American Heart Association updates CPR guidelines

Dallas – Respond quickly and use a cell phone to call 911 to help heart attack victims, according to the American Heart Association’s updated CPR guidelines.

A swift response, good training, and “use of technology and coordinated efforts” can improve a victim’s chance of survival, AHA states. The organization previously updated its guidelines in 2010.

Updates include:

  • If you haven’t been trained in CPR, call 911 and provide hands-only CPR without breaths. Push hard and fast in the middle of the chest with 100-120 compressions each minute.
  • If you’ve been trained in CPR, perform 30 compressions for every two breaths.
  • Call 911 with a cell phone. Put the phone on speaker so the dispatcher can provide instructions and get the exact location.

About 90 percent of the more than 326,000 people who have heart attacks each year outside of a hospital die, usually because bystanders don’t know CPR or they are concerned they will make a mistake, AHA states. Good training can help people feel more comfortable while providing more effective CPR.

The updated guidelines were published Oct. 15 in the journal Circulation.