The American Heart Association has updated it’s 2005 guidelines on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiac care. For CPR, the guidelines newly emphasize chest compressions because of their importance for survival. Among the changes, published in Circulation:
The order of CPR is now C-A-B (compressions, airways, breathing) instead of A-B-C for everyone except newborns. The first cycle should include 30 compressions before rescue breaths.
“Look, Listen and Feel” is no longer recommended.
*Compressions for adults should be at least (instead of up to) 2 inches and performed at a rate of at least 100 per minute.
Untrained bystanders should perform compression-only CPR ( previous guidelines did not address bystanders separately).
Emergency cardiac treatments no longer recommended include routine atropine fro pulseless electrical activity/asystole, cricoid pressure (CPR), and airway suctioning for all newborns (exception for those with obvious obstruction).
New sections address post-arrest care, care for children with cardiac arrest and specific congenital heart defects, and follow-up for children or young adults with sudden, unexplained cardiac death.
Click here if you are interested in learning more about how you can become certified in CPR and First Aid. Be prepared for a medical emergency at home or anywhere!
What is CPR?
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of Â chest compressions Â and rescue breathing delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest.Â When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood.Â CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to “buy time” until normal heart function is restored.
Cardiac arrest is often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillationÂ (VF).Â When VF develops, the heart quivers and doesn’t pump blood. The victim in VF cardiac arrest needs CPR and delivery of a shock to the heart, called defibrillation.Â Defibrillation eliminates the abnormal VF heart rhythm and allows the normal rhythm to resume.Â Defibrillation is not effective for all forms of cardiac arrest but it is effective to treat VF, the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest.
For information about taking a class near you, call the American Heart Association at (877) 242-4277.