Head-Tilt/Chin-Lift Method for Opening an Airway

Step

Action

1

At an arm’s distance, make contact with the victim by touching the shoulder and asking, “Can you hear me?”  Speak loudly, but do not yell.

2

If the victim does not or cannot respond, place the palm of one hand on the forehead.

3

Place two fingers of the other hand under the chin and tilt the jaw upward while tilting the head back slightly.

4

Place your ear close to the victim’s mouth, looking toward the victim’s feet, and place a hand on the victim’s abdomen.

5

Look for chest rise.

6

Listen for air exchange.

  • Document abnormal lung sounds (wheezing, gasping, gurgling, etc.).

7

Feel for abdominal movement.

8

If breathing has been restored, the clear airway must be maintained by keeping the head tilted back.  If breathing has not been restored, repeat steps 2-7.

 

Maintaining The Airway

 

If breathing has been restored, the clear airway still must be maintained by keeping the head tilted back.  One option is to ask another person to hold the head in place; even another victim with minor injuries could do this.  The airway also can be maintained by placing soft objects under the victim’s shoulders to elevate the shoulders slightly and keep the airway open.

Remember that part of your mission is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people.  For that reason, if breathing is not restored on the first try using the Head-Tilt/Chin-Lift method, CERT members should try again using the same method.  If breathing cannot be restored on the second try, CERT members must move on to the next victim.