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The Four Key Rules to Basic Life Support

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Learning what to do in an emergency is the most important thing you will ever learn. Most people think they will never need this knowledge as it ‘won’t happen to them’ but it’s best to be prepared for any eventuality and your swift actions may save someone’s life.

First Life Support Rule

Learn to recognise signs of a medical emergency so you can dial 999 early and give them a better chance of survival. Even if you’re not sure, you should still phone them.

Second Life Support Rule

In a collapsed patient, dial 999 and then check the person’s mouth is clear and airway open by a head tilt chin lift manoeuvre. Check if they are breathing normally for no more than ten seconds. If they are not breathing normally, begin CPR immediately. Start 30 chest compressions with a rate of 100-120 compressions every minute (two per second) – then two rescue breaths OR if you are not prepared to perform rescue breaths , just do chest compressionsonly CPR at a rate of 100-120 compressions until the emergency services arrive.

Any chest compressions are better than doing nothing as you need to pushbloodaround their body to increase their chance of survival. Compression only resuscitation has become popular as a way for bystanders to help save a life.

Third Life Support Rule

Prompt defibrillation gives a cardiac victim a better chance of survival. This is why it is so vital that all offices, community groups and schools have an automated external defibrillator (AED) and have attended a course so they know how to use one. AED’s and training courses with instructions on AED use are available through A to E Training & Solutions.

Fourth Life Support Rule

Making sure your casualty gets to hospital early and receives expert care is crucial to theirsurvival. Have you heard of the ‘golden hour’? Patients who receive vital care in the first hour after collapse have a greater chance to survive than those who don’t. That’s why dialling 999 at the first sign of collapse is so important.

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