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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR

You may have seen the news stories about the new American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Previously, the guidelines used the letters ABC (A=airway, B=breathing, C=compressions) as the steps involved with CPR. With the new guidelines, they changed things around to CAB, to stress that the compressions are most important in order to circulate the blood that still carries oxygen right after a person's heart stops. It's important to keep the oxygen flowing to the brain so that is why they are stressing the compressions first to get the blood flowing quicker.

I think everyone should take a basic life support class so they can learn proper CPR techniques. The American Heart Association has a web page where you can search for classes by entering your zip code. These classes include CPR, first aid, and other emergency cardiovascular care classes. Check it out here: ECC Class Connector.

If you want to learn more about the new guidelines, a good summary is available from the Executive Summary: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care

There is also a great section on first aid called First Aid: 2010 American Heart Association and American Red Cross Guidelines for First Aid

If you want to check out the complete guidelines, which are available for free online, check out the table of contents from Volume 122, Issue 18_suppl_3; November 2, 2010 issue of the journal Circulation.

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