Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

Case Study: Margaret part 2

You check that Margaret is breathing

Have a look at both possible situations here. Both continue where our scenario left off on the previous page. In the first, Margaret is breathing; in the second she is not.

Check that Margaret is breathing -for 10 seconds- using:

  • Look – for her chest rising
  • Listen – for breathing sounds
  • Feel – for her breath on your cheek


If Margaret is breathing …

If Margaret is not breathing …


If Margaret IS breathing: Check whether she is conscious, by gently shaking her and calling her name loudly and clearly. Don’t try and stand her up or get her into a chair as she may have had a stroke or other medical emergency. If someone does not respond to voice they may respond to touch. Also Margaret may be deaf. Do not ask her the time as she may not hear you or may be confused. Pinching her ear gently may be appropriate if she does not respond to voice or gentle shaking, you do not want to hurt Margaret, but a gentle pinch to the ear may evoke a response.

If Margaret is NOT breathing: If trained to do so you would commence CPR and call for emergency aid. If you are unsure of emergency treatment of an unconscious casualty or of someone who is not breathing you should contact your line manager or attend a recognised First Aid Course. Do not observe her for 2 minutes to see if she starts breathing. Margaret’s brain will be being depleted of oxygen and this will cause irreversible brain damage and eventually death. Do not try to lift her back into her chair

Page last reviewed: 29 Sep 2020