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Initial assessment and treatment with the Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure (ABCDE) approach

Authors Thim T, Krarup, Grove, Rohde, Løfgren B

Received 22 November 2011

Accepted for publication 12 December 2011

Published 31 January 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 117—121


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Troels Thim1,2, Niels Henrik Vinther Krarup1,4, Erik Lerkevang Grove1, Claus Valter Rohde3, Bo Løfgren1,4
1Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Regional Hospital of Randers, Randers, 3Department of Anestesiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, 4Research Center for Emergency Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

Abstract: The Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure (ABCDE) approach is applicable in all clinical emergencies for immediate assessment and treatment. The approach is widely accepted by experts in emergency medicine and likely improves outcomes by helping health care professionals focusing on the most life-threatening clinical problems. In an acute setting, high-quality ABCDE skills among all treating team members can save valuable time and improve team performance. Dissemination of knowledge and skills related to the ABCDE approach are therefore needed. This paper offers a practical “how-to” description of the ABCDE approach.

Keywords: emergency medicine, general medicine, internal medicine, multiple trauma, multiple injury

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