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FROM ABC TO CAB: BIG CHANGE IN CPR

In October, 2010, the American Heart Association released updated guidelines to mark the 50th anniversary of modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Anyone can help to save a life by attempting CPR when a person does not have a heartbeat or is not breathing. The American Heart Association recommended in the past that rescuers follow the ABC method – airway (open it); breathing (mouth-to-mouth); compressions (chest wall compressions).

The newly revised guidelines replace ABC with CAB.

First: Ensure that someone calls 911. Try to get the person to respond. If no response, roll him/her onto the back (if not already in that position).

Second: Begin CPR

C: Chest compressions: 100 per minute. Push hard enough to compress the sternum about 2 inches in adults and children, and 1-1/2 inches in infants.

A: Airway: Tilt the head back and lift the chin.

B: Breathing/ventilations: Pinch the nose shut, cover the victim’s mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and give two breaths lasting about one second each. Breathe deeply enough to see the chest rise.

RATE: 30 compressions to 2 ventilations

When done correctly, a single rescuer can only do an efficient job for about two minutes. Switch rescuers every two minutes until professional medical assistance arrives. If a rescuer cannot perform or is unwilling to perform mouth-to-mouth breathing, doing chest compressions alone may save a person’s life.

Note: This information is not intended to cover all instances where CPR is needed. Factors such as number of rescuers, whether an event is witnessed or not, mechanism of injury, length of time victim is unresponsive, availability of defibrillator, and speed of professional medical response may affect the methodology. Please refer to the following sites for detailed information:

WebMD: New CPR Guidelines: Chest Compressions First:
www.webmd.com/news/20101015/new-cpr-guidelines-chest-compressions-first

American Heart Association: 2010 AHA Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care:
www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/Science/Guidelines/Guidelines_UCM_303151_SubHomePage.jsp

Check with your local Red Cross or hospitals for CPR training.


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