Hands-Only CPR Kiosks Debuting at Airports Near You

In my role at the American Heart Association, I travel on a regular basis and spend lots of time in airports waiting to catch flights. It’s amazing the amount of foot traffic that airports see on a daily basis. Approximately 176,000 passengers pass through my hometown airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth, every day.

Thinking about the number of people who sit for long periods of time at airports played a role in addressing the AHA’s ambitious goals for training people in the lifesaving skill of CPR.

Here’s the hard truth: 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die before medical responders arrive on the scene. This is not only true internationally, but particularly in the United States. When the AHA set its 2020 goal to double survival from cardiac arrest, the former EMT in me became fixated on finding a solution to improve survival within those first few minutes of cardiac arrest.

The answer is simple–everyone needs to know CPR and anyone can learn this lifesaving skill. This tactical solution proved more challenging until we took inspiration from a social experiment conducted in Sweden. Social scientists there took a look at a fun way to encourage people to use the stairs instead of an escalator. After hearing about this experiment, I started thinking whether we could take that same concept and create something fun and engaging in a high-traffic location that would demystify CPR.

Fast forward four years. We installed our first Hands-Only CPR kiosk at DFW Airport in 2013. Each kiosk offers a touch screen that shows a brief video introducing the two steps of Hands-Only CPR. Users can then take a practice session followed by a 30-second CPR test. The kiosk provides feedback about the depth and rate of compressions and proper hand placement.

To date, nearly 25,000 people have learned Hands-Only CPR from this kiosk.

Actress Elisabeth Rohm on camera discussing the importance of Hands-Only CPR.

Actress Elisabeth Rohm on camera discussing the importance of Hands-Only CPR.

We’re grateful that Anthem Foundation sees the lifesaving potential in these kiosks. Thanks to their generous support, we are proud to announce the installation of seven new kiosks across the country in high-traffic locations:

Five Airports

  • Chicago O’Hare International
  • Indianapolis International
  • Las Vegas’ McCarran International
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall

Two Office Buildings

  • Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Anthem’s office in Washington D.C.

As you wait for your next flight, you could learn how to save a life in about five minutes by visiting one of these Hands-Only CPR kiosks. We know of at least one life saved as a result of someone learning CPR on the kiosk – a story that was recently profiled on the syndicated talk show The Doctors.

Launch of our new kiosk at Chicago O'hare International Airport.

Launch of our new kiosk at Chicago O’hare International Airport.

Matt Lickenbrock, a University of Dayton student who saved the life of a fellow student struck by lightning by performing Hands-Only CPR, used the kiosk as a boredom buster during a three-hour layover at DFW Airport. He sums the experience up neatly: “I never thought I’d be in the situation to use it. No one ever does. But I knew I was doing what I was trained to do.”

To learn more about these new kiosks, visit our newsroom story here.

To learn more about CPR, please visit heart.org/cpr.


Five for February: American Heart Month

Throughout the month of February, our organization works diligently to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved. We’re also getting the world involved through collaborative efforts with many countries, primarily within Europe, South America, Africa, and most recently, China.

How did February become American Heart Month?

Valentine’s Day and the heart go hand-in-hand. The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963. The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has made this request of the president annually.

Back then, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease. While fatalities have decreased since the first American Heart Month in 1964, the most recent numbers are still grim. Perhaps most telling is that cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

How can you get involved in better heart health?

There are many things we can do in our daily lives to help spread the message, and it’s particularly important to me because many of the women in my family have various forms of heart disease.

Consider these tips – and while we still have about 10 days left of American Heart Month, I’d encourage you to keep up these habits year-round.

  1. Learn CPR and/or refresh your CPR skills. Start by learning Hands-Only CPR, but then consider taking one of our courses for a deeper dive into the subject matter. Search for a course offering near you on our Find A Course page.
  1. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week – or a combination of both. Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
  1. When you think meals, think healthy! When cooking at home, think heart-healthy food options all month long: MORE vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains and LESS sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar.  Simple Cooking with Heart recipes make it easy – and tasty.
  1. Check out the My Life Check® page to learn your heart score. My Life Check is a simple, seven step list designed by the AHA to deliver on the hope we all have – to live a long, productive healthy life.
  1. Learn the signs of a stroke: Face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty. If you see these, it’s time to call 9-1-1. The pneumonic FAST will help you remember the signs and action step.

