A 19-year-old suicidal patient fell backward over a stair rail to the floor and appears to not be breathing or have a pulse. After calling for assistance, the nurse should:

Confirm pulselessness and start with 30 chest compressions.

Explanation

•New BLS guidelines emphasize C-A-B (compressions, airway, breathing). Early chest compressions provide perfusion to vital organs until defibrillation can be provided.

•With a suspected spinal cord injury, do not hyperextend the neck to open the airway, use the jaw thrust maneuver instead.

•Immobilize the patient in the position found until further medical help arrives.

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