accessibility & help

First aid for someone who’s
unconscious and not breathing

Watch the video, in which Marco is treated when found unconscious and not breathing.

Use the information below the video to remind yourself how to help someone who is unconscious and not breathing.

Check breathing by tilting their head backwards and looking and feeling for breaths.

Learn more

When a person is unconscious their muscles relax and their tongue can block their airway so they can no longer breathe. Tilting their head back opens the airway by pulling the tongue forward. Looking at their chest to see if it’s moving, and feeling for breaths on your cheek, will help you tell if they’re breathing or not.

Close

Call 999 as soon as possible, or get someone else to do it.

Push firmly downwards in the middle of the chest and then release.

Learn more

These are called chest compressions. This keeps blood pumping around their body and helps keep the vital organs, including the brain, alive. (Note: many people call this  CPR, which stands for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.)

Close

Push at a regular rate until help arrives.

Why not explore more?

Send us your stories

We’d love to hear about your own real-life first aid stories. Email us at firstaid@redcross.org.uk or use this form.

Related Tags:

Related

Book today
We run first aid courses in over

180 venues across the UK. Visit

our first aid training website to

book your course securely today.
 
Book a course

Baby and Child First Aid

Young woman checks for breathing on a baby

Learn online what you should do in a range of baby and children first aid emergencies.

First Aid Challenge

Mother with sick child

Sign up now for our three simple challenges and get £5 off a course and first aid updates.

More about the Challenge >

First aid courses

A woman practises putting her colleague into the recovery position

We offer public and workplace first aid courses throughout the UK. You can also train as a group at a venue to suit you.

Book a course >

First aid products

First aid kit and its contents

Check out our range of first aid supplies, including books, kits and videos.

Explore our products >

First aid volunteering

First aid event volunteers

Learn first aid and be prepared for any emergency. Even better, teach others to do it too.

Become a first aid volunteer >