What does DR ABC stand for?
DR ABC is a mnemonic used to help first aiders remember what to do if they find a casualty who has collapsed. If you remember your ‘DR ABC’ then you won’t go far wrong when dealing with an emergency situation! Here’s a quick reminder of what DR ABC stands for:
The first thing you should do in an emergency is check for any dangers to you or the casualty.
After checking for danger you should check for a ‘response’. This is just a fancy way of saying ‘try to wake the person up’. To check for a response you should shout loudly and gently shake the casualty’s shoulders.
If the casualty does not wake up then you need to ensure their airway is open. To open an airway you need to tilt their head backwards and lift the chin. By doing this you move the tongue of the back of the throat and prevent them from ‘swallowing their own tongue’.
Whilst keeping their airway open you should check for breathing for a maximum of 10 seconds. Typically you should look, listen and feel for breathing. Look at the chest, is it moving up and down? Listen for air movement and finally feel for breathing using the side of your cheek.
If a casualty isn’t breathing then you should commence Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately. The first component of CPR is to deliver 30 high quality chest compressions.