The American Heart Association is re-arranging the ABCs of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in its 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The new recommendation is that chest compressions be the first step for lay and professional rescuers to revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest. In other words, the A-B-Cs (Airway-Breathing-Compressions) of CPR should now be changed to C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing).
All victims in cardiac arrest need chest compressions. In the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, victims will have oxygen remaining in their lungs and bloodstream, so starting CPR with chest compressions can pump that blood to the victim’s brain and heart sooner. Research shows that rescuers who started CPR with opening the airway took 30 critical seconds longer to begin chest compressions than rescuers who began CPR with chest compressions.
The change in the CPR sequence applies to adults, children and infants, but excludes newborns.
Watch a short video on the changes, then head to the website to find a CPR class near you and read more about this announcement.