Know the Updates in CPR and BLS Guidelines

Every now and then, updates and changes in the CPR and first aid guidelines are released by the American Heart Association in response to new studies and findings. Read further and learn about some significant changes in CPR procedure.

In 2010, the American Heart Association has updated its guidelines on CPR and basic life support. One of the most significant changes is the rearrangement of initial response procedure from A-B-C (Airway – Breathing – Circulation) to C-A-B (Circulation, Airway and Breathing).

The new CPR and first aid guidelines put emphasis on chest compression instead of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This is based on studies that show that hands-only CPR (chest compression) save lives by up to 22%. In the new CPR guidelines of AHA, the top priority of the rescuer is to provide hard and fast chest compressions. This applies to both layperson rescuer and healthcare provider.

Immediate application of chest compression can help maintain blood flow to vital organs. Studies show that when the heart suddenly stops beating, small amounts of oxygen still remain in the blood. Fast and hard chest pressure can help circulate reserve oxygen to the heart and brain, thereby increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Under the 2010 CPR and first aid guidelines, the rescuer initially performs a brief assessment and checks the victim’s consciousness. While performing initial assessment, the responder should also check the victim’s breathing for 10 seconds. Trained rescuers should also check for pulse for 10 seconds. If there is no pulse, then initiate 30 compressions or 30 Cs; then open the airway by tilting head and lifting the victim’s chin. After providing 30 Cs, give two rescue breaths. The new ratio for compression and breathing is 30:2. The entire process should be continued until the victim resumes breathing and pulse or until advanced medical help arrives.

The change in sequence, in a way, makes this life-saving procedure easier to remember. Moreover, instant response by bystanders is more likely as the focus shifts from mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to chest compressions. Many bystanders are hesitant to perform first aid procedure due to the fear of contracting illness from providing rescue breaths. The much needed update on CPR and first aid guidelines will hopefully shorten the response time – an essential component in any rescue effort.

Taking CPR and basic first aid courses can provide you with the latest updates in the CPR and first aid guidelines. There are a number of accredited CPR and BLS training providers where you can learn this essential skill.

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