Primary Assessment Airway

Assess airway patency by the "look, listen, and feel" method.

If the child can speak or cry in response to a stimulus, this indicates that the airway is patent, that breathing is occurring and that there is adequate circulation. If the child responds only with withdrawal to a painful stimulus (AVPU score "P") his airway is at risk.

If there is no evidence of air movement then chin lift or jaw thrust manoeuvres should be carried out and the airway reassessed. If there continues to be no evidence of air movement then airway patency can be assessed by performing an opening manoeuvre and giving rescue breaths (see Basic Life Support, Chapter 4).

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