Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of rescue breathing techniques and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain until normal heart function is restored.
The American Heart Association provides simplified guidelines to improve the victim's chances of recovery. The new guidelines recommend the following:
- Rescuers should call 911 for unresponsive adults before beginning CPR.
- Exceptions: Provide CPR first for adult victims of submersion, trauma and drug intoxication.
- Rescuers should provide about one minute of CPR for infants and children up to the age of 8 before calling 911.
- Pre-hospital basic life support (BLS) providers should identify possible stroke victims and provide rapid transport and pre-arrival notification to the receiving hospital.
- Lay rescuers will no longer be taught to pulse check. The signal for lay rescuers to begin chest compressions is the absence of signs of circulation (normal breathing, coughing or movement) in response to the two rescue breaths.
- The compression rate for adult CPR is increased to about 100 beats per minute.
- The compression-to-ventilation ratio for CPR for victims age 8 or older is 15 compressions to two breaths for one to two rescuers.
- Chest-compression-only: CPR is recommended ONLY when the rescuer is unwilling or unable to perform mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.
More information is available from the American Heart Association