After a review of the available research published over a 5 year period, the American Heart Association released its 2010 CPR Guidelines. As expected, the focus for CPR in on good quality chest compressions. Here are the differences between the 2005 and the 2010 CPR Guidelines:
A-B-C is for babies, now it's C-A-B! It used to be follow your ABC's: airway, breathing and chest compressions. Now, Compressions come first, only then do you focus on Airway and Breathing. The only exception to the rule will be newborn babies, but everyone else -- whether it's infant CPR, child CPR, or adult CPR -- will get chest compressions before you worry about the airway.
Question: Why did CPR change from A-B-C to C-A-B?
Answer: Just like you can hold your breath for a minute or two without having brain damage, victims of cardiac arrest can go a minute or two without taking a breath. What cardiac arrest victims really need is for that blood to get flowing again. When rescuers are worried about opening the airway and making an adequate seal and possibly digging a CPR mask out of a purse or briefcase, the delay can be significant. All that extra time is getting in the way of real help: chest compressions.
In its summary of the changes, the American Heart Association explained it this way:
In the A-B-C sequence chest compressions are often delayed while the responder opens the airway to give mouth-to-mouth breaths or retrieves a barrier device or other ventilation equipment. By changing the sequence to C-A-B, chest compressions will be initiated sooner and ventilation will only be minimally delayed until completion of the first cycle of chest compressions (30 compressions should be accomplished in approximately 18 seconds).
Step-by-step guides for different age groups: