When a rescuer is faced with an emergency situation where a person is suffocating or having difficulty breathing due to an accidental upper airway obstruction, airway clearance (ACL) becomes one of their first concerns. It is crucial for the rescuer to ensure that the victim's airway is clear and permeable to allow adequate breathing and thus avoid any complications or brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
The DVR is the first step in the primary CAB protocol, which stands for Circulation-Airway-Breathing, to be performed before contacting emergency services such as 911. This step allows the rescuer to verify that the victim is able to breathe normally by assessing whether the airway is obstructed by foreign objects, vomit or other elements. If the obstruction is present, the rescuer must act quickly by performing an appropriate deobstruction maneuver to clear the airway and allow the victim to breathe.
Definition and Meaning
Airway clearance refers to the action of freeing or opening the airway, often by removing any object or substance that may be obstructing a person's breathing. This action is important in a medical emergency or situation where a person's breathing is compromised. Airway clearance can be achieved through techniques such as the lateral safety position, the Heimlich maneuver or the use of a ventilation device.
The importance of the ABC sequence for airway clearance
In an emergency situation, airway clearance is crucial because it can save lives. It involves clearing the airway to allow spontaneous or artificial ventilation. However, it is important to follow the ABC sequence, which stands for Airway, Breathing and Circulation, to ensure that the person in distress is treated correctly and effectively. Airway control is the first step in this sequence, and is a vital action for people with life signs.
When responding to a victim, airway clearance is one of the first concerns of a rescuer. This is the "A" (airways) in the primary ABCs, which is the acronym for emergency response priorities in a victim with life signs:
- circulation (blood flow).
Although the first concern of a rescuer should be the environment to ensure their own safety.
Preliminary step before calling for help
Clearing the airway in a conscious victim is one of the steps in the rescue process that occurs before attempting to contact 911 to ensure the victim's safety and facilitate transport to appropriate care.