A helpful mnemonic that reminds rescuers what to look for in a victim during a cardiac event is C-A-B.
The “C” is for circulation. When assessing the circulation of the victim, the rescuer should be looking at the color, feeling for temperature, and looking for signs of sweating. When assessing the victim’s circulation, it is a quick glance to see if the victim is pink, warm, dry, pale, cool, or clammy.
The “A” is for airway. The assessment of the airway is as simple as noting if it is open and clear, or obstructed. If the victim’s airway is obstructed, the rescuer can help by clearing the airway similar to helping a choking victim by use of the Heimlich maneuver.
The “B” is for breathing. As the rescuer assesses breathing, they should be looking for rate and depth such as too slow or too fast, and too shallow or too deep. Normally, a person should be breathing in and out with ease and at a rate of 12-20 respirations per minute. When this is not the case, the victim is considered to have an obstructed breathing pattern. To review the CAB, the potential rescuers are assessing and addressing the needs of the victim totally based around the Circulation, Airway, and Breathing as a quick check prior to engaging in CPR.
Since CAB is a quick reference guide, it is always encouraged that individuals attend a CPR class whether in-house or online and obtain certification. MyCPR NOW’s in-depth manuals and exams cover information such as compressions, ventilations, and the compression to ventilation ratio -- extremely valuable CPR knowledge and skills for everyone to be aware of.
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