Improving heart and brain health is our mission so that you can experience more of life’s precious moments. And until there’s a world free of heart disease and stroke, we’ll be here, working to make a healthier, longer life possible for everyone.

This month, please join me in watching and sharing our Life is Why video (above) on your social media accounts. Together, we can build a culture of health where making the healthy choice is the easy choice.  Why?  Because Life is Why.


Introducing Our New Instructor Community

Last year I was approached by an Instructor who suggested that he, his colleagues and American Heart Association might benefit from a social sharing and networking site (he called it a mash-up of LinkedIn and Facebook). Instructors are the public face of the AHA, and together we should be able to share our stories and have meaningful conversation. A social site seemed like a natural next step in the process.

Today I am proud to announce the launch of that site — our Instructor Community — created exclusively for the AHA Training Network. We have been piloting it for several months now with about 150 instructors, and we are thrilled to invite all of our AHA Instructors and Training Center Coordinators to join.

Features of the Instructor Community include:

  • Online discussion forums to share ideas, discuss training courses, ask questions about the updated guidelines and more
  • The Instructor Community blog where you can share your experience and read those of others
  • The opportunity to connect with other Instructors in your area and around the country
  • Downloadable resources to help you as an Instructor
  • Provide feedback, suggestions, etc. to AHA CPR & ECC

Starting today, when you log in to the Instructor Network, you will see this widget (below) on your Dashboard. It will lead you directly into the Community. With our integrated “single sign-on” feature, you will not be required to create a new user account / password in the Community. We want to make it as seamless as possible to toggle back and forth between the Network and Community, and we hope this function makes it easier for you to come and go to the Community as you please.

Finally, I want to reiterate that this Community was built exclusively for you, our passionate and dedicated Instructors. This forum is only as good as the engaging, timely, and ongoing discussion that continues to take place. Please let us know how we can better serve you with your ideas to keep the site fresh and useful by reaching out to us at [email protected]. I personally thank you for your participation and for helping our Instructor Community to grow and thrive!



Further Your Resuscitation Knowledge at our Regional Conferences

Note from John: Back by popular demand, we are excited to announce another series of our Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Regional Conferences that are designed to deepen knowledge around resuscitation science. I’ve asked my colleague Michael Smith, MPH, EMT-B and our Director of ECC Network Relations to write a guest blog post about these highly engaging and informative conferences.


In March 2015, the American Heart Association’s ECC Department launched a series of professional resuscitation educational conferences held in five locations through the calendar year: San Francisco, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Columbus, Ohio.

In case you were unable to attend, allow me to provide a high-level overview of what you missed. These one-day conferences engaged the entire ECC Training Network (Instructors, Training Centers and Volunteers) and covered essential topics in the science of CPR, instructor development and improving resuscitation outcomes. Each conference was attended by more than 150 people and included AHA Instructors, Training Center Coordinators, Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Educators, EMS Professionals, Cardiologists, Respiratory Therapists, Professors, and others interested in resuscitation, with continuing education credit for physicians, nurses, and emergency medical services. Specific topics covered include High-Quality CPR, AHA Educational Methodology, Use of Simulation in AHA courses, Use of Debriefing in AHA courses, Best Practice of Skills Practice and Testing, and Top Topics in Resuscitation.

Presenters at the conferences included industry experts such as Dr. Peter Kudenchuk, Dr. Michael Sayre, Dr. Meg Wolff, Dr. Lance Becker, Dr. Ben Abella, Dr. Farhan Bhanji, Dr. Beth Mancini, and Dr. David Rodgers.

With testimony from many attendees, including “I felt very motivated and inspired after attending” and “Overall, I was very impressed with the Professionalism of this conference. It was very informative and the educational experience was quite enjoyable. Overall, excellent conference” we are building on the 2015 success with another series of conferences in Spring 2016, including new topics, speakers and presentations.


