Make sure the airway is open before you check breathing or start rescue breathing. Also make sure there isn’t anything obstructing the airway (gum, tongue, object, etc.). To clear the airway, tip the chin up and the head back.
Make sure you check the victim’s breathing after you clear the airway. You should put your head level to the victim’s chest and check to see if the chest rises or falls. If it does, place the victim on his or her side (this is the recovery position). If the victim is not breathing, give 2 breaths. Then, check the pulse. If their heart is beating, maintain an open airway (see above) and you must breath for the victim. If the victim is not breathing, you must begin rescue breathing and chest compressions.
Make sure the victim is beating. You can check main arteries and veins for this. The main artery you would check is called the carotid artery. The carotid artery is located between the Adam’s Apple of your neck and the muscle. Take a moment now to place your two fingers on the center of your neck. Do NOT use your thumb because your thumb has a pulse of its own. Slide your fingers to the left or right of the bones in your neck. Push in until you feel a pulse. This is the carotid artery.
Find the bump on the bottom of the sternum or breastbone. Compress on the point below this with weight transmitted downward. Count to establish rhythm: “one and, two and, three and, four and….” After every fifteen compressions, deliver 2 slow rescue breaths. If there is still no pulse, resume CPR starting with chest compressions. If there is a pulse but no breathing, give one rescue breath every 5 seconds.