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DRSABCD first aid action plan

Emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere, and the ability to respond promptly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death. The DRSABCD action plan is a crucial first aid protocol designed to guide you through the necessary steps in an emergency. This mnemonic stands for Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), and Defibrillation. By understanding and applying these steps, you can potentially save a life.


Your safety is of utmost importance. Before rushing to help, assess the scene for any potential dangers. This could involve hazards such as traffic, electricity, fire, or harmful substances. If danger is present, try to minimise it if safe to do so, like moving the person away from ongoing traffic, turning off electrical sources, or extinguishing a small fire. If the situation isn’t safe, wait for professional help—your wellbeing is key to being able to help others.


Next, check the person’s responsiveness. Gently ask them questions like their name or if they’re okay, and lightly squeeze their shoulders. If they respond, they are conscious, and you can proceed with gathering more information about their condition. However, if there’s no response, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Send for help

In case of no response, call 000 immediately or instruct someone nearby to do so. Be ready to provide clear and precise details about the location, the number of individuals involved, and the condition of the person.


Once help is on the way, turn your attention to the person’s airway. Gently open their mouth and look for any obstructions such as food, vomit, or a foreign object. If there’s something blocking their airway, carefully attempt to remove it if you can do so without causing harm.


The next step is to check if the person is breathing. Look for chest movements, listen for breath sounds, and feel for breath on your cheek. If the person isn’t breathing normally or not breathing at all, commence CPR immediately.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

CPR involves giving chest compressions and rescue breaths. Start with 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute, followed by 2 rescue breaths. Continue this cycle without interruption until medical help arrives or the person starts to breathe normally.


If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible. AEDs come with voice prompts, guiding you through each step of the process, making them user-friendly even for untrained individuals.

Get in touch

For those interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of the DRSABCD action plan or other first aid protocols, contact us today. We offer a range of first aid courses suitable for both individuals and organisations, preparing you to face emergencies confidently.