A common question students ask me these days, "what is the difference between a Red Cross CPR Training and an American Heart Association (AHA) CPR Training?" Both trainings are very similar since they are both based on the 2010 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR). Differences exist because The Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council uses CoSTR to understand the science independent of the AHA. We will list three key CPR SKILLS that differ between the Red Cross CPR and AHA CPR that are listed in the American Red Cross First Aid App.
Three Key CPR SKILLS That Differ between the Red Cross CPR and AHA CPR
Skill One: Responsive Choking for Adults and Children
Reasons For the Differences in responsive chocking approach
The Red Cross uses the science to direct their trainings where the AHA prioritizes ease of training. Studies show abdominal thrusts and back blows are equally effective and more then one technique was occasionally required to relive an obstruction.
Skills Two: Assessing an Unresponsive Victim
Reasons for the difference when assessing an unresponsive victim
The Red Cross does not assume someone is in cardiac arrest when they are unresponsive. "Opening the airway and scanning for bleeding are part of a comprehensive assessment."
A quick scan for no more the 10 seconds for breathing and bleeding is taught as part of the Red Cross lay responder Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED course and a comprehensive approach is taught to programs such as Basic Life Support and Professional Rescuers.
Skill Three: Pediatric and Drowning Victims
Reasons for the difference when treating drowning victims
Breathing related emergencies are the typical reasons children that go into cardiac arrest. Due to that, Red Cross teaches breaths before compressions. AHA starts with compressions to simplify the training with the understanding and hope that more bystanders will help with CPR.
American Red Cross. First Aid: American Red Cross. American Red Cross, Version 2.13.0. Apple App Store, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/first-aid-american-red-cross/id529160691. Google Play Store, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cube.arc.fa&hl=en_US&gl=US&pli=1