The ABCs? The 3Bs? A Window Into First Aid Training Classes

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Published: 10th September 2008
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The ABCs? The 3Bs? A Window Into First Aid Training Classes

It is important for everyone to look into taking first aid training classes. There are many places that offer them - the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association are two highly respected organizations that hold first aid training classes on an continuous basis.

First aid training classes are not very expensive, if you consider the benefit to taking them. Cost vary by company, but should be under $100 anywhere. The time commitment is minimal - usually just a few hours of investment will give you a certification that is good for most employers and other situations in which you might need one. The certificate is considered valid for Also, if you just want the knowledge itself, and don't require a certificate, there are several first aid training classes companies online that offer free first aid training classes - though they usually require a payment of twenty or thirty dollars for a hard copy certificate if you want one sent.

Now I Know My ABCs

One mnemonic device that most emergency personnel use when addressing a victim is the ABC method. First, they consider A. "A" represents Airway. In other words, is the pathway clear for the air to get into the victim's lungs? Perhaps you will need to lift the victim's chin or tilt her head back in order to clear the airway, or administer abdominal thrusts or back slaps to clear an obstruction if she's been choking.

Next is B. "B" stands for Breathing. Is the victim breathing? Can you hear their breaths or see their chest rising and falling? If not, it might require rescue breathing, a part of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR.

This also ties in with "C", which stands for Circulation. Is the victim's heart beating? CPR will also facilitate moving their blood around in their body - though in a limited way - until relief by professionals is available to take over.

Those are the three most popular steps that emergency personnel follow when determining what's next with a victim. They are generally done in order, but can be done at the same time if the situation calls for it. They are part of what is taught in first aid training classes.

Learning The Buzz About The 3 B's

Some organizations talk about the "3 Bs" instead. These three, which are also supposed to usually be done sequentially (but can be simultaneous if the situation requires it) are Breathing, Bleeding, and Bones. While also addressing the priorities when dealing with a medical victim, you can see they are a bit different.

Whichever method your first aid training class uses, you can know that they will guide you in treating a victim with the priorities in place.

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