2010 marks the 50th anniversary of modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The American Heart Association has revisited CPR technique with contemporary evidence. Excerpts from their executive summary of CPR guidelines:
The Change From “A-B-C” to “C-A-B”
The newest development in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC is a change in the basic life support (BLS) sequence of steps from “A-B-C” (Airway, Breathing, Chest compressions) to “C-A-B” (Chest compressions, Airway, Breathing)…
- In the A-B-C sequence chest compressions are often delayed while the responder opens the airway to give mouth-to-mouth breaths or retrieves a barrier device or other ventilation equipment. By changing the sequence to C-A-B, chest compressions will be initiated sooner and ventilation only minimally delayed until completion of the first cycle of chest compressions (30 compressions should be accomplished in approximately 18 seconds).
- Fewer than 50% of persons in cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR. There are probably many reasons for this, but one impediment may be the A-B-C sequence, which starts with the procedures that rescuers find most difficult: opening the airway and delivering rescue breaths. Starting with chest compressions might ensure that more victims receive CPR and that rescuers who are unable or unwilling to provide ventilations will at least perform chest compressions.
Correlate: How to Give CPR