As of 2010, some American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation include immediate recognition and reaction to cardiac arrest, utilizing the CAB approach, and focusing less on finding a pulse before intimating CPR, states CPR Headquarters. Higher overall quality of CPR is also more important.
It is vital not to wait before performing CPR or mistake the sign of a patient gasping for functional breathing, notes CPR Headquarters. Many individuals who undergo cardiac arrest may exhibit abnormal breathing, even if they are still getting air. In some cases, this causes the on-site personnel to delay action, putting the patient at significantly higher risk for death. It is therefore necessary to initiate CPR before professional medical attention arrives if any signs of abnormal breathing are present.
The previous approach of ABC has been reordered to CAB, according to CPR Headquarters. This means the person performing CPR should address the patient's concerns in the order of circulation, airway and breathing. Ensuring adequate circulation is of greater importance than addressing the airway. This method allows compressions to start much sooner than the prior approach.
The patient requires 30 chest compressions before the person performing CPR opens the patient's airway and delivers two breaths through the mouth, explains CPR Headquarters. In previous iterations of CPR, the necessity of finding a pulse subtracted precious time when the patient's life was in the balance. It is no longer considered a priority to check for a pulse before initiating CPR.