Is the previous AHA recommendation for bystanders wrong?

No. With the publication of the 2005 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, the AHA emphasized that the most critical component of performing CPR is delivery of high-quality chest compressions with minimal interruptions. That remains true and can be accomplished for all victims of cardiac arrest using conventional CPR, that is, CPR with breathing (mouth-to-mouth). AHA experts recognize that mouth-to-mouth breathing is a relatively complex skill. If rescuers have not practiced the combination of breathing with chest compressions, the delivery of breaths can result in long and potentially detrimental interruptions to chest compressions. In addition, recent evidence demonstrates that bystander Hands-Only™ CPR is as effective as conventional CPR in the first few minutes of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Therefore, Hands-Only™ CPR is now considered an appropriate bystander response to out-of-hospital adult sudden cardiac arrest. The breathing (mouth-to-mouth) component of CPR remains important in the treatment of other cardiovascular emergencies:

  • All unresponsive infants and children.
  • Adult victims who are found already unconscious and not breathing normally.
  • Any victims of drowning or collapse due to breathing problems.

Show All Answers

1. What is Hands-Only™ CPR?
2. Who should receive Hands-Only™ CPR?
3. Why was Hands-Only™ CPR created?
4. Can you break people's ribs doing CPR?
5. Is there a danger in jumping in and giving CPR without being trained?
6. What should I do if I am getting tired while performing Hands-Only™ CPR?
7. Why don't adults who suddenly collapse need mouth-to-mouth breathing in the first few minutes after their cardiac arrest?
8. What do I do if I find an adult who has collapsed and no one saw it happen?
9. Not all people who suddenly collapse are in cardiac arrest. Will CPR seriously hurt them?
10. Is Hands-Only™ CPR as effective as conventional CPR?
11. Why did the American Heart Association decide to recommend Hands-Only™ CPR for adults you witness suddenly collapse?
12. How does this recommendation differ from the AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC?
13. Is the previous AHA recommendation for bystanders wrong?