Packed house at Philadelphia’s conference in May 2015

The 2016 conference dates and locations are:

  • February 10, 2016 Birmingham, AL – Hyatt Regency Birmingham (Register Now)
  • March 17, 2016 Chicago, IL – Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort (Register Now)
  • April 21, 2016 Denver, CO – Westin Denver International Airport (Register Now)
  • May 12, 2016 Providence, RI – Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel (Register Now)
  • June 2, 2016 Seattle, WA – Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center (Register Now)

Presentations for our conferences currently include:

  • A Focus on the Institute of Medicine’s Recommendations for Improving Cardiac Arrest Survival and the AHA’s Commitment to Increasing Cardiac Arrest Survival
  • AHA Curriculum Design around Learning/Teaching Styles
  • Community CPR
  • Pediatric Resuscitation
  • Instructor Development
  • Continuous Quality Improvement with a Discussion of Feedback Devices.

After each conference, a special presentation will be provided for in-hospital providers interested in a new and innovative program for improving the quality of CPR skills.

The conference fee, which includes breakfast and lunch, is priced at an early bird rate of $185 per attendee. Early bird pricing ends one month before each conference date, when pricing increases to $200 per attendee.

If you have any questions about our ECC Regional Conferences, please e-mail me directly at [email protected]. Hope to see ya there!


Give the Gift of Lifesaving CPR This Holiday Season

At the American Heart Association, we believe preparation is the essential key to saving lives and that’s why we are constantly trying to find ways to make consumers feel prepared and comfortable in emergency situations. We often hear that bystanders are unsure what to do when there is an emergency situation and they don’t know how to administer the lifesaving skills of CPR. This holiday season, please consider the gift of CPR training for your family and friends so they won’t fall into the category of “unprepared”.

Here’s a real-world scenario where CPR training saved a family from spending the holidays without their father. Sonya Vezmar, an American Heart Association Community CPR Manager in Cleveland, was enjoying a friend’s birthday on Halloween when she was startled by the sound of someone screaming “Call 9-1-1! Call 9-1-1!” She initially thought the person screaming was playing a joke until she saw others, including the manager and staff on hand, in a panic and yelling for help.

When Sonya looked over, she saw a mid-50s gentleman sitting in a chair that looked very pale and non-responsive. That’s when her CPR skills kicked in and asked him if he was okay while tapping his shoulders. There was no response.

Sonya immediately removed his shirt and started doing chest compressions. After only about five compressions, the man started blinking his eyes and his color came back to his face. She then put a jacket under his head and waited with him until EMS arrived to look him over and asses his situation. The man’s son was crying while he hugged Sonya, as he recognized the gravity of the moment.

Sonya and Family

Sonya and her family

“CPR WORKS!!!” Sonya said. “I know I teach it every day and hear stories every day about how it works but until I found myself in the position to actually have to perform it, I think I may have doubted myself to do it right. It amazes me to think that I trusted in what I’d been taught, followed the steps and the outcome was that I ‘saved’ a life. This experience has deeply touched me and just reinforces the importance of what we all do day in and day out.”

“CPR is an important lifesaving skill that can teach you how to save a life,” she added. “It can happen to anyone and it can happen at any time; you never know when you will have to use it. It is something that everyone should know how to do!”

We thank Sonya for being such a tremendous AHA ambassador for CPR training and her amazing save. Without her quick action, one family could possibly be without their father this holiday season. As you scramble for last minute holiday gifts, or if you’re thinking of resolutions for the new year, why not consider the gift of lifesaving CPR training for your family and friends? Please visit www.shopcpranytime.org for a variety of training materials that you can perform from the comfort of your own home. I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and Happy New Year!

Shop CPR Anytime


Response to The New York Times article: CPR Survival Rates Can Differ Greatly by City

In a recent article titled, “CPR Survival Rates Can Differ Greatly by City,” The New York Times wrote about the discrepancies in survival rates across the country and even in the hospital setting. We thank The New York Times for highlighting the importance of creating a culture of action to improve survival from cardiac arrest. As a leader in resuscitation science and innovation, we are committed to saving more lives through our CPR, first aid and advanced cardiovascular care training materials, as well as our programs and awareness campaigns.

