CPR Guidelines: The American Red Cross' Latest Guidelines

CPR guidelines seem to change on a regular basis. If you don’t keep up on your CPR certification, which has to be renewed once a year, you may find yourself falling behind on the latest updates on the proper chest compression-to-rescue breath ratios. In my lifetime, I have been through at least 3 different guideline changes. Seeing as I just finished my latest CPR certification, allow me to state what the American Red Cross has changed the latest ratios, too.

1. Adults

Tai Collins - A Chance for Children

When performing CPR, both hands should be placed on the center of the chest. You should compress the chest 1 ½ to 2 inches. Current guidelines call for 100 chest compressions per minute. When doing rescue breaths, you should breathe into the victim for about one second, until the chest clearly rises. The current ratio is 30 compressions to 2 breaths.

2. Children

Both hands should be placed on the center of the chest, one hand if you are a large person giving CPR to a small child. Compress the chest 1-1 ½ inches. Like adults, when performing rescue breaths, breathe until the chest clearly rises. The ratio of compressions to breaths is 30 compressions to 2 breaths with one rescuer, and 15 compressions to 2 breaths when there are 2 rescuers. Aim for about 100 compressions a minute.

3. Infants

Place two or three fingers on the center of the chest, just below the nipple line. Compress the chest about a ½ -1 inch. When performing rescue breaths, breath until the chest clearly rises. Remember, infants will require much smaller breaths than adults. The ratio of compressions to breaths is 30 to 2 with one rescuer, and 15 to 2 with two rescuers. Aim for 100 compressions a minute.

Remember, this article is not a comprehensive guide on how to perform CPR. It merely states what the American Red Cross has changed the CPR guidelines to, since they have changed them within the past year. Remember to use a mask when rescue breathing if possible. Although I hope it never becomes necessary, you are required by law, once you have started CPR, to continue giving CPR until one of the following happens:
*Trained medical personnel come to relieve you
*A defibrillator becomes available
*You grow too exhausted to continue
*The area you are performing CPR in becomes unsafe
*The victim shows obvious signs of life, such as breathing on their own or movement

Once again, this is not a guide on CPR. It merely states what the guidelines have been changed to. If you have never been trained for CPR, do not attempt the procedure unless you are the only available person around the victim.

Sources:
Personal Training
American Red Cross, CPR/AED tor the Professional Rescuer, 2007

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