The New 2010 American Heart Association CPR Guidelines

The steps for CPR have not changed since 1954 when it was first introduced by Dr. Peter Safar. The order of the different steps for performing CPR has always been A-B-C, which represents the order airway, breathing, and compressions. This was the accepted best practice up until recently.

The 2010 AHA CPR Guidelines

The 2010 AHA CPR Guidelines – Big Change!

Why did the AHA CPR Guidelines Change?

In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) came out with a report with their recommendations, rearranging the order to C-A-B, placing emphasis on the chest compressions.

The AHA’s research concluded that the old approach creates an unnecessary delay in chest compressions. Following the new guidelines, by beginning with chest compressions instead of postponing them until after completing the airway and breathing steps, we are able to get the blood flowing immediately. Immediate restoration of blood circulation has been determined to be the utmost priority for saving the victim’s life.

This change of order applies to adults and children, but not newborn babies.

The Revised AHA CPR Guidelines: C-A-B

Chest Compressions

  • Start by placing the heel of one hand in the center of the chest and place your other hand on top of the first.
  • Push down hard and fast, at the rate of about 100 compressions per minute.
  • Perform 30 compressions and then proceed to the next step.


  • Open airway with a head tilt-chin lift.
  • Look listen and feel for breathing for 5 seconds.


  • Pinch the victims nose.
  • Give two one-second breaths.
  • Repeat chest compressions and breathing steps, 30 compressions then two breaths, until emergency services arrive.

Note that those who are untrained in CPR can simply perform the chest compressions until help arrives.

Stay Informed and Current

If you have not taken a CPR class since 2010, then this may be have been news to you. This is why it is crucial for you to stay current and renew your certification as required. If you are not yet certified or your prior certification is up for renewal, you should consider taking American Heart Association CPR classes or an online CPR certification program.