CPR + AED use.
Ideally people should be trained in CPR, but sometimes we dont have the time / money to get certified.
But it's not that hard.
If it comes to a stage where somebody is unresponsive, and by all accounts not breathing, chest compressions can be done. New CPR guidelines state that checking for breathing and administering initial rescue breaths can be bypassed if the helper is not confident or trained in CPR. This is exactly what the EMS will advise you to do over the phone.
Draw an imaginary line between the nipples and aim for the centre of the chest.
Push down, hard and fast. Ideally looking for at least 100 compressions per minute, but making sure to allow the chest to rise back to its normal position to allow the heart chambers to fill with blood.
Don't be afraid of pushing too deep. Bear in mind what you're doing. You need to press down hard enough, so that you squeeze the heart with enough force to pump the blood to the brain.
How hard do you think you'd have to squeeze it, if you held it in your hand? So no light feathery compressions. Push hard and push fast.
Heres a site to give some more info.
AED stands for "Automated External Defib" and so simple to use, but not realistically something that can be taught on a forum, but I'll add the following "AED for dummies."
Turn it on.
Place the pads on the BARE
chest (man, woman, child - it doesn't matter, it MUST
be bare chest).
There is a diagram on all pads indicating where they should be placed.
Make sure the pads are connected to the machine, stand back and let the AED do its thing.
Follow the prompts ensuring NOBODY is touching the patient at any stage. It will go through the motions, and if required, prompt you to press the shock button. An AED won't let you shock someone unless it detects a shockable heart rhythm, so don't worry about that.
AED's are more and more common in public areas. Airports, shopping centres, leisure centres, gyms etc.
Info on AED's etc can be found here.
Don't forget. If someone is unresponsive and not breathing, they cant be any worse off, so you cant really do any more damage.
And don't be afraid of liability or legal implications etc.
There's no liability issues to worry about.
Obviously this is an overview and it can go into much more detail.
CPR/AED courses can be completed in as little as 3-4 hours.
5000 people in Ireland die every year due to Sudden Cardiac Death. That's 14 people a day.
Be nice knowing that you could help someone eh?
Hope some of you find this somewhat useful