The article focuses on the need for improvements both in communities and in hospitals. This is something we agree with, and it’s why we’re leading the way with our education, training and quality improvement initiatives, all backed by the latest resuscitation science.

While we’re glad this article shines a national spotlight on the importance of lifesaving CPR, we also worry it sends some mixed messages and missed an opportunity to discuss what is currently being done to improve survival rates and the overall quality of CPR.

Here’s a list of the article’s key points, as well as some ways we’re already working towards a solution.

Improving survival rates:

The piece references the survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is about 10 percent, but depending on where you live, your chance of survival could be very different. For example, Seattle King County has worked for over seven years to strengthen their systems of care to increase bystander CPR rates and EMS systems, and as a result, they increased their survival rate to 19.9 percent. The article notes that cities like Detroit have a survival rate of about 3 percent.

The article also touches on mistakes healthcare providers make by checking for breaths too long or not performing CPR long enough.

What you should also know: it takes a village

  • The latest AHA Guidelines Update calls for strengthened systems of care to increase survival. It must be a coordinated effort between communities, EMS systems and health systems.
  • If every system of care focused on high-quality CPR and implemented AHA Guidelines, we would greatly improve survival rates system-wide. With King County as an example, we know it takes lots of hard work and dedication to ensure high quality implementation.
  • For years we’ve focused on educating the public about cardiac arrest and CPR through public service announcements and CPR awareness campaigns for the general public. We’re building the next Generation of Lifesavers™ with our CPR in Schools effort and helping more people learn the easy steps to save a life with our Hands-Only CPR campaign.
  • Timely CPR doubles or even triples the chance of survival from OHCA.  We also know that high-quality CPR by healthcare professionals improves outcomes.  We know that we can save more lives, which is why we created a goal in 2010 to double cardiac arrest survival by 2020. Saving lives is why we believe in training people in CPR (we currently train about 17 million people worldwide each year).

What about in-hospital care?

While there have been numerous advancements in care, in-hospital survival stands at about 20 percent. The article says the major cause of variations in outcomes is lack of systematic benchmarking of cardiac arrest data.

There are several references in the article that suggest poor CPR performance within hospitals, and how poor performance can harm the patient even if they received immediate bystander CPR before arriving to the facility.

What you should also know: more data and advanced technology are part of the solution

  • Centralized and standardized data collection is key, and we’re working hard with other organizations to make that a reality. Check out our Special Report for more information about the commitments we’re making in this area.
  • Education guidelines highlight that resuscitation skills can decline within a few months – far before the two-year current evaluation standard.
  • The latest guidelines reinforce that more-frequent, High-Quality CPR training can help hospitals deliver the highest quality of emergency cardiovascular care to patients.
  • We launched the Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) program targeting EMS and hospital professionals to ensure their CPR competency is maintained with the intent of improving resuscitation quality and patient outcomes.
  • Our quality improvement programs such as Get With the Guidelines-Resuscitation and Mission Lifeline: Resuscitation provide tools, data and feedback to healthcare professionals to ensure they could monitor and close any gaps in resuscitation quality performance.

I hope this information gives you a good look at the state of CPR training and quality. Want to learn more about how to save a life? Head over to cpr.heart.org and be sure to subscribe to my blog in the footer below to always be the first to know about our latest advancements in emergency cardiovascular care.


AHA Resuscitation Science Symposium – A Baker’s Dozen

Note from John: This year’s Resuscitation Science Symposium (ReSS), being held in Orlando from November 7th-9th, is the 13th annual meeting of what has grown to be the world’s premiere gathering of researchers, scientists and clinicians presenting and debating the latest discoveries in cardiac and trauma resuscitation. I’ve asked my colleague Brian Eigel, VP of ECC Science and Product Development, to write a guest blog post about what we should expect at this year’s conference.



