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Breathing Problems


May include: shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, rapid pulse, bluish-purple skin color, dilated pupils, and unconsciousness.


For a victim who has stopped breathing:

  1. Call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.
  2. Lay victim flat on back. Tilt the head back with one hand to open airway while placing two fingers of the other hand under the chin.
  3. Clear airway only if you can see and easily remove an object. If the victim’s airway is only partially obstructed and the person can tolerate it, wait for EMS to arrive.
  4. Look, listen, and feel for breathing movement for 5 seconds. If victim is not breathing, pinch victim’s nostrils closed, take a deep breath, completely cover victim’s mouth, and give two slow, full breaths.
  5. Check for signs of breathing.
  6. For adults—continue rescue breathing at a rate of one strong breath every five seconds. Re-check for breathing every twelve breaths. For infants and small children—breathe shallow breaths at a rate of one every three seconds or 20 per minute.