DRSABCD - Action Plan Infant under 1 year

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.


Open mouth – check for foreign material.

No foreign material:

  • Leave casualty in the position which they have been found
  • Open the airway by tilting the head gently into a neutral position.

Foreign material in the mouth:

  • Place infant casualty face down on forearm with head supported, with mouth slightly downward.
  • Clear foreign material from the airway with your little finger.
  • Once foreign material is removed, open the airway by tilting head gently into a neutral position.


  • 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 on a firm surface. Keep head in neutral position and commence CPR.
Normal breathing -> Place infant face down on forearm in recovery position, monitor airway, breathing and responsiveness.


Start CPR with 30 compressions + 2 breaths

  • Use 2 fingers (index and middle) over the lower half of the breastbone in centre of the chest.
  • Press down 1/3 of depth of chest and release - give 30 compressions.
  • Open the casualty’s airway (neutral position)
  • Place your mouth over the casualty’s mouth and nose to seal.
  • Blow gently into mouth for up to 1 second, just enough to see the chest rise and fall.
  • Give 2 breaths. Repeat 30:2
  • Aim for approximately 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Continue CPR (30:2) until ambulance arrives or casualty recovers.


Do not use an automated external defibrillator (AED) on an infant under 12 months old as a first aid responder. Only apply a defibrillator if instructed by the Triple Zero (000) operator.