Local News

New CPR Guidelines Involve More Chest Compressions

Posted December 7, 2005 9:50 a.m. EST

— Countless lives have been saved by the standard CPR method of 15 chest compressions for every two rescue breaths. That technique still works, but now trainers are preparing to teach CPR in a way that puts more emphasis on keeping blood flowing to the heart.

"The first thing you want to do is come up and check your person to make sure if they're conscious or unconscious. You're going to tap and shout, 'Are you OK? And wait for a response from them,'" said CPR instructor Kathy Ellen.

Afterward, call 911 or get someone else to call. That part of CPR does not change. Ellen said the new numbers to remember are 30 and 2 -- 30 chest compressions and then do two breaths. Previously, CPR involved 15 chest compressions and then two breaths.

To get three cycles of 30-and-2 within one minute means the compressions have to be done faster. The new guidelines also said they need to be done harder, two inches deep into the chest. Then, pinch the nose, tilt the head back and blow.

The 30 chest compressions and two breaths are the same for both children and infants. Although the new guidelines are out, instructors are still teaching the older standard method.

"The timeline is Spring 2006 to roll this out, and we have until the end of December 2006 to really incorporate all the changes," said Mira Batchelor, of the Triangle Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Officials say the timeline is due to the fact that instructors have to be re-certified; new instructional material have to be printed and new videos produced.

Health officials stress to get trained to do CPR by a certified instructor.

The American Red Cross is just one of several organizations that offer training most days of the week.