Medically Fit For Exams
Medically Fit For Exams

Basic life support

  • Use a ‘DR ABC’ approach



  • Assess whether it is safe to approach, and tell the examiner that you are doing so



  • Shake the dummy, ask loudly ‘hello, can you hear me?’
  • Call for help/turn to ask the examiner to call for help



  • Open the mouth to look for obstruction
  • Perform head tilt (place hands on forehead and tilt back
  • Perform chin lift (place fingers on the angle of the mandible and pull forwards



  • Look for chest movement
  • Listen for breath sounds, for up to 10 seconds
  • You can combine this simultaneously with carotid pulse, below



  • Feel the carotid pulse for 10 seconds, count out loud to 10 so that the examiner is aware that you are doing this



  • If breathing and pulse are normal, move the patient into the recovery position
  • If no pulse or breathing is present ask the helper to call 999, and say there has been an adult cardiac arrest. Ask the helper to come back once they have done that, and to find a defibrillator
  • Commence CPR
    • Place hands over the sternum and interlock fingers
    • Press to a depth of 5-6 cm, at a speed of around 100 compressions a minute (‘Nellie the elephant’)
    • The manikin should click if the compression is adequate
    • Repeat 30 times – count to 30 as you are going for the examiner’s benefit
    • Follow with 2 rescue breaths
    • Pinch the patient’s nose, tilt the head back and breath normally, looking for rise and fall of the chest
    • Continue in cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until the examiner requests you to stop, or ask the examiner to take over after a few minutes

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