Latest AHA Guidelines  

The latest guidelines "strongly recommend" that untrained / lay responders perform "compression-only" CPR, sometimes known as CCR. However, medical professionals and trained lay people are still urged to give the victim two "rescue breaths" in between each series of 30 chest compressions. All the changes apply only to adult victims who collapse of cardiac arrest;  artificial respiration is still recommended for children and for adults in a few cases, including near-drowning and drug overdose. 

While CPR with breaths has been shown to be beneficial when compared to compression-only CPR, during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is currently recommended that no rescue breaths be performed for adult cardiac arrest patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, due to the risk of disease transmission.

The science behind the changes is simple. In an adult who has been breathing normally for several minutes even after cardiac arrest, there is enough oxygen in the bloodstream to maintain the heart and brain, as long as compressions circulate that oxygen.

The new guidelines also call for faster and more forceful compressions than in the past. The new standard is to compress the chest at least two inches on each push, at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. The AHA says the perfect pace is that of the Bee Gees "Staying Alive".

 Key points, if performing Chest Compressions only:

  1. Chest compressions should be performed at 100 to 120 per minute 
  2. Increase the depth of chest compressions to at least 2 inches for adults/children (not more than 2.4 inches) and infants to 1.5 inches
  3. Continue with chest compressions for as long as possible or until help arrives
  4. There has been a change in the recommended sequence for the lone rescuer to initiate chest  compressions before giving rescue breaths (C-A-B rather than A-B-C).

When going through our course keep these points in mind and pay close attention to how properly administer chest compressions.