Health and Social Care

DRABC – Primary Survey First Aid – Step by Step Guide for Saving Life

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The importance that first aid holds in saving lives is immense. “A Red Cross survey showed a staggering 59% of deaths from injuries would have been preventable had first aid been given before the emergency services arrived.”- says First Aid for Life.

Imagine how many lives would have been saved if first aid had been performed in time. Learning to perform first aid when needed can buy time for the patient.

Knowing how to perform first aid is one thing, but knowing how to perform it properly is what makes you confident.

This blog about DRABC – Primary Survey First Aid – Step by Step Guide for Saving Life teaches you the steps to provide first-aid care to anyone with confidence.

people are giving primary treatments to the sick


What does DRABC stand for?

Every first aider must follow the stages of the primary survey method known as DRABC when they come across a casualty for the first time. Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, and Circulation are all abbreviations for DRABC.

The primary survey is a rapid technique to determine the priority of treating conditions that could endanger a casualty’s life. You can identify urgent issues with the body’s vital systems by doing DRABC. Critical bodily functions include the respiratory, neurological, and circulatory systems.

What is the primary survey?

The first evaluation and treatment of a trauma patient constitute the primary survey. It is done to find actual or potential life dangers, treat them, and stop further injury consequences. The primary survey is a rapid technique to determine the priority of treating conditions that could endanger a casualty’s life. DRABC, which stands for danger, response, airway, breathing, and circulation, might be used.

DRABC-Primary Survey First Aid

Primary survey first aid provides you with the means to stop the problem from getting worse. In some circumstances, a patient’s condition worsens if basic first aid is not administered immediately, frequently, or quickly. For example, you can stabilise a patient until emergency medical personnel can assist with primary care.


What is the DRABC procedure?

A conventional First Aid procedure known as a DRABC procedure is the step-by-step process that has been used in situations involving (suspected) significant injuries, mainly while the victim is unconscious. Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, and Circulation make up the acronym DRABC.

It entails assessing the situation for risk, seeing if the person is reacting, opening the airway in the event that the subject is unconscious, testing for breathing, and then permitting circulation.

How to use DRABC? – The Primary Survey

Following ways, you can use the Primary Survey-

  1. Quickly and calmly evaluate the circumstances.
  2. Determine if you or the victim are in any danger. Keep yourself and them safe from any harm.
  3. Ensure there is no contamination between you and them.
  4. Provide solace and assurance.
  5. First aid care should be administered after assessing the victim.
  6. Organise assistance if necessary.

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What are the five elements of a primary survey (DRABC)?

The five elements of a primary survey-

  1. Maintaining the airways while protecting the cervical spine
  2. Ventilation and breathing
  3. The circulation that controls bleeding
  4. Disability (neurological status)
  5. Controlling exposure and the environment (completely undress the patient but avoid hypothermia)

A man is pumping the chest of a lying man

What are the 5 basic steps in a primary survey?

The primary survey is the term used to describe the initial evaluation of seriously ill casualties to determine whether they are unconscious and NOT breathing so that they can receive the proper care.

Always check to ensure you, the victim, and any onlookers are secure before moving further.

Shake the victim’s shoulders gently and ask, “Are you okay?” If they reply, don’t move them; instead, ascertain what’s wrong and treat it. If no one answers, shout “help” and on to the following action.

Put one hand on the victim’s forehead and gently tilt their head back to ensure their airway is open. Then, to open the airway, place two fingers on the chin and gently lift it.

Check to see if the victim is breathing for 10 seconds. Watch your chest, listen for breathing noises, and feel your cheek for breath. Perform CPR if you cannot detect regular breathing. If the victim is breathing normally, go to C.

Any life-threatening disorders, such as severe bleeding or heart attacks, should be identified and treated.

What is the purpose of the primary assessment?

A primary assessment focuses on stabilising the patient. It is the initial inspection and evaluation of a patient by a medical professional, such as a qualified emergency medical technician or other first responders to an emergency scenario.

The purpose of the primary assessment, also known as the primary survey, is to identify the nature of the primary complaint and to identify, classify, and treat any acute respiratory, circulatory, or airway issues that could endanger life.

What are the main objectives of first aid?

First aid is meant to reduce damage and potential future disability and is required in extreme situations to preserve the victim’s life. The five primary goals of first aid are:

  • Save lives- Two instances of life preservation in first aid training are doing CPR or attending to someone who is choking. While waiting for medical assistance, keeping the body’s airways clean and maintaining circulation helps avoid other severe illnesses like brain damage and even heart attacks, which can occur in minutes.
  • Prevent the disease or injury from getting worse- The goal of the first responders’ actions is to give the patient more time before the ambulance comes. The first responders won’t stitch the wound if the patient is bleeding heavily, but they will try to control the bleeding until the ambulance arrives. They will stop more issues and health degradation in this way.
  • Encourage recovery- Utilising a first aid kit to assist the individual in need is part of promoting healing. This could entail cleaning, sanitising, and bandaging a wound. In addition, you can occasionally apply an antibiotic ointment to aid in the healing process.
  • Pain reduction- This is only done if possible without putting the patient at risk. Some painkillers can be harmful if someone is bleeding. Therefore, it is preferable to consult with the medical professionals first if unsure whether the pain medication is appropriate.
  • Safeguard the unconscious- A person who is unconscious needs to be moved securely from a hazardous area, such as a fire or busy road, to a location where it is safer. Participants in first aid training learn how to position an unconscious person so that their breathing passages are not blocked. Therefore, you should guard an unconscious individual to ensure security before calling for emergency assistance.


First aid education evokes the courage to act when an emergency arises. DRABC awareness will help you recognise the action to be taken during the hours of need.

The blog was meant to teach you that, risk reduction is quite valuable and adequate first aid can save a life when administered quickly. Hopefully, you will get to learn how to execute basic first aid.

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