2010 CPR Guidelines Released

October 20th, 2010

The new 2010 CPR Guidelines are out. These guidelines really aren’t a substantial change from the past as far as CPR is concerned. Interestingly enough, the American Heart Association has chosen to change some of the steps of CPR. Personally, I think it is a grave mistake. I will explain briefly.

The ILCOR 2005 Guidelines call for CPR in a methodical 3 step process designed purely for simplification. The 3 steps are: 1. Airway; 2. Breathing and; 3. Circulation (Compressions). Seems relatively easy to remember, right? In simple terminology, you want to open the Airway, give some Breaths and then start Compressions; hence the acronym ABC. I think this makes it so easy to remember. And I’m sure thousands of others agree as well.

Now, the American Heart Association has chosen to make a change to their curriculum which has not been based on conclusive scientific evidence. The new guidelines call for Compressions prior to Airway and Breathing. So the new acronym is CAB. I think this is a horrible idea and will result in less retention because it is not nearly as easy to remember as ABC. I hope I am wrong, but my hypothesis is that it will result in less lives being saved because of the complication of terminology. Additionally, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support the change. As stated, “There is insufficient evidence to support or refute the effectiveness of the combination of chest compressions plus airway opening and oxygen inflation (compared with conventional CPR) by professional rescuers during the first few minutes of resuscitation from cardiac arrest.” – ILCOR ERC 2010 Paper. p. e6.

Hopefully, the American Heart Association will change their guidelines to fall in line with previous ILCOR guidelines and work harder towards international consensus and sharing of scientific data which yields positive results. For this reason, I would advocate continuing to use the ABCs instead of changing.

Improve Your Chances of Getting a Job

July 14th, 2010

With the economy being the way it is, people are having to fight tooth and nail to get even the most low paying jobs. Engineers are working at coffee shops and teachers working as housekeepers, just to make ends meet. Many are looking for extra “sides jobs” to bring in supplemental income, such as pet sitting, babysitting, yard work, house cleaning, and having yard sales. Craigslist has seen a big increase in people selling household items, cars, and services, just to pay their home mortgages and utility bills. Will this ever end? No one seems to have the answer to that. But in the mean time, here are a few tips on things that you can do to help get a job/better job:

  • Have a good resume ready. There are plenty of templates available online, for free, to help you set this up. Make sure your resume is in a professional format with correct grammar and spelling. Be sure to include volunteer work. It makes you seem a like a real person who is compassionate about life!
  • Basic computer skills are a plus. Know your way around Microsoft Office, Quick Books, and Excel. You can take a free WPM (word per minute) typing test here: Typing Test.
  • Get certified in CPR and First Aid. Many jobs out there require this anyway. All care giving positions and any job working with kids will require this. And even if the job doesn’t require it, well, it just makes you look really good. You can get certified online here: www.cprclass.org.
  • Look presentable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look professional. Second hand and thrift stores can have some really good deals and some really nice, name brand clothing, if you are willing to take the time to look. You can’t lose with black slacks and a nice top. Put on a little makeup, put your hair up, smell nice, and you are good to go! And guys—shave and tuck your shirt in.
  • Look harder. Don’t just rely on Career Builder or Monster.Com. You are competing with hundreds of people for each position that is posted on there. Also try the local newspaper and Craigslist.
  • Be positive! Even if you feel like throwing rocks through windows, try to smile and keep your head up. You are more likely to get hired if you are friendly and people pick up good vibes from you. Keep looking and you will find something eventually!

Happy job hunting!

- Jennifer Major, B.A.S. Early Childhood
Administrative Director, EMS University

CPR In the High Schools?

January 8th, 2010

I just saw an interesting article on the subject:

Should CPR Be Taught in the High Schools?

Certainly this would greatly benefit the public in general. It would also ensure that almost everyone is trained and would connect our communities together as it would provide a sense of humanity.

Is Online CPR Valid or Accepted?

December 20th, 2009

I have been searching all over the internet for information on this and have heard many different opinions on the subject. Many people believe that online CPR should be accepted, while others do not. The question really depends on what people are looking for.

The facts are that it is as valid as you, your employer or regulatory agency want it to be. Fact is that there is no primary US regulatory mechanism for the administration of CPR programs in general. So the same could be said for any CPR program — whether it is done in person or not is immaterial… Many people feel that the American Heart Association (AHA) or American Red Cross (ARC) approve programs and are accrediting bodies for CPR. This is not the case. The AHA is, however, a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) which helps to establish regulatory guidelines for CPR, but the committee is also composed of many other agencies such as the European and Australian Resuscitation Councils.

Opinions on the subject vary. I think it depends on what works for you, your business/industry and/or regulatory agency(ies).

Online programs are generally NOT a scam, but I would say that any program which allows you to gain certification in anything without a written test is not as valid as one that does. What you get out of the class is VERY important. Do you think you could perform CPR after completing the program? What do others that have taken the course have to say about the program offering training? I would use these measures as well as reputation, credentials of those offering the program, and customer service to determine if a program will work. This is the same for both online and in-person CPR certification.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

November 2nd, 2009

An AED is a machine that interprets heart rhythms and determines whether or not the patient needs a shock. Some patients go into cardiac arrest because of a lethal heart rhythm that does not pump blood to the body. A shock (from an AED or defibrillator) can help reset the lethal rhythm into a normal rhythm that pumps blood to the body.

An AED delivers shocks in joules, which is a form of electrical energy conduction, such as watts.

