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When to call for assistance

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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When to call for assistance

It is vital for rescuers to get help as quickly as possible when a child collapses:

  • when more than one rescuer is available, one starts resuscitation while another goes for assistance
  • if only one rescuer is present, undertake resuscitation for about 1 min before going for assistance. To minimise interruptions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), it may be possible to carry an infant or small child whilst summoning help
  • the only exception to performing 1 min of CPR before going for help is in the case of a child with a witnessed, sudden collapse when the rescuer is alone. In this case cardiac arrest is likely to be an arrhythmia and the child may need defibrillation. Seek help immediately if there is no one to go for you


  1. BMJ editorial. New international concensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. BMJ 2005;331:1281-2.
  2. Resuscitation 2005;67:181-341.

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