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CAB or ABC?

Students   (532 Views 9 Comments)

8 Likes; 2,376 Visitors; 128 Posts

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I have gone my entire nursing school career (over a year) thinking that in CPR you are supposed to prioritize airway, then circulation, the breathing (ABC). I got a couple of test questions wrong on that, and the rationals in the review said it has changed to circulation, airway, breathing (CAB). So that means that you would start compressions before you even made sure the person didn't have a blocked airway. To me, that doesn't make sense. Is CAB the way everyone else has been taught as well?

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44 Likes; 1 Follower; 47,298 Visitors; 2,124 Posts

Have you not taken a BLS for healthcare provider course? The AHA has taught CAB for several years.

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1 Like; 1 Follower; 8,893 Visitors; 541 Posts

There's even compression only CPR. Mostly to encourage people who are unwilling to do mouth to mouth to do something, but compressions seem to be the most important.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and works as a Staff nurse educator.

347 Likes; 4 Followers; 4 Articles; 102,413 Visitors; 8,563 Posts

It doesn't matter if a person is getting oxygen or not if the blood isn't carrying it. What has been found is that too much time is wasted checking the airway when that circulating blood is what is needed most.

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8 Likes; 2,376 Visitors; 128 Posts

I've taken 2 CPR classes now, and I can't believe I missed this! At least I know now. Thank you guys for clearing this up for me!

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NICUmiiki has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

112 Likes; 24,731 Visitors; 1,727 Posts

I think they switched to CAB in 2012 or 2013

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414 Visitors; 46 Posts

As others have mentioned, AHA is teaching CAB now. They do still teach ABC for the assessment you do immediately beforehand though.

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RNNPICU has 13 years experience.

70 Likes; 11,681 Visitors; 870 Posts

Think about this. Unless you saw someone choking, if they are unconscious, likely they have either no pulse or an ineffective pulse.

Giving breaths will not help them to get a pulse back. Starting with compressions will begin to restore ciruclation. And as others have stated, outside the hospital, sometimes it is hands only.

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TheSquire has 7 years experience and works as a Emergency Nurse, Adjunct Faculty.

13,741 Visitors; 1,209 Posts

The CAB switch was in the 2010 update. As others have stated, outside of CPR, the rapid assessment order remains ABC(DEFG...)

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