06/02/06 — Red Cross adds guildelines to CPR procedure

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Red Cross adds guildelines to CPR procedure

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on June 2, 2006 1:46 PM

The American Red Cross has changed its guidelines for performing CPR.

Roberto Mendoza, health and safety coordinator, said the new guidelines come from Emergency Cardiac Care, which provides first aid and CPR information to the Red Cross, American Heart Association and other organizations. The purpose is to standardize CPR procedures for everyone.

"A lot of medical personnel got together and reviewed the current guidelines," Mendoza said. "They came up with procedures that are easier for the average person who may have to do CPR one day."

The new guidelines won't change the effectiveness of CPR, but would make it easier and faster to perform.

Mendoza said one of the changes concerns rescue breathing. "We used to teach people to do one breath every five seconds on an adult and one breath every three seconds for infants and children. Under the new guidelines, we don't give rescue breathing to adults.

"If they are breathing, then we assume they are in cardiac arrest and CPR should be started immediately."

Mendoza said the Red Cross also taught people to do a pulse check on a victim. "But we found that a lot of times, people were busy trying to find a pulse rather than concentrating on CPR and chest compressions. So now we're teaching not to do a pulse check on adults."

The rate of CPR has also changed, said Mendoza. "It used to be 15 compressions and two breaths for an adult and five compressions and one breath for children and infants. Now it's 30 compressions and two breaths for everyone."

Mendoza said that makes it easier for people to remember.

Locating the area where chest compressions are given with the hand has changed, too. Mendoza said it used to be going up the ribs and finding the notch in the middle. "To make that process easier, now we're teaching to just put the heel of the hand in the middle of the chest," he said.

Other CPR changes include the amount of shocks using an automated external defibrillator and applying direct pressure only to bleeding wounds. Mendoza said individuals and business with AEDs will have to contact the company they were purchased from to update them.

Also, the Red Cross will begin teaching students how to use an inhaler or an auto injector on a victim who is having a severe allergic reaction or an asthma attack.

Mendoza said Wayne County has about 180 CPR and first aid instructors who are in the process of being updated on the new guidelines.

The old guidelines will no longer be taught after Sept. 30, said Mendoza. Instructors must be trained in the new guidelines by Dec. 31 or they will no longer be allowed to teach the course.

For more information on the new CPR guidelines or instructor training, contact the Red Cross chapter at 735-7201.