January 18, 2022
The Biggest Changes to CPR in the Last Several
You may not realize it, but CPR guidelines are evaluated and updated every
five years based on the latest medical science. That’s one reason why it’s so
important to go through periodic retraining in using CPR properly.
The most important recent shifts in CPR guidelines have to do with getting
help to those in cardiac arrest as fast as possible. The AHA has streamlined
the process itself, and it is doing more to encourage bystanders to get
Those who aren’t trained in CPR can still save lives by giving chest
compressions, so bystanders are encouraged not to worry about
rescue breaths and instead focus on just giving those compressions.
No more Look, Listen, Feel. In the past, lay rescuers were encouraged
to check a person’s vital signs before administering CPR. However,
studies have found that the risks associated with performing CPR are
low, meaning it’s better to start immediately, whatever the
individual’s state might be.
ABC has changed to CAB. Also, in the past, lay rescuers were advised
to use the ABC method: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. That is,
CPR involved first checking the airway for blockage, then beginning
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Only after administering rescue
breaths were rescuers to switch to chest compression. Current
guidelines, however, emphasize starting with chest compression.
Thirty compressions should be given before checking airways and
administering two rescue breaths.
Compressions should be hard. Effective compressions should be at
least two inches deep, deeper than most people realize.
Compressions should be fast. Bystanders should try to administer
100-120 compressions every minute.
Previous recommendations were two breaths for every 15
compressions. That has changed to two breaths for every 30
Rescuers shouldn’t give up. In some documented cases, people had
survived for up to 96 minutes before help arrived, so bystanders are
encouraged to continue compressions until emergency personnel is
on the scene.
Use of mobile technology is encouraged. It is important to call 911 for
help, but the new guidelines also recognize that some mobile
applications can help rescuers administer CPR more effectively.
If you aren’t up-to-date on these changes, you may want to consider finding
a good, hands-on CPR course to ensure you’re doing everything you can to
save lives. To learn more about our CPR services, call CPR of America
today at (781) 854-8015.