No more ABC in new American Heart Association adult & child CPR guidelines

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The American Heart Association has recommended new guidelines for the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In emergency people are are now advised to give 30 chest compressions first, and then check the airway and administer rescue breaths as needed to children and adults. Previously the guidelines called for the rescue breaths coming before the chest compressions, a system dubbed ABC, for airway-breaths-chest compressions. Now it’s CAB — compressions, airway, breathing. Two studies published over the summer indicated compression-only CPR was just as effective as traditional CPR.

The old ABC system is still recommended for the resuscitation of infants.

“Unfortunately, the success rate in resuscitating people who experience cardiac arrest is very low, so any improvement would be of great benefit,” says ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross.