C-ABC: cash before care in a private emergency department?

Stephen S Teo and Vijay Manivel
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja18.00840
Published online: 10 December 2018

In 2010 the American Heart Association recommended a change from ABC (airway, breathing, chest compressions) to CAB (chest compressions, airway, breathing), which was confirmed in their 2015 guidelines.1 Interestingly, over the past 10–15 years there has also been a shift in the algorithm for trauma with the addition of “C” as a prompt for the assessment, management and resuscitation of the patient with Catastrophic haemorrhage, taking precedence over ABC and giving rise to C-ABC.2

  • 1 Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 Nepean Hospital, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 Norwest Private Hospital, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

Vijay Manivel is employed as a consultant emergency physician in a private hospital setting.

  • 1. American Heart Association. Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Part 5: Adult Basic Life Support and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Quality. (viewed Aug 2018).
  • 2. Hodgetts TJ, Mahoney PF, Russell MQ, Byers M. ABC to <C>ABC: redefining the military trauma paradigm. Emerg Med J 2006; 23: 745-746.
  • 3. Walker K, Ben-Meir M. Choosing public or private emergency departments in Australia. Emerg Med Australas 2018; 30: 122-124.
  • 4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4390.0 – Private Hospitals, Australia, 2016-17. Private Acute and Psychiatric Hospitals – Summary. (viewed Aug 2018).
  • 5. He J, Toloo GS, Hou XY, FitzGerald G. Qualitative study of patients’ choice between public and private hospital emergency departments. Emerg Med Australas 2016; 28: 159-163.
  • 6. Shearer FM, Bailey PM, Hicks BL, et al. Why do patients choose to attend a private emergency department? Emerg Med Australas 2015; 27: 62-65.


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