Do you still do the breathing during CPR?
There’s a some confusion about whether you give breaths during CPR anymore. I get asked this question a lot in my classes. I am going to clear up the confusion.
It is important to attempt to give breaths during CPR but not as crucial for adults as it is for infants and children.
When adults become unresponsive it is usually a result of cardiac arrest. The oxygen content of the blood is typically adequate to meet oxygen demands of the body for the first few minutes after arrest. So by doing immediate effective chest compressions oxygen is distributed to the important cells of the brain and the heart.
In contrast, infants and children who develop cardiac arrest often have a respiratory arrest first. In other words the breathing stopped first and then the heart, so the oxygen content is reduced by the time the cardiac arrest occurs. As a result, for most infants and children in cardiac arrest, chest compressions alone are not as effective as compressions and breaths for delivering oxygenated blood to the heart and brain.
For this reason, it is very important to give both compressions and breaths for infants and children during high-quality CPR.
American Heart Association.