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Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation – ABC vs. CAB


  • Samantha qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2003 and worked in a number of practices in the West Midlands until February 2007. Returning to veterinary nursing in 2009 – following a career break in finance – she worked as a locum nurse, covering positions in hospitals, charities, referral centres, night work as well as small animal day practice. In March 2012, Samantha joined the PDSA as a Veterinary Nurse in its Quinton hospital in Birmingham, and has recently been awarded the Veterinary Nursing Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care.


Recently in human medicine there has been a shift in advice from ABC (airway, breathing, circulation) to CAB (circulation, airway, breathing) in cases of cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR); with a public campaign from the British Heart Foundation stating a preference towards hands-only CPCR ( There has been much debate in veterinary medicine as to which approach is best to take in our patients and if there should be a shift in thinking. This article will be focusing on Basic Life Support (BLS).