The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released their 2010 Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Following these guidelines can help anyone save lives- from trained doctors, nurses and caregivers, to those without any formal training. In fact, the biggest change in the AHA guidelines is aimed at making it even easier for those who are untrained perform CPR and save lives.
In the past, the steps for performing CPR followed the ABC method (airway, breathing, compressions), but the new guidelines make compressions the first step, changing the process to CAB (compressions, airway, breathing). Even without formal training, you can start performing the compressions while you wait for help to arrive.
Some tips for performing CPR:
- If a person is suffering from cardiac arrest, they will, in most cases, collapse to the ground and have difficulty breathing. The first step is always to call 911 and get an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. If there is not one available, proceed with CPR.
- Push hard and fast on the center of the chest.
- Push down two inches and allow time for the chest to come back up.
- Pump the chest at the same speed as the song ‘Stayin’ Alive’.
- Keep this up until help arrives, or if you are trained in CPR, continue by tilting the head back, lifting the chin and applying two mouth to mouth breaths. Repeat this CAB cycle until help arrives.
Knowing these tips can help save lives, as the same CPR techniques can be applied to adults, children and infants. Mosby’s Nursing Consult is a great resource to stay up to date on all the latest CPR techniques To find out more or sign up for training, visit the American Heart Association’s website.