Knowing a little about CPR – Updates and Useful Tips

We never know when first aid training will be useful, but we can probably guess that we will use it at least once in our lifetime.  Even if you have been trained in CPR, there are some updates you may not be familiar with, and some useful tips to help you remember proper chest compression rates.

In 2010, the American Heart Association drastically updated their CPR Guidelines:

  • A-B-C is for babies; now it’s C-A-B!It used to be follow your ABC’s: airway, breathing and chest compressions. Now, Compressions come first, only then do you focus on Airway and Breathing. The only exception to the rule will be newborn babies, but everyone else — whether it’s infant CPR, child CPR or adult CPR — will get chest compressions before you worry about the airway.
  • No more looking, listening and feeling.The key to saving a cardiac arrest victim is action, not assessment. Call 911 the moment you realize the victim won’t wake up and doesn’t seem to be breathing right.  Then start compressions and do not spend much time checking for breathing.
  • Push a little harder. How deep you should push on the chest has changed for adult CPR. It was 1 1/2 to 2 inches, but now the Heart Association wants you to push at least 2 inches deep on the chest.
  • Push a little faster. AHA changed the wording here, too. Instead of pushing on the chest at about 100 compressions per minute, AHA wants you to push at least 100 compressions per minute. At that rate, 30 compressions should take you 18 seconds.

So who can know how to push 100 compressions per minute or more?  Radiolab gives an answer that can work for just about anyone.  It turns out that a few songs people know and can sing in their head have a rhythm of 100 beats per minute.  Two songs that should be easy to remember are:

For more info, check out this CPR Training Certification Guide