Many times there will be a second person available that can act as a rescuer. The AHA emphasizes that cell phones are available everywhere now and most have a built-in speakerphone. Direct the second rescuer to call 911 without leaving the person while you begin CPR. This second rescuer can also find an AED while you stay with the person. When the second rescuer returns, the CPR tasks can be shared:
- The second rescuer prepares the AED for use.
- You begin chest compressions and count the compressions out loud.
- The second rescuer applies the AED pads.
- The second rescuer opens the person’s airway and gives rescue breaths.
- Switch roles after every five cycles of compressions and breaths. One cycle consists of 30 compressions and two breaths.
- Be sure that between each compression you completely stop pressing on the chest and allow the chest wall to return to its natural position. Leaning or resting on the chest between compressions can keep the heart from refilling in between each compression and make CPR less effective. Rescuers who become tired may tend to lean on the chest more during compressions; switching roles helps rescuers perform high-quality compressions.
- Quickly switch between roles to minimize interruptions in delivering chest compressions.
- When the AED is connected, minimize interruptions of CPR by switching rescuers while the AED analyzes the heart rhythm. If a shock is indicated, minimize interruptions in CPR. Resume CPR as soon as possible.