This recommendation clarifies and elaborates the 2005 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Those guidelines noted that there was a need to increase the prevalence and quality of bystander CPR. The guidelines also contained the recommendation that laypersons should do Hands-Only™ CPR (the guidelines used the term "compression-only CPR") if they are unable or unwilling to provide breaths.
Since the publication of the 2005 AHA Guidelines, several studies showed that Hands-Only™ CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR (CPR with breathing) in the out-of-hospital setting. As a result, American Heart Association volunteer scientists authored an Advisory Statement for the Public. This Advisory Statement, Hands-Only™ (compression-only) CPR: a call to action for bystander response to adults who experience out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest, was published in the journal Circulation on March 31. The statement applies to bystanders who see an adult collapse suddenly in the out-of-hospital setting. The purpose of this statement is to encourage the use of Hands-Only™ CPR by untrained bystanders and by trained bystanders who are not confident that they can perform conventional CPR. The statement also notes that trained bystanders who are confident that they can perform conventional CPR with minimal interruption to chest compressions can do so or they can perform Hands-Only™ CPR.