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Monday, July 28, 2008

Respiratory Standstill

Respiratory standstill means that a person has stopped breathing. He does not respond to external stimuli and does not breathe despite a clear airway and intact circulation. When breathing has stopped the respiratory center is unable to from the impulses required to maintain breathing, or the impulses cannot reach the respiratory muscles.

Causes
Conditions that lead to unconsciousness may also lead to respiratory failure.

Other Causes:
Obstruction of the airway of an unconscious person (foreign matter; vomit, tongue)
Obstruction of the airway due to swelling (insect sting, allergy, etc.).

The casualty is trapped or buried: drowning.

Assessment:
Check consciousness
  • Talk to the motionless casualty/emergency patient
  • Rouse him by tapping
  • Apply gentle pain stimuli

If he/she does not respond adequately, he/she is without consciousness.
Call for help (Help! Can somebody help me?)

*Check Breathing
Clear the airway (upper respiratory tract):

  • Loosen tight clothing and remove strangling objects.
  • Inspect the oral cavity; if vomit, blood, mucus, broken or dislocated dentures are to be removed from the oral cavity, turn the casualty’s or emergency patient’s head to the side (use disposable gloves or a fabric handkerchief).
  • Tilt the casualty’s or emergency patient’s head backward keeping his neck arched and lift his tongue if it has fallen back, thus enabling unobstructed breathing.

How to check breathing: Click Here Check Breathing

* Check Circulation
How to check circulation: Click here Check Circulation.

Danger Condition
Since the brain can survive without oxygen for only a short time, lack of oxygen would within a few minutes cause circulatory standstill and shortly lead to a person’s death. Therefore oxygen must be supplied immediately through artificial respiration.

First Aid This Condition

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