New CPR guidelines, save your breath

Save your breath and save a life.

The American Heart Association today announced new CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, guidelines that recommend chest compression only for bystander efforts to resuscitate adults who collapse in cardiac arrest.

Check out this video where resuscitation experts from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate the new CPR.

The new guidelines focus on chest compressions. A bystander administering CPR should attempt to provide about 100 compressions per minute in order to keep the blood – and the oxygen in the blood – pumping to the brain and other vital organs.

The2010 guidelines change the CPR sequence from “A-B-C” (Airway, Breathing, Chest compressions) to “C-A-B” (Chest compressions, Airway, Breathing) because accumulated evidence has demonstrated that giving breaths delayed the initiation of chest compressions. In the new approach, chest compressions will be initiated sooner and ventilation will be only minimally delayed until completion of the first cycle of chest compressions – 30 compressions in about 18 seconds.

The AHA noted that “recent studies have demonstrated improved outcome from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, particularly from shockable rhythms, and have reaffirmed the importance of a stronger emphasis on compressions of adequate rate and depth, allowing complete chest recoil after each compression, minimizing interruptions in compressions and avoiding excessive ventilation.”

“Getting bystanders to phone 9-1-1 and perform CPR is the key to increasing survival from cardiac arrest,” wrote Ralph Sacco, M.D., President of the American Heart Association on the group’s website. “We start with the simplest step first, in part because quality chest compressions are such a critical component of CPR.”

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