A person’s heart may stop beating after an injury or sudden illness, and they may need help until an ambulance arrives.

Quick help

  • Call 111 and ask for an ambulance

  • Push on the person’s chest hard and fast 30 times 
  • Breathe into their mouth 2 times

  • Keep going until an ambulance arrives 

Chest compressions are the most important part of CPR. If you can’t give breath to the person, continue with chest compressions, pushing hard and fast.


Follow the D.R.S.A.B.C.D of resuscitation

Dangers: Check for any danger to you, the person, or people nearby – things like traffic or live electrical wires. Do what you can to reduce the danger. 

Response: Are they responding? Ask “what’s your name?” or say “open your eyes” or “squeeze my hand”. Then grasp and squeeze the person’s shoulders firmly. If they move or make a noise, that’s a response.  

Send for help: Call 111 and ask for an ambulance. 

Airway: Tilt their head back and lift their chin, this will open their airway. Make sure the person’s tongue isn’t blocking the airway. If there’s anything in the person’s mouth, use two fingers to sweep it out.  

Breathing: Check for normal breathing.  Is their chest moving?  Can you hear them breathing? Can you feel air coming from their nose or mouth?  Occasional gasps for air is not breathing normally. 

CPR: If the person is not breathing normally, start CPR.  

Defib: If there is an AED nearby, attach it to the person as soon as possible and follow the instructions on the AED. 


CPR keeps a person alive, but they need urgent attention to start their heart again, so call 111 for an ambulance before you start CPR.   


How to do CPR on adults

First, do 30 chest compressions (pushes): 

  1. Put the person on their back 

  2. Place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest 

  3. Place the heel of your other hand directly on top of the first hand 

  4. Lean over the person with your elbows locked and your arms straight.

  5. Push down firmly and fast 30 times. Push down one-third of the depth of their chest.

  6. Don’t worry about pushing too hard – you need to push hard and fast 

Then, breathe into the patient 2 times: 

  1. Tilt the person’s head back with one hand and lift their chin with your other hand 

  2. Take a deep breath and seal your lips around the person’s mouth 

  3. Block their nose by pinching the soft part of the nose or pushing your cheek against it 

  4. Blow into the person’s mouth until you see the chest rise 

  5. Remove your mouth, take a fresh deep breath, and blow again into the person’s mouth.   

  6. Continue with the cycle of 30 pushes and 2 breaths until the ambulance arrives. Keep going, don’t stop or give up, you might save a life.


If you have a person in urgent need of medical attention, call 111 now.  


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