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New Updates to Basic Life Support (BLS) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

"Doris Kirsova" (2018-08-28)

In 2010, there were some very important key changes made in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic Life Support (BLS). For years the American Heart Association (AHA) instructed CPR to be done in A-B-C (Airway, Breathing, Compressions) order as a life saving technique. They have recently changed the order from A-B-C (Airway, Breathing, Compressions) to C-A-B (Compressions, Airway, Breathing) because they found that it is more important to start the circulation of blood throughout the body than getting air in to the lungs. These changes were made after a 36 month review by experts in 29 countries. The American Heart Association changed these guidelines under the banner "American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC)."

Some of the new recommendations include:

o Start Compressions within the first 10 seconds.

o Chest compressions increased to a rate of 100 per minute.

o Depth of compressions to 2 inches in adults and 1.5 inches in infants.

o Avoid leaning on patients chest

Rescue breathing has not changed much over time; the most important thing is to get oxygen into the body by pushing air into the lungs, which can be accomplished by tilting the head back, pinching the nose closed and placing your mouth over the victims mouth and creating a seal and giving two breaths. Another way to give breaths is from using a bag-valve mask, which can be an extremely invaluable tool, as it can be exhausting to do CPR, especially if doing it alone. Unfortunately, they are not always available.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an extremely effective life saving technique and it is imperative that it be done correctly to avoid injury to your patients. Also, because adult and infant CPR is performed differently, they must be taught separately. The key differences between Adult, Child, and Infant CPR are your hands/fingers, more specific the placement and how many to use during CPR.

Adult Basic Life Support (ABLS) is an added support with CPR. ABLS, typically adds a defibrillator, if one is available. Most people do not realize it but Automated External Defibrillators can be found in most public facilities. When more than one person is available to administer CPR and or ABLS, the protocol is essentially the same, but you alternate jobs "rotate positions" while working on your patient and waiting on 911 to show up. The purpose of this is because you will become fatigued from administering quality CPR after about three to five minuets.

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