Every five years the American Heart Association updates the protocols for CPR. This is done after they do five years of research as to what CPR techniques and methods and rates seem to be doing the best for cardiac arrest patient’s throughout the United States.
In January 2015 Grand Rapids healthcare training received the latest update guidelines. The good news is for most people who have had a CPR or BLS class before the numbers really haven’t changed. I know I hear from a lot of people that every time they take a CPR class something is changed. And while that may be true, the changes are good ones because every change has been tested for at least five years. So what are the new changes and what you need to be aware of? First, as I said in the beginning there really haven’t been a whole lot of changes. Mostly, the changes have been clarifications. So in the past couple of years we’ve always said when you’re compressing on the chest of an adult you want yo push to a minimum of 2 inches of compression. So a lot of people were like, “so what does that really mean am I supposed to push at 2 inches, 2 1/2 inches, 3 inches, 5 inches…I just don’t get it.” So because of this the American Heart Association came up with some clarifications for us. The numbers that are the best for the patient would be to push at 2 to 2 and half inches of depth on the adult, about 2 inches on children, and about an inch and a half on infants. I don’t know about you but it seems to me that those numbers are pretty consistent so no matter who you’re working on adults children or infants you be giving almost a universal amount of pressure. The other clarification that the American Heart Association made was the rate or how hard we need to push when were pushing on the chest. We used to say a minimum of 100 compressions per minute. Again, people really wanted a solid number that they could shoot for so the American Heart Association is telling us that 120 compressions per minute is what would be the ultimate or the best outcome for the patient. I know a lot of instructors use the song stayin alive in their classes to mimic the beat of 100 compressions per minute. But, we really need to start increasing that to 120 compressions per minute. The song I found that gets us closest to 120 compressions per minute is by Prince, the song 1999.
Some brand-new things that the American heart Association introduced as well for both laypeople as well as healthcare providers is the use of Naloxone or Narcan for opioid induced overdoses. So now for all of the classes that Grand Rapids healthcare training teaches, whether it’s a healthcare provider class or a layperson CPR class, we teach the importance of the administration of this drug in a possible overdose situation. This is just my opinion, but it seems to me that in the next couple of years will see Narcan treated similarly to an AED where it’s available in public places for laypeople to use when needed. Again just my opinion, but I think were headed that way with epi-pens as well.
This is all good and life-saving information and the new guidelines really make it easier for people to get involved. Here’s the problem: training. There needs to be more focus on quality training that’s easy for people to access and doesn’t bore people to death thus turning them off to wanting to take a training in the future. At Grand Rapids healthcare training we’ve been teaching CPR, first aid, AED, BLS for healthcare providers, and other classes without boring people to death for over 10 years. The new additions actually make the class a lot more interesting for students. I encourage you to visit our website at www.GRhealthcare.net and sign up for a class today.