If you are enrolled in an online CPR first aid certification class, you’re likely to hear the instructor say something about how much the CPR guidelines have changed from when it was first introduced. Moreover, they may mention CPR recommendations are revised from time to time, adding or removing concepts may make it difficult to remain up to date on standards, emphasizing the need for CPR recertification.
But have you ever thought of the reasons why CPR seems a little unstable? Well, there are a couple of things underlying CPR’s ongoing evolution.
The Practice of CPR is Still New
It was not until the 1960s that CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation had been fully developed. Though mouth to mouth resuscitation has been recommended in a variety of life-saving scenarios for hundreds of years, and external chest compressions for over a century, it wasn’t until 1960 that Dr. William Kouwenhoven published a landmark paper declaring, “anyone, anywhere can initiate cardiac resuscitation procedures. All that is needed are two hands.” It took 12 more years before the first major program was undertaken to teach CPR to regular citizens with no prior medical training. However, even then, there was no standard way of teaching it.
Since 1966, a few organizations like the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association have felt the need to standardize the procedure of teaching CPR, especially to those that are not in the field of medicine. Since then, these organizations, together with many partners have continuously worked and re-worked the aspects of the CPR guidelines.
Science and Technology Development
We all know how technology and science are continually improving our lives, and saving our lives too, this is part of why CPR guidelines extracorporeal change too. As professionals are finding better ways to administer CPR with the help of improving technology, PR training methods are updated too, ensuring the public is up to date with the latest methods that can be done for CPR.
Resuscitation was far from perfect when it was first introduced, with people cutting the chest open to massage the heart by hand and using bellows to fill the lungs with air. Back then, to prove its efficiency, doctors had to test it with cadavers and animals. Through time, they have concluded that aside from chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, external defibrillation was critical to patient survival.
Eventually, through government programs and public awareness campaigns, Automated External Defibrillation (AED) was made available in many public spaces throughout the world to further aid citizen rescuers.
In March of 2020 Japanese researchers studying the use of portable extracorporeal membrane oxygenation devices in conjunction with CPR, called ECPR, published their findings in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. The process takes deoxygenated blood from a vein, runs it through a machine to oxygenate the blood, and pumps it back into an artery, and has shown promising results in short durations from the time CPR is performed to when ECPR is performed, but changes for citizen rescuers are a long time coming.
Changes in CPR Guidelines – Going Back to Basics
Now, CPR guidelines encourage performing CPR using only chest compressions as a standard for those that have no medical background. Today, online CPR first aid certification classes consider chest compressions king, literally going back to basics.
Moreover, this type of CPR is being practiced not just in one country but all over the world. This has made CPR more comprehensive and easier to teach to those that are trying to learn how to save a life but do not come from the medical industry.