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close this bookHow to Act after Accidents caused by Electrical Current - Course: Basic skills and knowledge of electrical engineering. Trainees' handbook of lessons (Institut für Berufliche Entwicklung, 20 p.)
close this folder4. Giving Artificial Respiration to Injured People
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1. Artificial Respiration
View the document4.2. Manual Methods of Respiration

(introduction...)

The chance of surviving of an injured person decreases with passing time. Approximately 5 minutes after breathing has stopped, there is only a chance of 15 %.

Each second is valuable and fast and efficient help decides about life and death of the injured person.
Artificial respiration has priority over any other measure!

4.1. Artificial Respiration

Principle of artificial respiration

- Breathing in

By breathing the rescuer's breth into the lungs of the injured person, this person is supplied with the required oxygen.

- Breathing out The injured person breathes out spontaneously due to the natural flexibility of the chest.

On principle, artificial respiration is started by breathing in.

- The breath of the rescuer wich is breathed into the injured person contains still 16 to 17 percentage by volume of oxygen.

- For sufficient respiration, 15 to 20 moderate breaths per minute given by the rescuer are required.

- Artificial respiration has to be continued until the injured person starts breathing or a medical doctor orders to stop the measure.

Advantages of artificial respiration compared with other methods:

- In order to give artificial respiration, the rescuer must keep the respiratory tracts of the injured person free.

- The success of the artificial respiration can be seen from the movements of the chest of the injured person and can be observed by the rescuer.

- Only little energy is required for giving artificial respiration, so that this measure can be continued by one rescuer for a long time.

No method of artificial respiration is allowed to be practised at a person for the purpose of exercise.
Her, a dummy has to be used.

Signs of returning life

- Twitching of the comers of the injured person's mouth
- Movement of the throat or fingers
- Returning of the normal colour of the skin
- Spontaneous independent breathing

Mistakes with artificial respiration

- The head of the injured person is not enough overstretched or the rescuer breathes his breath too violently into the lungs of the injured person.

By this the introitus of the oesophagus is pushed open, the stomach of the injured person is pumped up by the rescuer's breath, whereas too little breath reaches the lungs. (This situation is recognized by the fact that the chest of the injured person does not expand and rise.)

- The rescuer himself, during artificial respiration, feels dizzy or everything goes "black" before his eves. (In this case, stop breathing for a moment and then breathe calmly for a few seconds.)

- The rescuer has aesthetic or hygienic objections.
Clean the face of the injured person.
Cover the face of the injured person with a clean handkerchief or cellulose wadding.

Mouth-to-nose respiration

- Kneel down by the side of the injured person.

- Bend the head of the person back.
(Most important precondition of successful respiration!)

- Breathe in deeply, firmly enclose the nose of the injured person by your mouth and breathe out into his lungs.
(In doing so, keep the mouth of the injured person closed.)


Figure 4 - Mouth-to-mouth respiration (breathing in)

- After this, the rescuer turns his face towards the body of the injured person in order to watch if the chest of the injured person slumps as a sign of breathing out. In doing so, the rescuer again breathes in deeply.


Figure 5 - Mouth-to-nose respiration (breathing out)

- This action is repeated according to the rhythm of the rescuer's own respiration 15 to 20 times per minute

Mouth-to-mouth respiration

This method should be used only if the respiratory tract of the nose is blocked.

- Kneel down by the side of the injured person.

- Put the head of the injured person in the most favourable position for artificial breathing by bending it back.

- Get hold of the chin of the injured person and move the lower jaw till the mouth opens.

- By the other hand get hold of the forehead of the person in such a way, that the nose of the injured person can be held by thumb and fingers.

- Breathe into the lungs of the injured person with your lips wide open. Pay attention to the rising of the injured person's chest.

- Remove from the injured person and watch his breathing out. Pay attention to the noise of breathing out.

- Repeat the action according to the rhythm of your own respiration 15 to 20 times per minute.

Why must the head of the injured person be overstretched backwards?
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Artificial respiration by breathing apparatus

For this purpose,

- mouth breathing apparatus and

- mouth masks

are used.

They are universally applicable and can also be used during transportation of the injured person.

- Put the apparatus on the injured person's face.
- Operate the apparatus.
- Watch respiration after each breath.
- Stop artificial respiration when the injured person begins to breathe independently.

In case of emergency, do not search for a breathing apparatus but start mouth-to-nose or mouth- to-mouth respiration immediately.

4.2. Manual Methods of Respiration

Manual methods are applied only if artificial respiration of mouth-to-nose or mouth-to-mouth ' respiration is impossible due to extensive injuries of the face.

Principle of manual respiration methods

- Breathing out

By squeezing the chest and thus the lungs, the respiratory air is forced out of the lungs and a negative pressure is created.

- Breathing in

With relieving external pressure, the chest, as a result of its flexibility, returns to its original position, the lungs expand and surrounding air is aspirated.

With the manual methods, begin with breathing out.
In order to avoid rib and breastbone fractures, the chest must be pressed down only moderately!

Mistakes with the manual methods

- The breathing phases are not deep enough.
- The breathing rhythm is not observed.
- The movements of the arms are anatomically wrong.
- The respiration movements are not carried out evenly.

Method in prone position

- Put the injured person in prone position.

- Bend the arms of the injured person and put them down on the floor.

- Turn the head of the injued person carefully to the side and put it on his bent arms.

- Make the respiratory tracts of the injured person accessible.

- Kneel down on one knee by the head of the injured person.

- Put your hands flat on the back of the injured person just above the waist your thumbs paralleling the injured person's spinal column.


Figure 6 - Correct position before manual respiration

- Begin with breathing out your body shifting slightly forward and thus exercising a moderate pressure. (This way, the chest of the injured person is pressed against the floor and the lungs are squeezed together with the chest. The breathing air can escape through the respiratory tracts of the injured person.)


Figure 7 - Manual respiration (breathing out)

- For breathing in, pressure must be relieved suddenly by taking the hands of the injured person's back.

- Get hold of the upper arms of the injured person and lift them slightly. (This enables that the lungs and chest of the injured person expand and the surrounding air flows into the lungs.


Bild 8 - Letting go of the chest


Bild 9 - Manual respiration (breathing in)

- This action must be repeated 12 to 16 times a minute.

Method in dorsal position

The method in dorsal position should be used only if no other respiration method is mastered.

It is the most awkward and least effective of all methods of artificial respiration.

- Put the injured person in flat dorsal position.

- Place a bundle of rolled up clothings or a folded blanket under the shoulder blades of the injured person.

- Clean the external air ways from foreign bodies.

- With the help of a handkerchief or a mull bandage, pull the tongue of the injured person out of his mouth and tie it up on the chin.

- Carefully turn the head of the injured person to the side.

- Kneel down behind the head of the injured person. (Your face towards the injured person.)

- Hold the arms of the injured person right above the elbows and put his arms next to each other on his chest.

- For breathing out, the rescuer shifts his body forward, this way exercising pressure on the chest of the injured person. (By this, the chest of the injured person is squeezed and the air pressed out of his lungs.)

- For breathing in, both arms of the injured person are moved in the widest possible circular movement sideways over his head to the floor. (The chest and the lungs of the injured person expand and air can be drawn in.)

- Then hold the forearms of the injured person right below his elbows and move his chest. In doing so, press the chest down.

- Repeat this action 12 to 16 times per minute.

Why should manual respiration be applied only in exceptional cases?

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