Friday, August 31, 2012

New American Red Cross Cpr Guidelines

CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an emergency medical procedure for people suffering from crises such as respiratory failure, near-drowning and cardiac arrest. CPR is conducted through regulated chest compressions to get the heart to pump blood, and exhaling into the victim's mouth to get oxygen into the bloodstream. CPR has been used since the mid-20th century.


The American Red Cross has guidelines regarding the CPR procedure. If you want, you can get certified in CPR by the Red Cross by taking courses; this also includes first aid. This training usually varies between three and 15 hours, depending on procedures for specific groups, such as adults or children. The previous method of performing CPR is not considered wrong or incorrect, but new methods are being integrated into the procedure to improve its effectiveness.

Rescue Breaths and Chest Compressions

One new method is in the area of rescue breaths and chest compressions. The old method of giving rescue breaths was deep breaths lasting two seconds. The new method is to give normal breaths in one-second spans until the victim's chest rises. As for chest compressions, the old method entailed a 15:2 chest compression-ventilation ratio for adults and a 5:1 ratio for children and infants. Now, the ratio is 30:2 chest compressions-ventilation for adults, children and infants.

Chest Compression Rates and Landmarking

Previous chest compression rates for adults and children were 100 per minute and 120 per minute for infants. The new Red Cross standard is 100 per minute for adult, child and infant. The landmarking method, or how you administer CPR, has also changed. The method of tracing up the ribs with your fingers has been changed to targeting the middle of the adult/child's chest. Infants have changed from one finger width below the nipple at the center of the chest to just below the nipple at the center of the infant's chest. Remember: Use two hands for an adult and one hand for children and infants when doing compressions.

First Aid

First aid procedures have also been altered. AED (automated external defibrillator) usage has changed from three shocks followed by one minute of CPR to one shock followed by two minutes of CPR. In terms of bleeding, the procedure is now strictly direct pressure while the older method called for using a mix of direct pressure, pressure points and elevation to control bleeding. In addition, you can now assist the victim by giving an adrenaline shot to combat anaphylaxis. The same also applies to assistance in using an asthma pump to relieve respiratory distress.


Many lives can be saved if these procedures are done correctly. While CPR procedures have always been helpful, the revised guidelines give a person in medical distress an even better chance to survive.

Tags: adults children, children infants, adult child, American Cross, below nipple, below nipple center