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How You Could Save A Life

Even if you haven’t been interested in watching the Euro 2020/21 football tournament, you probably haven’t missed the news that recently one of the players collapsed on the pitch in the middle of the game and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Fortunately, Christian Eriksen (who plays for the Italian club Inter Milan and the national team of Denmark) survived and is now in a stable condition but it was only as a result of the quick thinking and action of his team mates and those close by.

As a result, we have used information from the British Red Cross and teamed up with Buckshaw Village Medical Centre to share this simple “How To” on dealing with someone who is unresponsive.

1. Check breathing by tilting their head back and looking and feeling for breaths. When a person is unresponsive, 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. If they are not breathing, their chest and stomach will not be moving and you will not hear or feel their breaths. If they are not breathing, move on to step two.

2. Call 999 as soon as possible.

If you can’t call 999, get someone else to!

3. Give chest compressions: push firmly downwards in the middle of the chest and then release. Continue to push in this way at a regular rate until help arrives.

These are called chest compressions. Chest compressions keep blood pumping around their body helping to keep the vital organs, including the brain, alive.

* If the patient is a baby or child from 1 year old to puberty, follow these steps:

4. Give five rescue breaths: tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and pinch their nose. Blow five times into the child’s mouth.

Note: Doctors agree that there is a small risk of Covid transmission if rescue breaths are administered but in such an urgent situation you should endeavour to go ahead.

** For a baby, place your mouth over their mouth and nose. By blowing into their mouth you are topping up the oxygen levels in their blood. The oxygen you give them helps to keep their organs alive.

5. Give 30 chest compressions: push firmly in the middle of their chest with one hand so the chest goes inward, then release.

** For a baby, push firmly with two fingers rather than one hand.

By doing these chest compressions you are acting as the heart by keeping blood pumping around their body, helping keep the vital organs alive, including the brain. If you are small or the child is large, you may need to use two hands.

6. Give two rescue breaths. Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

Fast intervention can make all the difference and although it is an extremely daunting situation to be in, following the above simple guidelines could enable you to save a life!

By all means, keep this page for future reference or for more life saving information you can find useful resources at:

St John Ambulance: Get first aid advice | St John Ambulance (sja.org.uk)

British Red Cross: British Red Cross first aid resources