First Aid For Medical Emergencies & Conditions

How do I check if an unconscious victim's airway is open?

A Answers (2)

  • A , Family Medicine, answered
    In order to check whether someone's airway is open, you should perform what is called a "jaw tilt, chin lift." In order to perform this maneuver, you need to tilt the victim's chin up and then, grasping behind the jaw on both sides, lift upward. After this, you should watch for breathing by watching for the rise of the chest as well as feeling for air coming out of the mouth.
  • When assessing an unconscious victim's airway, the mantra "look, listen, feel" should come to mind. First, watch for the victim's chest to rise and fall as it fills with and expels air. Next, position your ear and cheek near the individual's mouth and nose to listen for the sound of air movement. Finally, try to feel the victim's breath on the skin on your cheek, or use your hand to see if you can feel any air moving in and out from the victim's mouth or nose.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How do I assess an unconscious victim before giving first aid?