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CPR Guideline Differences between the American Red Cross and American Heart Association


CPR Guideline Differences: American Red Cross and American Heart Association

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

​RED CROSS

AHA

  • Series of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thursts

  • Abdominal thrusts only

Reasons For the Differences in responsive chocking approach

A first responder giving back blows to an adult victim who is choking.
A first responder giving back blows to an adult victim who is choking.

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

​RED CROSS

AHA

  • Assess for responsiveness

  • Open Airway

  • Check breathing

  • Scan for severe bleeding

  • Assess for responsiveness

  • Check breathing

Reasons for the difference when assessing an unresponsive victim


First aid responder wrapping a wound.
First aid responder wrapping a wound.

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

​RED CROSS

AHA

  • Start with 2 ventilations

  • Do a series of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths

  • Continue CPR cycles

  • Start with compressions

  • Do a series of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths

  • Continue CPR cycles

Reasons for the difference when treating drowning victims

Infant CPR on a manikin using the two figure approach..
Infant CPR using the two figure approach.

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.


Works Cited

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


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About The Author Of This Article

Bobby Dobroski, Owner and CPR Instructor of DobroSKILLS LLC

Bobby Dobroski, Owner & CPR Instructor of DobroSKILLS LLC

Bobby has been teaching CPR since 2016 and is a proud husband and father to two very active young boys. Bobby is active runner who ran over 20 marathons and an Ironman Triathlon. DobroSKILLS offers training in Adult & Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED and Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers as well as AED and supplies. DobroSKILLS LLC is a Licensed Training Provider of the American Red Cross.

DISCLAIMER:  THIS BLOG DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.

The information contained herein including, but not limited to, any text graphics, images, or other material, is intended for informational purposes only. No material in this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with nay questions you may have about medical conditions or treatment.  Never ignore professional medical advice or forego seeking treatment because of information you may have read  you read on DobroSKILLS.net.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. 

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