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Basic Life Support Changes 2006

Date: 15 Jun 2006

New basic life support protocols have been launched by the Resuscitation Council (UK). Read the new resuscitation procedures in more detail here.

Further information can be found on the Resuscitation Council (UK)'s website.

The following summarises the changes:

Compressions to Breaths Ratio

Once normal breathing is found to be absent, give 30 compressions at the rate of 100 per minute. Then give 2 rescue breaths. Continue giving 30 compressions to 2 breaths until help arrives.

Two Rescuers Present

If there is more than one rescuer present, another should take over CPR about every 2 minutes to prevent fatigue. Ensure the minimum of delay during the changeover of rescuers.

Chest-compression-only CPR

• If you are not able, or are unwilling, to give rescue breaths, give chest compressions only.

• If chest compressions only are given, these should be continuous at a rate of 100 a minute.

• Stop to recheck the victim only if he starts breathing normally; otherwise do not interrupt resuscitation.

Continue resuscitation until:

• qualified help arrives and takes over,

• the victim starts breathing normally, or

• you become exhausted.

Recovery Position

If the victim has to be kept in the recovery position for more than 30 minutes turn him to the opposite side to relieve the pressure on the lower arm.


Up to 5 back slaps and 5 abdominal thrusts now applicable to all ages from 1year upward.

Paediatric BLS

For ease of teaching and retention, laypeople should be taught that the adult sequence may also be used for children who are not responsive and not breathing.

The following minor modifications to the adult sequence will, however, make it even more suitable for use in children:

  • Give five initial rescue breaths before starting chest compressions
  • If you are on your own perform CPR for approximately 1 minute before going for help.
  • The same modifications of five initial breaths, and 1 minute of CPR by the lone rescuer before getting help, may improve outcome for victims of drowning. This modification should be taught only to those who have a specific duty of care to potential drowning victims (e.g. lifeguards).