CPR: CAB not ABC

Yesterday was Valentines Day and me and my girlfriend went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant, dinner was good and the wine was flowing. Among the topics we discussed she mentioned how at her work (she works at a daycare) they dislike the new CPR system. Their CPR instructor apparently doesn’t like it and think it doesn’t make sense, she is an idiot!

Medically it makes perfect sense. When a person drops and is in need of CPR they do not offload all of their oxygen right before, that’s just silly. Not only is there going to be some air left in the lungs but there is plenty of oxygen already bound to the hemoglobin in the blood, so it makes far more sense to start with compressions and get this oxygen moving to the heart and brain right away. The second thing is that this idiot instructor seems to think the “A” in CAB (or ABC) means asses, so she thinks its stupid to do 30 compressions without first assessing the patient. WOW!

Assessing your patient to see if they need CPR is a separate step, you always asses a patient before you do anything! So they are unresponsive and have no pulse? You start compressions right away! After 30 compressions you open the airway using head tilt/chin lift or modified jaw thrust depending on the situation and give 2 breaths. (actually most lay persons will be doing & probably only know about head tilt/chin lift)

  1. Asses the patient
  2. Start compressions, do 30 @ a rate of 100/min
  3. Prepare the airway
  4. Provide 2 rescue breaths
  5. 5 Cycles of 30:2
  6. Do this until help arrives

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