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What is the DRSABCD Action Plan, and what is DRSABCD used for?

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

DRSABCD is a typical acronym that you'll see in different locations nowadays, particularly regarding emergencies, first aid and CPR. At first glance, it does not look like one of the most straightforward acronyms to keep in mind-- or pronounce-- for that issue. And yet, "DRSABCD" as well as "DRSABCD method" will usually be dropped into work environment documents or emergency treatment info, usually without further explanation.

Now, if you're new to this phrase, you'll be pleased to know that it's typically pronounced "Doctors ABCD". But what does it mean? What in the world does DRSABCD represent, as well as why is it essential?




What does DRSABCD stand for?


DRSABCD is a series of actions to guide someone to assess a person and have the knowledge to move forward safely. It defines the series of phases that a first aid provider ought to work through when experiencing an unwell or injured individual. It guides them in determining what threat they're in, evaluating whether resuscitation is needed, and choosing just how and when to begin CPR.

DRSABCD represents Danger, Response, Send for HELP, Airway, Breathing, CPR, and Defibrillation. Each of these is an actio


n - commonly an in-depth step - that should be used when offering first aid.

If you're none the wiser for hearing that, don't fret-- the phrase is a tip for a set of skills learned as a component of First Aid training. When you take part in First Aid training course, the DRSABCD procedure is covered in detail, including when and also how to apply each step.


When would you use DRSABCD?


DRSABCD is for assessing the emergency situation and determining the state of the person who is unwell or injured, as well as how to continue with first aid. You can not provide first aid to an injured individual if you come to be a casualty yourself!


DRSABCD covers the initial steps of correctly rendering first aid, including CPR, and using an automated defibrillator (AED). Due to the fact that it's largely concentrated on resuscitation, it does not actually resolve other aspects of first aid-- such as dressing wounds and injuries on a conscious individual or handing them over to emergency personnel, you would learn this during your first aid course.


Rather, it's an operating procedure designed to aid somebody in knowing the steps to follow if a person is unconscious and/or needs CPR or Defibrillation.


What are the 7 key steps in the DRSABCD Action Plan?


First aid is the first line of defence in an emergency. It can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing the five key steps of first aid can help you be prepared for anything.


  • D for Danger – Assess the situation. Before doing anything else, it's essential to ensure that you, those around you and the victim are not in danger. For example, if the injury occurred in the middle of a busy street, you'd need to ensure that traffic does not pose a threat.

  • R for Response – Check consciousness. Once you've assessed the situation and determined that it is safe to approach the casualty, your next step is to check for signs of life. This includes checking for consciousness by asking the casualty simple questions such as “can you hear me” “open your eyes””whats your name” “squeeze my hands”. If there is no response, you may need to begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

  • S for Send for Help - As soon as you've ensured the area is safe, and you've determined whether the person is unconscious or responding, it's time to call for help. This may mean getting somebody with you to call 000, or possibly making the call yourself if you're alone. You can leave the phone on loudspeaker setting as you continue with first aid-- the 000 operators can suggest actions you can do while paramedics head to your location. If you do not have a phone, you might need to be screaming for help. In the worst-case situation you may need to do basic life saving first aid, ie stop bleeding, then leave the casualty to get help returning as quickly as possible.

  • A for Airway – Open airway. One of the first things you'll need to do if the victim is unresponsive is to open their airway. This can be done by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin. Checking for obstruction, such as food, and removing as required.

  • B for Breathing – Check respiration rates. Once the airway is open, it's time to check respiration rates. If the casualty is not breathing, or not breathing normally you will need to begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if a child or CPR as soon as possible.

  • C for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – Give chest compressions. If the casualty is not breathing, chest compressions are necessary to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body. CPR should be continued until help arrives or the victim begins breathing on their own or you are too fatigued to continue or there is a danger that makes it unsafe for you to continue.

  • Defibrillate - If an automated defibrillator (or AED) is close by, it ought to be used asap when CPR has commenced. Modern defibrillators come with basic directions (typically spoken out loud by the device) and are created to be able to be used for inexperienced drivers. They check the patient and also make all the difficult decisions for you regarding whether to launch a shock or otherwise. AED’s are available for purchase in our store HERE

Even though we cover the essentials of DRSABCD in this short blog post, there is no substitute for learning how to use DRSABCD as well as perform CPR in a legitimate first aid training course. First Aid courses cover these actions in detail, including common issues and how to react to them. It should also be noted that having knowledge of how an AED device works can save extremely valuable seconds in an emergency situation.


The DRSABCD action plan can save lives, making it worth investing a little time in learning exactly how to do it correctly.


Why is DRSABCD important?


When lives remain at risk in a high-stress emergency situation, thinking clearly becomes a challenge. It becomes very easy to miss out on details and important steps in a procedure, or even suffer a mental blank.


It is also possible that one may simply not know what to do or how and where to begin.


DRSABCD offers a very simple acronym that will walk you through the process, step by step, at the right time. You don't want a mental bank, or any confusion, when you're halfway through providing CPR.


To find out more about First Aid & CPR Courses, check out our courses here, and if you’re needing a chart that displays DRSABCD for your pool or workplace, check out our charts here






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