AHA official guidelines for CPR – Latest as Jan 2014
It has been more than 3 years since the last official CPR guidelines were updated in 2010. The most significant change in the latest guideline was moving from ABC (airway – breathing – chest) to CAB (chest, airway and breathing sequence)
Fast forward to 2014, we have listed here the most updated and latest guidelines till date. Please let us know the comments section, if you want to add or suggest an edit. We look forward to your opinions.
The American Heart Association is one of the organizations to mandate CPR and first aid rules. It has recently announced that giving rapid chest compression for CPR is recommended and not mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Studies have also shown that more than 22% lives are saved by hands-only – chest compression – CPR than other methods.
AHA or American Heart Association updates CPR guidelines, according to advancements and findings made in the world of healthcare, science, technology and also the ever changing human anatomy. The recent update in the CPR guidelines as per AHA was made in 2010 for new AED CPR rules.
Current AHA official guidelines for CPR
The new CPR guidelines of AHA emphasize on compressions – According to the guidelines, a rescuer needs to press not only hard but fast. This is irrespective, whether the rescuer is an expert or a regular bystander.
CPR – in a simplified format lays focus on providing chest compressions – Chest compressions help in maintaining blood flow and also oxygen in the same. As a result, blood flow is boosted and directed properly to the brain and heart of the concerning patient.
The ABC sequence has changed to CAB sequence – According to old guidelines, the ABC sequence of emergency cardiac care was accepted – Airway – Breathing – Compressions. In the updated guidelines, it has transformed to CAB sequencing – Compressions – Airway – Breathing. Rescuers should conduct a brief assessment and determine whether the victim is responding or not. Along with this, he/she should check for normal breathing for less than 10 seconds’ time-frame. Professionals also check for obvious pulse and if it is absent for less than 10 seconds, then 30 Cs or compressions should be provided immediately, followed by opening the airway by tilting head and lifting the victim’s chin and finally providing two rescue ventilations or B of C-A-B. The entire process must be continued in the ratio 30:2 until the arrival of EMS or AED.
Starting with the step of giving chest compressions in a way, makes it easier to remember and help in instant response – time is critical in emergencies calling for the administration of CPR. The old approach, many experts believe, caused delays in the process of giving chest compressions. And chest compressions are crucial for maintaining proper circulation of blood in a victim.
Following the new CPR guidelines from the American Heart Association
- First call 911. If not, others to call.
- Make the victim respond. If he/she does not respond, roll him/her on his/her back.
- Now in the 3rd step, start giving chest compressions by placing your hand’s heel part on the center of the chest of the victim, with the other hand placed on top of it, with interlaced fingers.
- Now press down and compress the chest approximately 2 inches in case of children and adults, but for infants, it should be 1.5 inches.
- Open airway by tilting the victim’s head and lifting chin. This can be done, only if you have proper knowledge and training in CPR.
- Pinch the victim’s nose and breathe normally into his/her mouth by covering his/her mouth first. This helps in creating an airtight seal. Give rescue breaths for 2 seconds and determine whether the victim’s chest rises or not.
- Carry on giving chest compressions and breaths in the ratio – 30:2 for 100 compressions per minute, till the time any medical assistance arrives.
The new CPR guidelines of AHA encourage more and more bystanders to perform CPR and handle emergencies. Giving mouth to mouth resuscitation is not easy for an untrained bystander. However, giving chest compressions is not at all difficult. In fact, if someone performs perfect chest compressions, he/she can save a life in the process.
Cricoid pressure used during ventilation is no more part of the changed guidelines. This particular step was present earlier, used on a deeply unconscious patient. It was changes according to studies that showed risks of the method – cricoid pressure might obstruct ventilation. Furthermore, it is also not easy for professional rescuers to use cricoid pressure. Therefore, the maneuver was made to discontinue as per new CPR guidelines of American Heart Association.
CPR guidelines experience regular changes and updates, whether in case of the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. It will only be effective, if you get acquainted with the changes. At times, it makes a lot sense that CPR certification comes with a 2 years’ duration, after which, you will require renewing your CPR certification. In order to renew your CPR certification, you will have to take up CPR training course again and sit for an exam. This way, you will get to learn the new methods and avail updated procedures and information relevant to CPR and first aid.
Cardiac arrest, near-drowning, electrocution, choking etc. are emergencies that need an instant response. With prior knowledge and training in first aid and CPR, you can ensure the safety, as well as, as life of a person going through such medical emergencies. Ill-information or lack of information might make the situation worse and cause a life. Therefore, it should become a mandatory obligation for everyone to learn the basics of CPR, first aid and also keep each other updated about the changes made in their guidelines by major organizations. At the end of the day, we need to keep in mind the facts – 80% medical emergencies occur in places other than hospitals and medical facilities and people handling these crises are regular people – bystanders!
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