American Red Cross Official Guidelines For CPR - Latest January 2014 -

American Red Cross Official Guidelines For CPR – Latest January 2014

American Red Cross Official Guidelines For CPR – Latest January 2014

The American Red Cross updates and enhances its guidelines for CPR on a regular basis, thereby, keeping in line with environmental development. It is because of these frequent changes, you need to renew CPR certification at least once a year. This way, you will get to learn about the changes and will prevent yourself from falling behind the current techniques of giving chest compressions and breathe rescue as per the mandated ratios.

(if you are looking for AHA guidelines, see this)

The American Red Cross CPR guidelines are best acquired through a CPR and first aid certification training program. The duration of training is usually 3 hours minimum and maximum of 15 hours, on the dependence of procedures and techniques – for children or adults.

Do keep in mind that current CPR guidelines do not reflect the previous ones to be defective. The current ones are simply updated and made more advanced in procedural aspect. The American Red Cross and other defining bodies undertake the process for integrating effective elements in the procedure and techniques of CPR for better results.

The American Red Cross official guidelines for CPR are defined separately for specific victims (read) – infants, children and adults.

Current ARC CPR guidelines for infants

Concerning rescuer has to place 2 or 3 fingers on the central region of the victim’s chest, well below the line of nipple. After doing so, as a rescuer, you need to  give chest compressions but first making sure, it is about half to 1 inch of compression.

For giving rescue breaths, you have to breathe in until and unless you’re able to determine a good rise of the victim’s chest (which means he/she is breathing). Keep in mind that the concerning victim is only an infant and you need to give small breaths. Compression to breaths ratio for infants is – 30:2, in case of a single rescuer, for dual rescuers, the ratio should be 15:2.  Give at least 100 compressions in a single minute’s time-frame.

In the current CPR guidelines, there is also a mention of mask usage. In fact, using a mask when performing rescue breathing is mandatory, if things do not work with regular chest compression and breath process.

The use of mask should be in the following situations:

  • Unless and until there is availability of a defibrillator.
  • Until trained medical personnel do not arrive or incapable of relieving the concerning victim.
  • The specific area, where the entire scene is taking place is not safe for performing CPR.
  • If rescuer becomes exhausted and cannot continue with the process.
  • Victim shows some signs of resuscitation, for example, movement of breathing or breathing itself.

ARC CPR guidelines for children

If the victim is a child then as a rescuer, you will have to use both your hands and place them right on the chest’s center. If you’re a heavy-set person and the victim in question is a small child, use only one hand.

Chest compressions should be between 1 and 1 ½ inches gap.

Give rescue breaths unless and until you don’t see signs of chest rising.

Compression to breaths ratio for children as victims, should be 30:2 when there is one rescuer. If there are two rescuers, then the ratio had to be 15:2. The usual number of compressions per minute is 100 in the case of children too.

ARC CPR guidelines for adults

When patient is an adult, performing CPR should be done with both hands. Place both hands right on the center of the victim’s chest, compressing 1 ½ – 2 inches. ARC’s current CPR guidelines outlines – 100 compressions within a minute.

For giving rescue breaths, as a rescuer, you need to breathe into the concerning victim for at least a second or until his/her chest rises. Compression to breath ratio for adults is – 30:2.

General overview of the ARC guidelines for CPR

Chest compression rate &landmarking–In the previous guidelines, chest compression was 100 compressions per minute for adults, and 120 for infants. In the updated guidelines, the compressions has been kept same for all ages – 100 per minute. Landmarking method is nothing but techniques of performing CPR. This too has undergone changes. Earlier, it used to be tracing ribs with fingers. Now it has become targeting the victim’s central region of the chest – for children and adults. For infants, rescuers need to use a single finger’s width that below the nipple line. For adults, both hands are recommended for giving compressions and for infants and children, only one hand.

Chest compressions & rescue breaths –Chest compressions and rescue breaths have been updated too. In the previous method – rescue breaths had to be for 2 seconds and deep. Currently, rescuers have to give normal breaths but for a duration of 1 second only or until there is any sign of the chest rising. In the old method ratio for compression breaths was 15:2 in case of adults and 5:1 for infants and children. Currently, the ratio for adults is 30:2.

ARC has also altered first aid procedures along with CPR. The use of AED or automated external defibrillator has been changed from giving 3 shocks followed by CPR for 1 minute that to 1 shock with CPR for 2 minutes.

The procedure, in case of bleeding has now entitles direct and strict application of pressure. This has been overthrown by the old method of mixing direct pressure and pressure points, along with elevation for controlling bleeding.

Getting acquainted with the updated CPR and first aid guidelines will only help you, as a rescuer to revive a victim. This becomes a mandatory deal for everyone, even if the person is not a professional. It is a fact that medical emergencies occur not within the premises of hospitals or healthcare facilities. As a bystander, it becomes your responsibility to handle any kind of medical crisis, in order to save a life. Thus, learn CPR and first aid procedures. You never know, when they can come handy. It is always best to be prepared and save yourself, as well as, the victim from anticipation and anxiety in the process.


  1. Theresa Walton
    July 09, 2014 00:05 Reply

    I have some concerns about the clarity of your instructions. Was this developed using a translation program? I am an RN with a BSN and Master’s degree as well as a long time ARC CPR and first aid instructor.
    While I am pleased to find refresher info on the internet I would like to see that it is clear. There are far too many grammatical errors in this piece and I hope that they will be corrected.