Here’s what caught our eye with the 2015 AHA Guideline changes.
When the American Heart Association (AHA) announced that they would be releasing an updated version of their AHA Guidelines over a year ago, many of us were curious to know exactly what it was that would be changed this time around (they update them every 5 years) – and how drastic the changes would be. Yesterday, the wait finally ended, as the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC were released.
We should note that only a summary of the key issues and changes was released yesterday. The comprehensive 2015 AHA Guideline Updates are currently available for pre-order and will be available in early November. The full ACLS, PALS, and BLS course manuals will take a bit longer to complete. According to AHA distributor Channing Bete, the expected release dates for the manuals are as follows:
- BLS: January – April 2016
- ACLS: March – April 2016
- PALS: July – August 2016
An extensive PDF version of the AHA’s 2015 Guideline Updates can be found on the AHA’s website, but we wanted to simplify things by highlighting a few things that caught our eye. Each 2015 update, along with any corresponding guidelines from 2010, is directly from the AHA’s “Highlights of the 2015 AHA Guideline Updates for CPR and ECC.”
Table of Contents
Emphasis on Chest Compressions
- 2015 (New): Untrained lay rescuers should provide compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR, with or without dispatcher guidance, for adult victims of cardiac arrest. The rescuer should continue compression-only CPR until the arrival of an AED or rescuers with additional training. All lay rescuers should, at a minimum, provide chest compressions for victims of cardiac arrest. In addition, if the trained lay rescuer is able to perform rescue breaths, he or she should add rescue breaths in a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. The rescuer should continue CPR until an AED arrives and is ready for use, EMS providers take over care of the victim, or the victim starts to move.
- 2010 (Old): If a bystander is not trained in CPR, the bystander should provide compression-only CPR for the adult victim who suddenly collapses, with an emphasis to “push hard and fast” on the center of the chest, or follow the directions of the EMS dispatcher. The rescuer should continue compression-only CPR until an AED arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim. All trained lay rescuers should, at a minimum, provide chest compressions for victims of cardiac arrest. In addition, if the trained lay rescuer is able to perform rescue breaths, compressions and breaths should be provided in a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. The rescuer should continue CPR until an AED arrives and is ready for use or EMS providers take over care of the victim.
Chest Compression Rate
- 2015 (New): In adult victims of cardiac arrest, it is reasonable for rescuers to perform chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120/min.
- 2010 (Old): It is reasonable for lay rescuers and HCPs to perform chest compressions at a rate of at least 100/min.
Chest Compression Depth
- 2015 (New): During manual CPR, rescuers should perform chest compressions to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm.) for an average adult, while avoiding excessive chest compressions depths (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm.])
- 2010 (Old): The adult sternum should be depressed at least 2 inches (5 cm.)
- 2015 (New): It is reasonable for rescuers to avoid leaning on the chest between compressions, to allow full chest wall recoil for adults in cardiac arrest.
- 2010 (Old): Rescuers should allow complete recoil of the chest after each compression, to allow the heart to fill completely before the next compression
Use of Social Media to Summon Rescuers
- 2015 (New): It may be reasonable for communities to incorporate social media technologies that summon rescuers who are in close proximity to a victim of suspected OHCA and are willing and able to perform CPR
Community Lay Rescuer AED Programs
- 2015 (New): It is recommended that PAD programs for patients with OHCA be implemented in public locations where there is a relatively high likelihood of witnessed cardiac arrest (eg. airports, casinos, sports facilities).
- 2010 (Old): CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) by public safety first responders were recommended to increase survival rates for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. The 2010 Guidelines recommended the establishment of AED programs in public locations where there is a relatively high likelihood of witnessed cardiac arrest (eg. airports, casinos, sports facilities).
So there you have it, a quick synopsis of what initially caught our eye when reviewing the released material. Stay tuned for a more thorough review of the key changes we noticed throughout the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update.
Additional Articles on the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update:
Individuals needing to complete an ACLS, PALS, and/or BLS Certification or Recertification course in 2015 can satisfy these requirements through the courses offered by eMedCert. We offer fully online courses that can be completed from the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace. For more information on our courses, we encourage you to visit our course pages here:
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