New guidelines for CPR


A note on health and first aid


New guidelines out Monday switch up the steps for CPR, telling rescuers to start with hard, fast chest presses before giving mouth-to-mouth.


Source: Associated Press


In recent years, CPR guidance has been revised to put more emphasis on chest pushes for sudden cardiac arrest. In 2008, the heart group said untrained bystanders or those unwilling to do rescue breaths could do hands-only CPR until paramedics arrive or a defibrillator is used to restore a normal heart beat.


Now, the group says everyone from professionals to bystanders who use standard CPR should begin with chest compressions instead of opening the victim’s airway and breathing into their mouth first.


Chain of survival

The change ditches the old ABC training — airway-breathing-compressions. That called for rescuers to give two breaths first, then alternate with 30 presses.


Dr. Michael Sayre - Ohio State University Medical Center
Dr. Michael Sayre


Dr. Michael Sayre, co-author of the guidelines issued by the American Heart Association and emergency physician at Ohio State University Medical Center, said that approach took time and delayed chest presses, which keep the blood circulating.




When the rescuer pushes hard and fast on the victim’s chest, they’re really acting like an artificial heart. That blood carries oxygen that helps keep the organs alive till help arrives (…) Put one hand on top of the other and push really hard. Dr. Michael Sayre.


Sudden cardiac arrest — when the heart suddenly stops beating — can occur after a heart attack or as a result of electrocution or near-drowning. The person collapses, stops breathing normally and is unresponsive. Survival rates from cardiac arrest outside the hospital vary across the country — from 3 percent to 15 percent, according to Sayre.


Under the revised guidelines, rescuers using traditional CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, should start chest compressions immediately — 30 chest presses, then two breaths. The change applies to adults and children, but not newborns.


Here’s a preview of a training video on the matter. Please note, for complete and accurate guidelines you should refer to the American Heart Association or the European Resuscitation Council

To download the complete European Resuscitation Council Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010, you can click here.


October 18th, 2010.


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