R Is For Response

5th October 2011

So you have checked for Danger (to yourself and any third parties) and it is safe to approach someone who has had an accident or become unwell – What’s next?

Check for a Response from the person. Firmly rub their collar bones on both sides (in an adult or child above the age of 1). For a baby under the age of one, rub or flick both their feet and hands.

At the same time, talk loudly to them ‘Hello, can you hear me? Open your eyes’

A person who is fully conscious will respond to these actions. Someone who is unconscious will either not respond at all or give an abnormal response eg a groan, a flutter of the eyelids or an attempt at moving their arms or legs. Someone whose heart and breathing has stopped will not respond.

Once you know the level of response from the person, you can call for help and start first aid measures if necessary, such as rolling them into the recovery position (someone that is unconscious) or starting CPR if they are not breathing.

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