“ABC” or “ABCD” for CPR?

This CPR blog post is for information purposes only. If you want to learn with hands on training take one of many CPR courses in Vancouver that are affiliated with the Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society.

The most popular acronym for CPR is “ABC”. The “A” stands for airway, “B” stands for breathing, and “C” stands either for circulation or compression’s.  This acronym has been the cornerstone to CPR instruction and CPR courses for decades. However, the acronym “ABCD” has always appeared in conversations and discussions involving CPR. A frequent question asked during CPR courses is “What about ABCD?” or “What does the “D” mean?”. The letter “D” stands for deadly bleeding. Conservative advocates for “ABC” say that the “D” has no place in CPR and to keep the primary survey as simple as possible.

However, the traditional definition to the acronym “ABC” is Airway, Breathing and CIRCULATION. Deadly bleeding is part of the circulatory system and by that definition, when shared with “ABC”, “D” can be made part of “ABC” to make “ABCD”. In other words, deadly bleeding is part of circulation and is immediately life threatening so it should be “ABCD”. The argument can go on till morning with no clear winner. As a CPR and First aid instructor for the Lifesaving Society and the Red Cross, it does not matter to me. Either way, if you understand that deadly bleeding is a major priority on your rescue checklist, then I do not care how you choose to remember it. Its all up to choice, you can make it “ABC” or “ABCD”, whatever works with you. No CPR instructor should argue against that.

If you wish to learn CPR with hands on, no pressure training, take one of many CPR courses with Vancouver First Aid ltd. We look forward to meeting you.

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