Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is a medical response to cardiac arrest that began in the early 1900s. Starting as an attempt to rescue drowning victims, CPR was not fully developed in its modern form until 1960. Since that time, medical boards have worked to further understand and improve upon CPR as a life saving tool. The CPR guidelines that are published every five years by the American Heart Association (AHA) for CPR and ECC (emergency cardiovascular care) are a major part of this refining process, and work to standardize the training and performance standards of CPR.
Many changes have been made to the CPR process over the years, most notably the addition of pediatric guidelines in the 1980s, the advent of the public-access AED in the 1990s, as well as the development of the Family and Friends® CPR Anytime® kit in 2005. Official CPR guidelines are extremely important when it comes to teaching CPR and standardizing its practice to ensure the safest, most effective result. All CPR training centers must follow these guidelines at all times, and anyone who will be teaching CPR as a trainer must demonstrate his or her thorough knowledge of current, official CPR practices.
Even though the official AHA CPR guidelines are only published every five years following the International Consensus on ECC and CPR Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR) Conference, the American Heart Association will release statements during the intermediate years, if necessary. This generally occurs if new research allows for a better understanding of effective CPR procedures, such as the 2008 statement regarding compression-only CPR for bystanders who have witnessed a collapse.
Now in 2015 we get to look forward to the latest installment of the AHA CPR guidelines that are due to come out this fall. Although it seems unlikely that there will be any major changes, given the recent push toward bystander compression-only CPR it would be no surprise if this year’s CPR guidelines made an effort to emphasize compression cycles without ventilation.