In 2015, the American Heart Association issued its new guidelines, which included updates for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) training courses. Every few years, they make changes to support new techniques and equipment that increase victims’ chances of survival during sudden cardiac arrest or an emergency response system. The goal at AHA is to continually analyze, reassess, and improve the quality of care during resuscitation. The latest changes reflect medical knowledge, technology, and clinical practice advancements. Here’s an overview of the critical updates to the AHA guidelines for 2019.
High-Quality CPR & CPR Coaching
As of January 31, 2019, the American Heart Association requires instruments and training devices that provide students and instructors with voice-directed, specific, and real-time coaching feedback. The AHA has given their certified instructors at least 18 months of lead time for budgetary issues and limitations. They believed this should provide most of them enough time to update their equipment to remain compliant.
Today, statistics show that approximately 90% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims will not survive. Their event needs to be witnessed by bystanders, or they need to be found within seconds of collapsing and going unconscious. High-quality CPR at 100-120 chest compressions per minute must be started immediately to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain. However, when someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest, the only thing that will set their heart back into a normal rhythm is the shock from a defibrillator. CPR must be used with an AED to improve the chances of survival exponentially.
Based on scientific data, there was overwhelming evidence proving that training devices and Automated External Defibrillators with coaching feedback give students a better understanding of what “high-quality CPR” really feels like. It will coach them on each chest compression’s rate, depth, and recoil. When bystanders are thrown into an emergency, they quickly get confused and distracted. AEDs with CPR coaching features will lead them through the first steps of the emergency response system. This will give the bystander more confidence and reassurance and will, in turn, encourage them to continue CPR until paramedics arrive.
CPR saves lives!! At AED.us, we are committed to spreading awareness and teaching everyone we meet! The devices we sell, carry in our cars, and keep on hand in our homes have CPR coaching features. We understand the value of performing CPR skills correctly, and we feel strongly that AHA’s new regulations will start increasing cardiac arrest survival rates by 2020.
Compression Rate and Depth:
- The AHA recommends a compression rate of 100-120 compressions per minute and a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) for adults but not more than 2.4 inches (6 cm).
- For infants and children, the compression depth should be at least one-third the anterior-posterior diameter of the chest, approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) for infants and 2 inches (5 cm) for children.
- High-quality CPR remains critical in improving cardiac arrest victims’ survival rates. The AHA emphasizes the importance of minimizing interruptions to chest compressions, providing effective ventilations, and allowing complete chest recoil between compressions.
Team Dynamics and Communication:
- The AHA now recommends a team-based approach to CPR, including clear communication, constructive feedback, and active collaboration among team members. The team leader should ensure all members understand their roles and perform tasks effectively.
Use of AEDs:
- The AHA continues to endorse the early use of AEDs for all age groups, emphasizing rapid deployment and service within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest. The updated guidelines recommend using AEDs with audio and visual prompts to guide rescuers through the defibrillation process.
Advanced Airway Management:
- The updated guidelines recommend that healthcare providers consider using supraglottic airway devices, like laryngeal mask airways, as an alternative to endotracheal intubation when managing the airway during CPR. This change is due to the potential for shorter interruptions in chest compressions with supraglottic airway devices.
Epinephrine and Vasopressin:
- The AHA now recommends the administration of epinephrine as soon as possible for non-shockable rhythms and within the first 5 minutes for those that are shockable. Vasopressin is no longer recommended for cardiac arrest management, as studies have shown it provides no additional benefit compared to epinephrine alone.
The 2019 AHA guidelines for CPR and AED use emphasize the importance of high-quality CPR, effective team dynamics, and timely interventions in improving cardiac arrest survival rates. These updates help to ensure that the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices are used by healthcare providers and lay rescuers alike.
Please visit AED.us for a complete listing of our new and refurbished models of AEDs featuring CPR Feedback. If you are a CPR Instructor, please visit us for all your AED trainers and training accessories. You can read about the American Heart Association Guidelines here.
- AHA. “American Heart Association.” https://www.heart.org/en. 13 April 2018.
Written by Blaire Czarniecki
Customer Service Director
Fact checked by Phillip Woods, BA, NREMT-P, FP-C
Blaire attended the University of Tennessee where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology- Child and Family Studies. She has been in the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) industry for over eight years and is the Director of Customer Service for Coro Medical. Blaire is also an American Red Cross-certified CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor, highly trained by each manufacturer on their specific AEDs, and knowledgeable regarding ALL State AED regulations and legislation.
“I know that every day I come to work, I am playing a part in saving someone’s life. I am passionate about these devices and am always looking for new and innovative ways to spread awareness and knowledge about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I look forward to the day when everywhere I go, I will see an AED—when SCA will no longer take any lives.”
Last updated Mar 22, 2023