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Step 3: Support Their Breathing

Ideally, individuals who are experiencing opioid overdose should be ventilated with 100% oxygen before naloxone is administered so as to reduce the risk of acute lung injury. In situations where 100% oxygen is not available, rescue breathing can be very effective in supporting respiration.


Rescue breathing for adults involves the following steps:


  • Be sure the person's airway is clear (check that nothing inside the person’s mouth or throat is blocking the airway).

  • Place one hand on the person's chin, tilt the head back and pinch the nose closed.

  • Place your mouth over the person's mouth to make a seal and give 2 slow breaths.

  • The person's chest should rise (but not the stomach).

  • Follow up with one breath every 5 seconds.


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