Healthy Living: New CPR guidelines for 9-1-1 dispatchers and kids


The AHA says more people will survive cardiac arrest if emergency dispatchers give hands-only CPR instructions over the phone and if children receive rescue breaths in addition to chest compressions."

The changes re-emphasize the importance of bystanders starting immediate chest compressions if they see an adult or child collapse in a suspected cardiac arrest.  Immediate bystander help has been shown to double or triple survival chances among the more than 350,000 Americans who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year.

The AHA is recommending dispatch-assisted compression-only CPR instructions when cardiac arrest is suspected. It says telephone CPR not only assists the untrained caller, but it reminds the CPR-trained caller how to provide high-quality CPR in a stressful situation.  Currently, only half of the nation’s dispatchers provide telephone CPR, which has been identified as a critical intervention in the chain of survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The guidelines also support the need for compressions and rescue breaths during CPR for people younger than 18. More than 7,000 children die from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest annually. In most cases, it is the result of a lack of oxygen, and rescue breaths can keep oxygenated blood flowing through the system.

Bystanders play a key role in saving lives.  The AHA says if you don't know CPR, learn it.

Here are the guidelines for hands-only CPR from the AHA:

Hands-Only CPR Can Save Lives. Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don't be afraid. Your actions can only help. When calling 911, you will be asked for your location. Be specific, especially if you’re calling from a mobile phone as that is not associated with a fixed address. Answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

How to Give Hands-Only CPR. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of any tune that is 100 to 120 beats per minute. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a person's chance of survival.

Here's a link to with more details on the new CPR guidelines: