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As soon as you find out the patient is not breathing call the emergency medical services. It is vital for rescuers to get help as quickly as possible when someone collapses or appears unconscious. If you have not called for help, delivering CPR without the EMS on the way will not help them. For every minute it takes for the AED to arrive, the persons chance of survival drops by 10%. Ensuring the EMS are on the way and effective CPR will increase the patient’s survival chances.
When more than one rescuer is available, one or more of the rescuers should start resuscitation while another goes for assistance and tries to find an AED.
With adults or older children, If only one rescuer is present, go for assistance as soon as you find they are not breathing and then start CPR. Do not go looking for an AED. The EMS will bring one. As you have been delivering CPR, their chance of the AED restarting their heart is increased.
With children, infants and victims of drowning, if only one rescuer is present, undertake resuscitation for about 1 min before going for assistance. To minimise interruptions in CPR, it may be possible to carry an infant or small child whilst summoning help.
The only exception to performing 1 min of CPR before going for help is in the unlikely event of a child with a witnessed, sudden collapse when the rescuer is alone and primary cardiac arrest is suspected. In this situation, a shockable rhythm is likely and the child may need defibrillation. Seek help immediately if there is no one to go for you.
When you dial the EMS on 999, 112 or your local number, ask for an ambulance. If there is someone else with you, ask them to call if possible otherwise call them yourself. If they make the call it allows you to start CPR.
If you are alone, stay with the victim when making the call if possible. Activate the speaker function on the phone to aid communication with the ambulance service.
Send someone to get an AED if available. If you are on your own, do not leave the victim. Start CPR. It is important to keep blood circulating and by leaving them to find an AED their chance of survival is reduced.
You can get additional help on CPR by speaking to the dispatcher when you call the EMS. By having your phone on speaker phone, they can guide you through CPR as either full CPR or chest only compressions.