Every five years the CPR training industry undergoes some revisions and updates to their protocol. It's important to know what those updates are, so you can put into place the current recommendations that have been proven more effective.

Basic CPR Updates

The recommendations haven't changed much in this area since 2015. However, there are a few areas of re-emphasis to mention.

Rate of Chest Compressions

The rate of compressions previously was a minimum of 100 per minute. Now, that minimum is the same, but there is now a maximum rate of chest compressions – 120 per minute.

Depth of Chest Compressions

The depth of compressions previously was a minimum of 2 inches deep. That minimum is also the same, but now there's a maximum depth of 2.4 inches.

Hands-Only CPR

Another re-emphasis is that hands-only CPR is better than no CPR at all, even as it applies to infants and children, who are more driven by oxygenation than adults. However, when it comes to infants and children, the combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths has shown to be more effective than compressions alone.

Activating EMS During an Emergency

This re-emphasis is due to ever-changing technologies and ways in which you can benefit from them, like your cell phone. There's no reason to waste time searching for a landline anymore when you have a mobile phone in your pocket.

You'll save precious time using your cell phone, and you can put it on speaker for a hand's free experience that will allow you to continue helping the patient. This will also allow you to get valuable guidance from dispatch if needed.

CPR Training

The area of re-emphasis in this area has been on education and refreshing your skills more frequently. The current recommendation is recertification every two years, but we've seen that people tend to lose their skills sooner.

If you have access to more frequent skill refreshment opportunities, take advantage of it. And when it comes to recertification, maybe consider doing it every year, instead of every other year, and keep those skills fresher longer.

Manikin Feedback

CPR manikins allow us to hone our CPR skills, but if you're not sure how deep your compressions are, then it's not going to be as instrumental.

Modern manikins have a feedback device that will show you how deep your compressions are, as well as the pace of compressions. And if the manikins you practice on don't have this feedback device, you can always supplement with an external device that lays on top of the manikin.

Let's not forget, getting the right depth and pace of chest compressions is crucial to providing high quality CPR.

Best Methods of Learning

There have been some interesting studies comparing computer-based learning with traditional instructor-led classroom learning. The science has shown that video-based computer training is just as effective as classroom learning.

Those who take advantage of computer learning can work at their own pace and at a time and location that suits their lifestyles and schedules. There are also studies that have shown that students who learn this way absorb the material better.

Opioid Overdose Treatment

The biggest recent update has been in the area of opioid overdoes treatment, and more specifically the implementation of naloxone (brand name, Narcan).

Narcan is now an over-the-counter medication in many states and can be administered through the nasal passages or by intermuscular injection. For patients in cardiac or respiratory arrest due to an opioid overdoes, the use of naloxone could reverse the effects and save their lives.