DRSABCD - Action Plan Adult and Child

The St John WA DRSABCD Action Plan is a vital aid in assessing whether a patient has any life-threatening conditions and if any immediate first aid is necessary. 


Ensure the area is safe for yourself, others and the casualty.


Check for response—ask name—squeeze shoulders.

No response -> Send for help.
Response -> Make comfortable, monitor response and check for injuries.


Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance or ask another person to make the call.

Send for a Defibrillator if available.


Open mouth – check for foreign material.

No foreign material:

  • Leave casualty in the position which they have been found
  • Open the airway by tilting head with chin lift (adult) and slight head tilt and chin lift (child).

Foreign material in mouth:

  • Place casualty in the recovery position with mouth slightly downward.
  • Clear foreign material from airway with fingers.
  • Once foreign material is removed, open the airway with a head tilt and chin lift (adult) and slight head tilt and chin lift (child).


  • Check for breathing. 
  • Look for movement of the upper abdomen or lower chest.
  • Listen for the escape of air from the nose and mouth.
  • Feel for movement of air at the mouth and nose.

Not breathing normally and no response -> Place on back and commence CPR and defibrillation.
Normal breathing -> Place in recovery position, monitor breathing and responsiveness.


  • Place the heel of hand on the lower half of the breastbone in centre of the chest with other hand on top of first. Either a one or two hand technique can be used for performing chest compressions in children.
  • Press down 1/3 of depth of chest and release, giving 30 compressions.
  • Open the casualty’s airway (head tilt and chin lift)
  • Pinch the soft part of the nose to seal and place your mouth over the casualty’s mouth.
  • Blow steadily into mouth for up to 1 second, watch for chest to rise and fall.
  • Give 2 breaths. Repeat 30:2
  • Aim for approximately 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Continue CPR (30:2) until an ambulance arrives or casualty recovers.


Turn ON the defibrillator as soon as possible (if available) and follow voice prompts.