Each year, February is declared Heart Month in the U.S. to raise public awareness about heart disease, healthy living, and heart-related emergency care. With the release of the 2015 guidelines update for CPR, ECC, and first aid just a few months ago, let’s make Heart Month 2016 a time to re-dedicate ourselves to quality in our classes and our CPR performance.
Although the actual content changes recommended in the guidelines were relatively minimal, there is a renewed interest on quality and more effective delivery. The guidelines focused on high quality CPR measures, including:
- Faster compressions at a rate of 100-120 bpm
- Deeper compressions of at least 2 inches, avoiding depths of greater than 2.4 inches
- Full chest recoil (avoid leaning when delivering compressions)
- Minimal interruptions by delivering two rescue breaths within 10 seconds and minimizing pre-shock and post-shock pauses when using an AED
- Avoiding excessive rescue breath volume
How we deliver that lifesaving training to our students is just as important as the content that’s being learned. More frequent retraining, the use of CPR feedback devices in training, and a high quality approach to CPR were among the recommendations for better bystander preparedness.
New for CPR was the addition of information on emergencies involving opioid overdoses. First aid changes include a returning focus on the use of tourniquets to control severe bleeding, along with the newly recommended use of hemostatic, clot-promoting dressings.
For incidents involving pediatric cardiac arrest, the critical importance of rescue breaths as part of CPR was reemphasized.
To all of our ASHI and MEDIC First Aid instructors, we’re looking forward to helping you deliver high quality CPR skills with our upcoming G2015 programs released later this year. Be sure to get your G2015 Instructor Update Course completed and finalized so you can begin using our G2015 interim materials in your classes throughout Heart Month and be ready to teach the new programs this spring!
Happy Heart Month, everyone.