What does CAB stand for in CPR?

CAB is an acronym, which stands for Compression, Airway, and Breathing originally used and formulated by the American Heart Association (AHA) during their CPR training.

So, Why CAB and not ABC?

Well, there’s been a lot of fuss and confusion by the sudden change of acronym from ABC to CAB by AHS, rising readers, rescuers, and bystanders into a dilemma whether ABC and CAB are same or different?

And it is genuine to be doubtful.

Here’s why

Since ABC and CAB have the same word term and only C: Compression is displaced from last to first place.

Hence normally it can easily be mistaken as the same sequence of the procedure. Here’s the theory put forward by the AHS to support this particular change and its worth to be noted.

Matter of fact every second wasted by the rescuers, medical professionals, or bystanders in CPR could be a second close to the death of the casualty.

So, Why ABC was changed to CAB?

In 2010 (AHS) officially formulated acronym from ABC to CAB which stands for Compression, Airway, and Breathing, which needed to be followed in the same sequential order in first aid as a matter of fact put forward by the AHS that simple and most important steps to be performed first.


What does CAB stand for in CPR? And what does it mean in First Aid?

CAB is an acronym put forwarded by the AHS and stands for Compression, Airway, and Breathing. Let’s expand these terms individually.


According to AHS, chest compression is first in a line with defense to be followed while performing CAB in a medical emergency. The overall correct procedure is most to be followed to ensure the resupply of blood to the body and brain for which compression stands out to be the best.

Following are the steps to be followed while doing chest Compression:

  1. Chest Compression to be performed at the center of the sternum (Chest)
  2. Place the right hand on the center of the chest and left hand over the right hand for optimum pressure.
  3. Press 5 to 6cm or (2 to 2.5 inches) at a constant rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.
  4. After every 30 chest compression, 2-3 rescue breathes to be given.

Note: Above procedure is to be followed in Adult only and doesn’t apply for Child.


It is a path followed by the air during the exhaling and inhaling process.

But in the case of unconsciousness, it is obstructed due to the positional deformation of the casualty.


As the 30 compressions are completed, immediately proceed to clear the airway by head tilt chin lift procedure. Casualty is able to move the base of the tongue away from the back of the neck, therefore, clearing the open pathway for the airway.


Immediately after the 30 compressions, two 2-3 rescue breathe to be given. Each breath lasting for one second and consistently 2-3 breathe to be given in the same sequence.

How can you perform rescue breathing as a first aider during a medical emergency?

While providing rescue breath, the responder must calm himself and should take a long breathe and deliver a rescue breath by making a seal around victims’ mouths and pinching their nose to ensure the escape of rescue breathe (Since there’s already a low level of Oxygen).

Do you wonder?

What’s the purpose of rescue breathing?

The prime purpose behind the rescue breathing is to add oxygen to the body, while casualty himself cannot breathe, which helps to maintain oxygen reserve in the lungs while compression helps to circulate it throughout the casualty body.

In terms of breathing similar question can be raised,

Why chest compressions are done before rescue breathing?

If you have understood the purpose of rescue breathing, chest compression can be finalized by the distribution of oxygen throughout the vital organs (in an adult with pre oxygen reserve) of the body, therefore, reviving the casualty.