prevent air from entering the lungs and supplying oxygen to the vital centers of the body.
Sometimes very small amounts of water or other fluids can cause drowning.
(2) Electric shock. Such an accident frequently results from contact with a "live" wire.
Occasionally a person is struck by lightning.
(3) Carbon monoxide poisoning. Odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide gas kills without
warning. Internal combustion engines, open fires, stoves, lanterns, and charcoal fires give off
this deadly gas. Without adequate ventilation where any of these combustion devices are
being used, someone may be overcome. Symptoms of the victim may be dizziness,
weakness, headache, vomiting--then unconsciousness. The skin and lips are often bright red.
b. Symptoms of Victims in Need of Artificial Respiration.
(1) Not breathing. The most critical medical emergency with which anyone may be faced is the
person who has ceased to breathe. The person will inevitably die within minutes unless
prompt measures are taken to restore a flow of oxygen to the brain before irreversible
changes have occurred in the brain. The heart may continue to pump blood for a period of
time after breathing has stopped, so if we can immediately supply oxygen to the circulating
blood and continue until the victim's breathing has spontaneously returned (or until he is
unequivocably dead), life will be saved.
(2) Usually completely relaxed. The victim who requires artificial respiration is almost always
totally unconscious and completely relaxed. In fact, he appears lifeless.
c. What to Do With the Victim Before Applying Artificial Respiration.
(1) For the drowning victim: As soon as you can get his head out of the water and your mouth to
his, start the mouth-to-mouth method of artificial respiration. Time is of the essence. Don't
waste valuable seconds turning the victim in an attempt to drain water from the lungs.
(2) For the electric shock victim: If the victim has come in contact with an electric current, turn
off the switch if it is nearby, but DON'T waste time looking for it. Use a dry wooden pole,
dry clothing, dry rope, or some other material that does not conduct electricity to remove the
person from the wire. If a pole isn't handy, simply drag the victim off the wire by means of a
loop of dry cloth. Do not touch the wire or the victim with your bare hands, or you also may
get a shock. Electric shock causes breathing to stop, so begin artificial respiration
immediately after freeing the person from the wire or "electrically hot" item.
(3) For the carbon monoxide victim: Get him into fresh air and start artificial respiration
immediately. Keep him quiet.