per minuteeach breath should last one secondcheck for chest rise and breathing;
check pulse and begin CPR if necessary
Child/Infantevery 3 to 5 seconds12 to 20 breaths per minute

Table 2

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