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More hands and less mouth in CPR


The American Heart Association recently released new guidelines for CPR — Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation — that recommends simply pushing down on the victim’s chest before doing anything else. Dr. Michael Sayre, co-author of the guidelines issued by the American Heart Association, told the Associated Press that “the change puts ‘the simplest step first’ for traditional CPR.”

The new guidelines seek to supplant the old ABC — airway-breathing-compressions — method for CPR, and replace that with the phrase with CAB which stresses that responders begin with chest compressions “instead of opening the victim's airway and breathing into their mouth first,” said one report.

Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P and Chief Executive Officer and Education Director of the San Francisco Paramedic Association, told EMS1.com, “Since much of our training and preparation is designed expressly for this area, it's important for us to take note of the changes and begin to think about implementation. For most of us, local protocol changes may take awhile but that doesn't prevent us from considering what medications will need to be learned, or what procedures will be de-emphasized and others introduced. Recognize that there is data to support these changes, all important in an era where every health care dollar counts.”

Several sources report that the new AHA guidelines uphold a 2008 recommendation that officers who are not trained on the latest CPR techniques call 911, and “forget rescue breathing completely, and simply press on the victim’s chest until help arrives.”

Ask your CPR trainers if they’ve begun teaching to these new guidelines, and if so, find out from them their recommendations on it. Also, be sure to make your department administration aware of these new chances.

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