Not Just For Doctors

DRSABCD (commonly pronounced Doctor’s ABCDs) is an easy acronym to remember what to do in case of an emergency.

Danger. Check for danger. How did this person get hurt? You need to make sure you don’t become the next victim.

Response. Does the victim respond to you? Can they speak? Do they move when you say or do something?

Send for Help. Call 000 (triple zero) if you can or get someone else to. More than likely, there will be bystanders; use one of them. Make sure someone is calling for help.

Airway. Check the victim’s airway by tilting their head back. If they cannot breathe, open their mouth. If you can see the obstruction, roll the victim on their side and remove it.

Breathing. Lean over the victim’s face with your ear over their mouth and looking towards the chest. The ear is more sensitive than the hand and will feel any breathing or hear it. You should also be able to see if the chest is moving as they breathe. If they are breathing, roll them into the recovery position.

CPR. If your victim was not breathing, it’s time to do CPR. Start with compressions. Put one hand on top of the other in the centre of the victim’s chest. Press down (about one third the dept of the chest) 30 times. Then two breaths. Tilt the head back, pinch their nose closed, and blow into their mouth.

Defibrillator. If available, use an automated external defibrillator (AED). These machines check for a pulse and instructs when to give breaths and do compressions, even giving a tempo for compressions.  They will tell you, loud and clear, what to do. If no pulse is detected, it will administer an electric shock; so, it’s important not to touch the victim when instructed by the AED. If the person responds, put them in the recovery position and make sure they are breathing normally.

It sounds like a lot, but really, just remember DRSABCD and it should all come pretty naturally.

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