Changes in CPR - chest presses first, then breaths

Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP File
Chest presses first, then breaths. New CPR guidelines were released Monday by the American Heart Association that put the simplest part of CPR first in the sequence.

Why the change? Officials state that giving breaths first takes extra time to prepare, time that could be better spent giving immediate chest presses, which act like an artificial heart in keeping the blood flowing.

Under the revised guidelines, rescuers using traditional CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, should start chest compressions immediately — 30 chest presses, then two breaths. The change applies to adults and children, but not newborns. 1
Over the years, CPR guidelines have been placing more emphasis on the chest presses, as that's something that untrained bystanders or those unwilling to do rescue breaths can do to dramatically improve the chances of keeping oxygen flowing until emergency responders could arrive on scene.
The guidelines issued Monday also say that rescuers should be pushing deeper, at least 2 inches in adults. Rescuers should pump the chest of the victim at a rate of at least 100 compressions a minute — some say a good guide is the beat of the old disco song "Stayin' Alive." 1 

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