accessibility & help

First aid for someone who’s
unconscious and breathing

Watch the video, in which Gemma is treated when found unconscious and breathing.

Use the information below the video to remind yourself how to help someone who is unconscious and breathing.

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

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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. Find out what to do if they are not breathing.

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Move them onto their side and tilt their head back.

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Putting them in this position with their head back helps keep the airway open by making sure their tongue falls forward and blood and vomit drain out. This is sometimes called the recovery position.

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

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

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Life’s full of decisions. How would you help someone who's unconscious and breathing?

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