2010 CPR Guideline Updates

In AHA, CPR, Effectiveness, Hands-Only CPR, Training by Paul Martin1 Comment

Here are a few of the changes in CPR Guidelines for 2010.  This makes a few significant changes from the 2005 guidelines.  The focus with these changes is on good chest compressions.  Here are just a few of the differences between the 2005 and 2010 guidelines.

We’re going to be working on updating the videos on our websites as soon as possible, but while you wait, allow us to take you through some of the main points.

Firstly, there is a switch in the order of operations when you begin the CPR process.  Instead of starting with airway, then breathing and finally compressions, we’re going to start with compressions first.  This is based, in part, on the new Hands-Only CPR initiative of 2008.  After that you start on airway and breathing.  It’s a simple switch from A-B-C to C-A-B.

The only time that you would continue to use A-B-C, however, is with a newborn baby.  The change effects infant CPR, child CPR and adult CPR.  The American Heart Association explains the change:

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 only minimally delayed until completion of the first cycle of chest compressions (30 compressions should be accomplished in approximately 18 seconds).

The American Heart Association also wants a clear focus on rescue as quickly as possible, with some major changes to the start of the rescue process.  For instance, assessment of the patient is going to be cut out of the beginning.  Look, listen and feel seem to be a thing of the past.  Take action right away.

When doing compressions, do them at least 2 inches deep and at least 100 beats per minute.  This means that going at the pace of the song Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees will get you 100 beats, but you can go a bit faster than that and you should be okay.  But don’t stop doing compressions.  Any pause can harm the patient further.  If rescue breaths are required, do them fast, and correctly, and get back to the compressions.  The chest acts as a natural billow, and pulls air in when decompressed.

According to our own Jody Marvin, the new guidelines will most likely not go into effect until June of 2011.


Field JM, Hazinski MF, Sayre MR, Chameides L, Schexnayder SM, Hemphill R, Samson RA, Kattwinkel J, Berg RA, Bhanji F, Cave DM, Jauch EC, Kudenchuk PJ, Neumar RW, Peberdy MA, Perlman JM, Sinz E, Travers AH, Berg MD, Billi JE, Eigel B, Hickey RW, Kleinman ME, Link MS, Morrison LJ, O’Connor RE, Shuster M, Callaway CW, Cucchiara B, Ferguson JD, Rea TD, Vanden Hoek TL. “Part 1: executive summary: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.” Circulation. 2010;122(suppl 3):S640–S656.

For more information, check out this article on About.com

Paul Martin

Paul Martin

I am the Director of Multimedia at ProTrainings, as well as the primary blogger here. I take care of the video editing, graphic design and corporate branding that you see on every video and every page on this site, as well as at ProCPR®, ProFirstAid®, ProBloodborne, StudentCPR, etc. My work is literally everywhere that ProTrainings goes. I also handle our Twitter accounts, so be sure to follow us there, if you use twitter! You can be sure that I’m not just an average joe writing this blog, but one of the founders of the company.

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