Respiratory rate, the number of breathing cycles per minute, is the usual respiratory observation. Normal respiration rates vary in childhood according to age. Drugs active on the respiratory system include: bronchodilators, antimuscarinic, mast cell stabilisers, corticosteroids, and leukotriene receptor antagonists. The control of respiration is dependent on the respiratory centre, a collection of several neuronal groups shared between the medulla and the pons, both parts of the brainstem. To ensure the best possible outcome from any resuscitation attempt, a systematic approach that sets out the priorities of management has been established: the ABCDE assessment. The ABCDE refers to airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and exposure and examination. The ABCDE system goes beyond resuscitation, and becomes a basis upon which a diagnosis can be determined and urgent care can be administered. Establishing if the patient is conscious is an important first step.