Information about Checking the Abc’s
We Have to Know about the Checking the Abc’s
- Checking the ABC’s (airway, breathing, and circulation) is the most important step in dealing with someone who is unconscious.
- Ensure that the passage between the mouth, nose, and throat is clear. To open the airway, tilt the person’s head slightly back and lift the chin forward. Do not tilt the head if a head or neck injury is suspected. A baby’s head shouldn’t be tilted back too far. Scoop away any obvious material from the mouth. Keep false teeth in the mouth when the person is positioned correctly.
- Once the airway has been cleared, check for breathing by putting your ear next to the person’s mouth, listening and feeling for breath. At the same time, see if the chest rises and falls. Do this for ten seconds before you decide that breathing is absent. If the person breathes, place in recovery position. Recheck for breathing every few minutes. If the person is not breathing, start mouth-to-mouth breathing. If choking is suspected, follow first aid for choking.
- Check for the pulse in the neck (the wrist pulse may be too weak to feel). The neck pulse is found in the hollow between the windpipe and the large neck muscle (next to Adam’s apple, but slightly higher up the neck). Use your index and middle fingers to feel for the pulse. Look for other signs of circulation, such as normal skin color. To check an infant’s pulse, feel the brachial pulse, at the inside of the baby’s upper arm. If there is no pulse, do CPR to keep the blood circulating to the brain. If there is a pulse, but no breathing, continue with mouth-to-mouth breathing.