For those who've taken a CPR class in the last couple years, you've probably heard about the next anticipated change to "compression-only" CPR. Well, we're there. The AHA held their 5-year evidence review of CPR methods earlier this year and have changed things up again.
Instead of dealing with an unconscious, unresponsive victim by checking/fixing Airway - Breathing - Circulation (ABC), the new standard for bystanders and first responders is to perform Chest Compressions - Airway - Breathing (CAB). This eliminates the time wasted in trying to find your pocket mask or CPR shield and then open the airway prior to starting chest compressions. Evidence shows that getting blood circulation restarted as soon as possible far outweighs any basic airway management procedures, especially during the first few minutes after collapse. Until the proper airway management equipment is readily available, it is better to simple continue with straight chest compressions.
Any bystander can start the new Hands-Only CPR by simply placing your hands in the center of the chest and begin compressions using the concept of "Push Hard - Push Fast". There is no need for airway or breathing management. For those trained in CPR, the goal is still 30 chest compressions followed by 2 ventilations. If available, an AED needs to be attached as soon as possible.
These changes to bystander level CPR are in effect immediately and will be part of your next AHA CPR class.