ABC's of CPR?

what do u mean by ABC's of CPR?? Explain them in details please

Hi there- just to let you know, all the other answers were “right” until the STANDARDS changed in 2005, and implemented by the various training groups at intervals.

ABC does stand for




However, Circulation is now only checked in victims that are breathing (unconscious or not). When a victim is not breathing, the rescuer must now (unless they are Primary Healthcare Providers- “PCP”'s) move directly into CPR.

CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is required when a victim is unconscious and non-breathing. The steps are as follows:

1- CHECK for hazards (fire/wire/glass/gas)

2- PINCH and SHOUT (pinch the nerves along the shoulders and yell in both ears)

If there is no response from the victim, you keep going

3- CALL for help (“hey you in the _______ shirt, call 911, I have an unconscious adult/child/infant at __(location)___. Come back when you are done, do you understand?”)

4- establish an AIRWAY- head tilt/chin lift (tilt the head back so the jaw line is about 90 degrees to the ground for adult/child, or so that it moves the head into a “sniffing” position on an infant)

5- check for BREATHING- look listen and feel with your ear about 4 inches from your victims nose and mouth, and eyes looking down their body for 10 seconds.


6- Administer 2 Breaths, wearing gloves and using a CPR barrier device (Pocketmask/faceshield)

7- CPR compressions- give 30 compressions by:

-find the line between the nipples on the chest of your victim


-place the heel of one hand on sternum in the center of the nipple line

-place the heel of your other hand on top of the wrist of the first, interlace your fingers and pull the fingers away from the chest, so that the only contact is the heel of the first hand


-find the nipple line

-place the heel of one hand on the nipple line


-you must be kneeling “up” (not sitting on your heels), leaning over the victim with your arms straight. Keep your back straight and lock your shoulders and elbows.

-compressions should be about 2 inches deep on an adult, half the chest depth for a child


-find the nipple line

-place two fingers of one hand on the center of the sternum along the nipple line

-compress using the force of those two fingers, slightly more if needed. Compress to half the chest depth

After compressions: give 2 more breaths. Repeat “endlessly” unless:

-the victim moves

-the victim vomits

-you are too tired to continue

If you are really serious about learning this stuff, I suggest you take a legitimate first aid/CPR course. The lectures I give on this topic are about 1 hour long, covering the “what if's”, so trying to type it all here is difficult.

Two training programs I recommend are Red Cross and Lifesaving Society. In my experience, their programs are the best.

Your first question may be: what if the heart is beating? Without a pulse check, how can we know?

In an event that a lay rescuer (you!) would have to do this, your adrenaline would be flowing and you may feel the pulse in your fingers and attribute it to the victim, when it's really your own (happens about 95% of the time!). Plus, there's only a 2% (if that) chance that if they aren't breathing their heart will be beating.

If CPR isn't done when needed, it takes 4 minutes of lack of CPR compressions to produce biological brain death. Not cool.

If CPR IS done when the person's heart is beating, it actually takes about 45 minutes of perfect CPR to produce a disrythmia (an odd pattern in the heart beat). Disrythmia can be cured through medicine, and there are people out there with natural disrythmias, so it isn't as bad as you might think.

Because it's 4 minutes to death vs 45 minutes to throw the heart beat off, we'll go with scrapping the pulse check to take away a variable and hope that it helps them.

Remember that CPR is an imperfect science- it is always evolving. In 50 years, we'll probably look back on this and say “wow were we dumb…” but for right now, it's the best we've got.

So as for the “ABC's” of “CPR”, I teach my classes:



CPR (as in if there is no breathing, begin CPR compressions).

Hope this helps.


Remember that my descriptions in here are not a class, you do not use them unless you take an ACTUAL course and have an actual card.

There are a lot of details to remember- go take a CLASS!!!!