When any person is not responding and not breathing normally, they need you to push hard and fast on the center of their chest 30 times. Then you should; tilt their head up, close their nose, place your mouth over their mouth and give them rescue breaths – or mouth to mouth, for 2 breaths.
This whole procedure is called CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
It totally may save a person’s life.
However, here are some reasons people might ask, “do I have to do mouth to mouth?”
- Fear of getting AIDS
- Fear of other diseases
- Presence of blood around victims mouth
- Presence of vomit around victims mouth
- I’m a guy – he’s a guy, I don’t want to ‘kiss’ him
The good news is that unconscious humans probably have oxygen still in their system, and when you provide chest compressions hard and fast – you are pushing that oxygen rich blood to their brain, effectively delaying death. This is why the Australian Resuscitation Council recommend if you are unable or unwilling to do mouth to mouth, you should just continuously do chest compressions. Any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt at all.
The science behind compression’s only CPR it is valid – as you push on the chest, blood pressure builds up, and each time you stop for any reason, even to give mouth to mouth, the blood pressure drops back to ‘0’. Continuous chest compressions keeps the blood pressure up and oxygen pumping to the brain. So you are doing a great thing if you choose just to give compression only CPR!
It is still encouraged to provide mouth to mouth if you can, especially for children and babies. Children and babies are more likely to have had a breathing issue than an electrical heart issue, which means they may have gone a while without oxygen and will benefit from more oxygen being breathed into them. It is also especially good for people who have nearly drowned, as in the process of drowning a victim uses up a lot of their oxygen.
You can always use a mask device to give mouth to mouth – this will eliminate any ‘yuck’ factor as well. Workplace first aid kits will have these, you could also buy one to keep in your car, or a small version to keep on your key ring.
So – “do I have to do mouth to mouth?” Then answer is: we want you to, but if you are unable or unwilling – just push hard and fast on the victims chest until the ambulance arrives or the person comes back to life. You may totally save that persons life.