In most situations, a second person is available to be a rescuer. The ILCOR emphasizes the importance of the accessibility of cell phones with built-in speakerphones. The second rescuer must call 911 or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as you initiate CPR. The second rescuer can also help by securing an AED while you help the person. After the second rescuer gets back, the following CPR tasks can be shared:
- The AED is prepared by the second rescuer.
- Count the chest compressions out loud.
- The AED pads can be applied by the second rescuer.
- Rescue breaths and opening the person’s airway are done by the second rescuer.
- After every five cycles of compressions and breaths (30 compressions and two breaths per cycle), switch roles.
- Between each compression, stop pressing and allow the chest wall to recoil naturally. Do not lean or rest on the chest between compressions, as this prevents the heart from refilling between compressions, making CPR less effective. Switching roles helps rescuers from becoming tired and leaning on the chest.
- Minimize interruptions in compressions by switching roles quickly.
- Minimize interruptions when the AED is connected by switching roles while the heart rhythm is analyzed by the AED. Minimize CPR interruptions if a shock is indicated, and begin CPR again immediately.