A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

What does 'ABC' mean?

Find out what ABC means. ABC is explained by Margaret McMillion - author of PERSONAL BAGGAGE


ABC is an acronym for Airway Breathing Circulation— a very helpful aid in recalling the first steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation: clear the airway, initiate breathing by giving two mouth-to-mouth breaths, and begin chest compressions.

In 2010 the American Heart Association changed the acronym from A-B-C to C-A-B because they want rescuers to start with C (chest compressions) before clearing the airway and initiating breathing. The reason: sudden cardiac arrest victims can go two or three minutes before having brain damage and what they need immediately is to get blood flowing again. The first cycle of thirty compressions can be completed in about eighteen seconds. Then the responder opens the airway, sweeps the mouth, gives mouth-to-mouth, or checks for airway obstruction.

A person in a restaurant is more likely to be choking than someone walking along the street, but differentiating between a choking victim and a victim of sudden cardiac arrest may be difficult unless the victim is eating or the event is witnessed. However, in some cases, cardiac compressions may even dislodge an airway obstruction.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a situation in which the heart stops--usually with no warning symptoms, but a heart attack is a different situation. A heart attack occurs when an occlusion (e.g. blood clot) disrupts blood flow through an artery in the heart, slowly causing heart tissue to die. A heart attack may be preceded by an irregular heart rhythm caused by an electrical problem within the heart, and the victim may feel dizziness, neck, arm, chest discomfort, or even a slight jaw ache. Cardiac symptoms vary from minor discomfort to excruciating pain, so if you suspect you’re having a heart attack call for medical help immediately.

Cough CPR or “self-CPR” is a viral Email-Facebook rumor that has been in circulation since 1999, claiming that prolonged coughing and deep breathing every two seconds can keep you conscious until help arrives. Neither the American Heart Association nor the American Red Cross endorses it, and it is not taught in standard CPR courses. Consulted physicians advise it only as a last resort after taking aspirin and calling 911.

This is how the chain E-mail appears: HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed in order. Without help, the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep within the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.

Search result for 'ABC' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...and performed mock codes so many times that she could do it in her sleep. A, B, C: Airway, Breathing, Circulation: Open the airway, attempt rescue breaths, assess the carotid pulse and if there was no circulation, start compressions. When nothing worked right, start again with ABC. ..."

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"Healthcare can be murder. "Personal Baggage" is a novel from Margaret McMillon discussing the current issues surrounding the modern healthcare..."

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