Giving Rescue Breaths: Step-by-Step Guide from MyCPR NOW


Rescue breaths, also known as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, are a critical component of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and can make a significant difference in saving a person's life. Knowing how to give rescue breaths properly is essential in providing oxygen to the victim's lungs and restoring their breathing. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to give rescue breaths, referencing the expertise and guidance from MyCPR NOW, a trusted resource for first aid and CPR education.

MyCPR NOW's Step-by-Step Guide to Giving Rescue Breaths:

When encountering a person who is unresponsive and not breathing or not breathing normally, it is crucial to act quickly and provide rescue breaths. The steps outlined below, with insights from MyCPR NOW, will help you deliver rescue breaths effectively.

Step 1: Ensure Scene Safety:

Before approaching the victim, ensure the scene is safe for both you and the person in need of rescue breaths. Look for any potential hazards or dangers, such as traffic, fire, or unstable structures. If the scene is unsafe, wait for professional medical assistance.

Step 2: Assess Responsiveness:

Check if the victim is responsive by tapping their shoulders and asking loudly, "Are you okay?" If there is no response and the victim is not breathing or breathing abnormally, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Open the Airway:

Position the victim on their back on a firm surface. Tilt their head back gently by placing one hand on their forehead and lifting the chin upward. This helps to open the airway and ensure proper airflow.

Step 4: Check for Breathing:

Lean close to the victim's mouth and nose, looking for signs of breathing, such as chest movement, listening for breath sounds, and feeling for airflow. Do this for no more than 10 seconds. If the victim is not breathing or only gasping, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Seal Your Mouth Around the Victim's:

MyCPR NOW recommends initiating rescue breaths by maintaining the head tilt and pinching the victim's nose closed with your thumb and index finger. Take a normal breath and make a complete seal over the victim's mouth, covering their mouth and nose with yours.

Step 6: Deliver Two Rescue Breaths:

Deliver two rescue breaths by exhaling into the victim's mouth over about one second each. Watch for the victim's chest to rise and fall with each breath. MyCPR NOW suggests ensuring a proper seal, maintaining an open airway, and delivering effective breaths.

Step 7: Observe Chest Rise and Fall:

After delivering the two rescue breaths, watch for the victim's chest to rise and fall. If the chest rises and falls with each breath, it indicates that the rescue breaths are effective in delivering oxygen to the lungs.

Step 8: Repeat Rescue Breaths:

Continue delivering rescue breaths at a rate of one breath every five seconds, which is approximately 12 breaths per minute. Ensure the chest rises and falls with each breath and maintain the head tilt and airway opening throughout the process.

Step 9: Check for Signs of Life:

After several sets of rescue breaths, reassess the victim for any signs of life, such as spontaneous breathing, coughing, or movement. If signs of life are observed, place the victim in the recovery position and seek professional medical assistance.

Step 10: Continue CPR:

If the victim does not show signs of life, it is crucial to continue CPR by combining rescue breaths with chest compressions. Perform cycles of 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths, maintaining the proper ratio and speed as recommended by MyCPR NOW.


Knowing how to give rescue breaths is an essential skill that can save lives in emergency situations. By following the step-by-step guide provided by MyCPR NOW, you can be prepared to provide effective rescue breaths and deliver oxygen to a person in need. Remember, rescue breaths are a crucial part of CPR, and combining them with chest compressions can increase the chances of successful resuscitation. MyCPR NOW serves as a trusted resource for first aid and CPR education, offering valuable insights to empower individuals with life-saving skills.

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