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The CPR guidelines as recommended by the American Heart Association in conjunction with ECC were changed / updated in October 2010.

The first update is for medical dispatchers. Dispatchers are trained to help guide a lay rescuer in providing assistance to a person with a medical emergency. It is important that the dispatcher ask the correct questions to determine whether the patient is breathing or moving in a normal way or is having seizures in order to provide the correct and adequate guidance for whether to perform CPR.

Compressions-only or hands-only CPR is being recommended to lay rescuers who are not comfortable giving rescue breaths or have no personal protective equipment when they encounter a person who has had sudden cardiac arrest. This compressions-only CPR has been shown to be effective if there is deemed to be too great a risk or fear of performing rescue breaths.

The idea of normal breathing has been clarified as well. The agonal respiration or gasping for breath that is common among cardiac arrest patients is not considered normal breathing, which means emergency response must be called. This is the same action as for a patient that is not breathing at all.

It can be difficult to determine whether an unresponsive person has a pulse, weak pulse, irregular pulse, etc. So if you cannot easily identify whether a person has a definite pulse within 10 seconds, and the person is not breathing normally and not responsive, you should start CPR immediately.

Head tilt / chin lift and looking, listening, and feeling for breathing is no longer a recommended action when responding to a medical emergency.

There is a greater emphasis placed on the quality of CPR. Compressions should be fast and deep, should allow for full recoil of the chest, and interruptions should be minimized. You should go straight from 30 chest compressions to 2 full breaths, and then return again to more chest compressions. Also, you should be doing AT LEAST 100 chest compressions per minute that are AT LEAST 2 inches deep for an adult. For a child or infant of any size or age, chest compressions should be at least 1/3 the depth of the chest.

If you have been giving Cricoid pressure during ventilation, this is no longer recommended.

There is a reemphasis on decreasing the time lapse between the last chest compression and defibrillation and from defibrillation back to chest compressions. Decreasing the wasted time between defibrillation and chest compressions increases the chances of revival.

A team approach to CPR has also been emphasized in the newest guidelines. A team of rescuers helps ensure a smooth and effective rescue. Having one person to coordinate the action and suggest maneuvers helps keep all members on task.