Lethal rhythms that the AED is equipped to deal with include:

Ventricular Fibrillation
Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular Tachycardia
Ventricular Tachycardia

(Photos Compliments of www.CPRClass.org)

Both of these cardiac rhythms cause death because the heart becomes ineffective at pumping blood to vital organs. These two rhythms can be shocked, resetting the heart into a normal functional rhythm.

Some Technical Guidelines for Adult CPR

November 2nd, 2009

Here are some technical specifications to keep in mind for CPR on the Adult when alone:

  • Attempt a 30 to 2 ratio. That’s 30 compressions, briefly pause and give 2 ventilations (breaths), then repeat until help arrives.
  • Try to maintain a rate of compressions at 100/min.
  • Try to keep interruptions of CPR to a minimum.
  • This quick pause and loss of pressure can decrease the patient’s chance of survival!
  • When you give chest compressions, you create pressure in the chest cavity that actually helps to pump the blood throughout the body and to vital organs. This pressure, (called intra-thoracic pressure) is rapidly lost when you stop giving compressions, even if only for a moment.

    Here are some things to consider when providing a patient CPR.

    The patient may vomit because of air getting into stomach with ventilations. This problem can be minimized by providing each breath over 1 second, and not ventilating too fast. Ribs may break or cartilage between ribs may rip: This is quite common, and is no cause for alarm. Continue compressions as normal.

    Effective CPR can cause strain on ribs and sometimes causes broken ribs. Keep in mind a broken rib can heal, and continue CPR if this happens.

    ABCs & CPR

    November 2nd, 2009

    It seems that it is a big demand of this site to post guidelines for CPR since the title of this URL is “CPR Guidelines.” :) – Therefore, we will be posting information about what the specific guidelines are for Adult, Pediatric and Infant CPR according to ILCOR.

    I have included some information about the process below:

    ABCs & CPR
    Remember that you play an important role in the chain of survival for the patient.

    Activation of the EMS System:
    This means to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible so that emergency responders can get to the scene as soon as possible to start advanced training later.

    Early CPR
    If CPR is warranted, START IMMEDIATELY. Compressions to the chest provide essential blood flow to crucial organs if the heart stops beating.

    Early Defibrillation
    This is just as important as recognizing an emergency and starting CPR. Early defibrillation is a key player in patient survival. You will learn how to properly use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) if it is available to you in an emergent situation. If no AED is available, understand that paramedics arriving to the scene will assess the patient and provide defibrillation if appropriate.

    Early Advanced Care
    This includes Paramedics, Nurses, and Doctors. The patient in cardiac arrest requires proper CPR, medications and other advanced critical interventions.

    I hope this information helps!

    The Problem with Compressions In the EMS Field

    October 29th, 2009

    So as a previous Paramedic and EMS Supervisor, I would like to explain my thoughts on poor CPR in the field. I think it is quite unexcusable. Many times I have witnessed Paramedics attempting to intubate (stick a tube in someone’s mouth to breathe) and forget about chest compressions altogether. It’s amazing to see this on the provider level. So the general public has come to the rescue… Some medics could learn a lot!

    Right now there is a big debate about the use of Continuous Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (continuous chest compressions) and using this as a standard for CPR. The thought behind the science is that there is enough residual oxygen in the body to circulate the heart and help to pump it effectively. In my personal opinion, I think it’s great because I can tell you from experience, that people are VERY reluctant to do CPR on anyone who is not their family member.

    Finally, people are uncertain of when to breathe in someone’s mouth and when to compress the chest. Therefore, the continuous chest compressions makes teaching CPR a breeze. You can expect to see more about this when the 2010 ILCOR guidelines come out. You can read more about Ilcor, by following this link: ILCOR

    A Typical CPR Course – Recommendations

    October 25th, 2009

    A typical CPR Course consists of information about personal safety, good samaritan laws, the ABCs, CPR itself, AEDs, and choking. Some programs add additional fluff such as Heart Attack and Stroke. Is this information effective when presented in this manner??

    My answer is: Probably Not.

    Why??? Because most people who take CPR need it to meet the requirements of their employer or school. Additionally, material has changed little over the years and instructors who present the material on a consistent basis should tailor the information to who they are teaching. This is often difficult to do because the material allows for little flexibility. So how do we maximize the effectiveness of what we are teaching?

    My answer is to keep it simple and to the point as much as possible. It really should not be necessary to teach about heart disease and stroke unless the student or group of students taking the course is requesting the information. If the instructor is teaching Basic First Aid, that is a completely different story altogether. In that case, heart attack and stroke are included in the standard curriculum and should be taught.

    Many places inflate the curriculum of CPR to include these pieces because it serves as justification for overpriced training. CPR training can cost people anywhere from $30-80. Some places require that an individual recertifies every single year. This is hardly necessary, considering that major updates based upon data received from the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) historically occur every 2-5 years.

    My personal recommendation, therefore, would be dependent upon the requirements of your employer or school. Since CPR can be taught by anyone, no certification is any “better” than another and there is no primary accrediting body for the practice. I would look for a program that is fairly priced, easy to access and has credible providers as designers. I would also recommend online certification for those that have the flexibility to do so and for those who have been previously certified, especially when considering cost.

    CPR Guidelines First Post

    October 23rd, 2009

    This is our first posting! :)

    The purpose of CPR Guidelines is to ensure that people seeking information regarding the guidelines for CPR can find something that they are looking for. Additionally, this site will be used provide information on CPR Classes and effectiveness as well as for anyone who has a question about CPR and how it works. We want to spread the word about CPR to get people involved and excited about this life-saving skills. Your support is greatly appreciated!