There is so much confusion out there about the requirements for Rescue Breaths whilst doing CPR... what should you do ???

Even some well known training organisations are miss-interpreting the guidelines both here in Australia and internationally. This just leads to confusion in a field of pre-hospital care that is already filled with miss-information and poor education from "experts" that have never even seen a real cardiac arrest or take it on their own back to change guidelines and recommendations set down by governing bodies. 

" Anything is better than nothing" when it comes to CPR, but here are the facts..... Lets become consistent with our education on CPR and follow internationally accepted guidelines not individual opinions

Here in Australia :

When it comes to the question of Rescue Breaths I suggest you follow the guidelines set down by the Australian Resuscitation Council. 

ANZCOR suggests that those who are trained and willing to give breaths do so for all persons who are unresponsive and not breathing normally

So in Australia we DO GIVE RESCUE BREATHS if trained and willing. 

What about in America ?

Many Australian first aid trainers say that "in america they don't do rescue breaths ". well here is the actual guideline described by the American Heart Association ( our equivalent to the Australian Resus Council )

Untrained lay rescuers should provide compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR, with or without dispatcher guidance, for adult victims of cardiac arrest. The rescuer should continue compression-only CPR until the arrival of an AED or rescuers with additional training. All lay rescuers should, at a minimum, provide chest compressions for victims of cardiac arrest. In addition, if the trained lay rescuer is able to perform rescue breaths, he or she should add rescue breaths in a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. The rescuer should continue CPR until an AED arrives and is ready for use, EMS providers take over care of the victim, or the victim starts to move.

So even in America they suggest that people trained in first aid and rescue breaths should give them. Clearly showing that it is also their understanding that breathing for a patient is important.

What about Europe ?

The immediate initiation of CPR can double or quadruple survival from cardiac arrest.20,24–28 If able, bystanders with CPR training should give chest compressions together with ventilations



Of the 3 main expert resuscitation organisation internationally, ALL say the same thing. If you are trained in giving rescue breaths then YOU SHOULD GIVE RESCUE BREATHS.

Performing CPR on a patient in cardiac arrest is so so so important. If first aider's become confused they are less likely to perform CPR - lets take out the confusion and follow consistent internally recognised standards - lets save lives 

Michael Munier 10 Apr 2018 11:44 PM

Hmm, very interesting. But I can't see any legal implication here. So I wonder how one qualifies as being or not being "trained". As an ex nurse I remember the yearly or twice yearly "inservice" about CPR (which invariably brought something new every time!) My experience was that many of us were struggling to get it right. I Have been retired for 15 years now, did use it once (but unfortunately it was a case of flogging a "dead horse"). Then came the one way valve gadget...Then we hear we do not need anymore rescue breathing. This makes cpr really simple.
I'm here today because I read in our local paper someone had a heart attack whilst driving and was resuscitated by bystanders (one was actually a medical professional) But the article only mentions "proper cpr" without detail. For me, a missed golden opportunity to remind people how simple but efficiently cpr can be given. So I searched for the latest information on CPR and found your article.
Another thing I don't see here either is the recommended ratio and speed of the administration. I know it's available somewhere else but whilst we are reading this I think it would have been productive to have this information as well.
Back to legality. If someone was giving rescue breaths in a detrimental fashion, where would that person stand if it was found out that it caused complication or worse? So if you're willing or think your well trained enough but end up in this predicament...What happens?
If your not a registered nurse or a medical practitioner of any kind, without any formal certification of your ability , should you really use rescue breaths?
Or should the recommendations be a little more specific as to the "training" part and the "willingness" element. Of course some people will have a go as they feel they should, but it does not necessary mean they are safe to do so. So perhaps CPR certification should be put in place and successful people could be so registered. Then to complicate things a little more, should such registration place one in an obligated situation or again left to one's willingness! I sincerely hope the second option should prevail since one may be genuinely indisposed at the time of need .
I realise I may give the impression I'm splitting hair. But I think the simpler and most accurate message should be sent. I use to believe one person gives 30 compressions 2 breaths and keeps going. Then when another person is available 2 breaths can be given after 15 compressions. As for the right spot to place your hands ect. It can be a little more involved... It's a matter of 'current' knowledge and confidence .


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