Red Cross Experts Reviewing the New CPR Guidelines

You might have heard this week that the American Heart Association (AHA) released new guidelines on performing CPR – specifically stating that new research has shown that you can start compressions immediately and that rescue breaths are optional.

We at the American Red Cross learned of the new CPR guidelines when everyone else did yesterday, so our experts are busy today reviewing this new research to determine an official stance. Hang tight and watch our website and this blog for their conclusions this week.

The American Red Cross has conducted an initial review of the recent changes to the ECCU 2010 guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care and does not plan to make any substantial changes to our courses as a result of these new guidelines. We are continuing with a more thorough review of the science behind the guidelines and may institute subtle changes in the future if they are warranted.

While we support the use of the hands-only technique by bystanders, full CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths is still best for many people, including children, adolescents, drowning victims, or people who collapse due to breathing problems. Health care professionals, such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs and workplace responders should continue to be certified in full CPR.

In the meantime, please note that the American Red Cross does support the use of hands-only CPR for cardiac emergencies which occur outside of a health care setting. Arming yourself with knowledge of hands-only CPR could be effective if you find yourself in a bystander role during an emergency. You can leap into action like CPR cat and save a life by getting trained.