Only three weeks after the release of our Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), it’s an exciting time for resuscitation science! I’ve personally been with the American Heart Association through three guidelines cycles, and the anticipation by healthcare professionals, first responders, instructors, etc. for our guidelines release has grown every time. Whether you’re attending ReSS or not, here’s my own “baker’s dozen” list that highlights what I think will be some of the most popular sessions throughout the event.

1) Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Cardiac Arrest: On June 30th, the IOM published a report on strategies to improve cardiac arrest survival in the US (which was accompanied by an AHA Special Report highlighting our support of the IOM’s eight key recommendations).  IOM president Dr. Victor Dzau and four of the IOM report authors will present and discuss the recommendations with ReSS audience members.

2) Therapeutic Hypothermia: Following recent research results and a guideline update, panelists will review and debate the appropriate target temperature for hypothermia in cardiac and traumatic resuscitation treatment.

3) Digital Media: This session will cover innovative possibilities to harness mobile technology, social media and data to increase bystander CPR, increase the use of public AEDs, access experts via telemedicine anytime/anywhere and mine big data for clues to improve cardiac arrest survival.

4) Oral Abstracts: Attendees will be able to hear and debate over 35 oral research presentations covering some of the latest advances in resuscitation research.

5) Year in Review: Panelists will present and discuss key research publications from the past year in both cardiac arrest and trauma resuscitation.

6) Dispatcher-Assisted CPR: As the 2015 recipient of the Dickinson W. Richards Memorial Lecture, Dr. Thomas Rea’s presentation on “CPR Science: Discovery and Implementation” will serve as the keynote for a session that will also include presentations from groups in Taiwan and Arizona showing the impact of dispatcher-assisted CPR on increasing rates of bystander CPR and cardiac arrest survival.

7) Personalized Resuscitation: It is increasingly clear that as with so many things in life, “one size does not fit all” and panelists will highlight the latest discoveries that support the need to personalize cardiac resuscitation care, post-cardiac arrest care and hemorrhage resuscitation.

8) ECC Guidelines Highlights: Four authors of the recent 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR & ECC will present and discuss the key highlights of the Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric BLS/ACLS.

9-12) Four Late Breaking Clinical Trials: Hot off the presses, these four “late breakers” are sure to be of interest to clinicians and researchers around the world:

* Early epinephrine for shockable in-hospital cardiac arrest

* Early oral bisoprolol for pulseless ventricular arrhythmias in patients with acute NSTEMI

* Temporal trends in OHCA in Southern Ontario

* ROC randomized trial of continuous versus interrupted chest compressions in OHCA

13) Networking: ReSS offers opportunities for both formal and informal networking to allow both old friends and new collaborators to meet and exchange ideas for advancing the care of traumatic and cardiac resuscitation patients.  The Young Investigator event allows early career members opportunities to network with experienced investigators to learn more about mentorship, research and navigating career opportunities in cardiovascular research.  The Women in Resuscitation Networking Event will discuss mentorship in academia with Kathleen Dracup, RN, FNP, PhD, FAAN; during the Japanese Circulation Society/ReSS joint session attendees will learn about and discuss experiences with implementing and maintaining a national cardiac arrest registry.

I hope to see you in Orlando!

-Brian Eigel, Ph.D.


Working Together to Raise Awareness of Leading Global Killer of Women: Cardiovascular Disease

At the American Heart Association, we are committed to building lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke not just in the United States, but worldwide. Today, at the 26th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology in Beijing, I am happy to announce the American Heart Association has signed a licensing agreement with the China Heart Federation (CHF) to educate women in China about the their risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, through our Go Red For Women movement, which CHF will implement locally.

“This is an exciting opportunity to reach more women in China with this lifesaving message,” said Dayi Hu, M.D., president of China Heart Federation. “We’re making an impact already in heart health here, and we look forward to creating our own Go Red For Women movement to inspire and educate even more women that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, and give them the tools to take action to change that,” Hu said.

While 80 percent of heart disease in women is preventable, cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) kill more women globally than all cancers, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, according to the World Heart Federation (WHF).

Only one in 10 Chinese women know that heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death among women in China, according to a 2010 survey from the WHF. The reality is that cardiovascular diseases cause one-third of all deaths in China, and that number is expected to double by 2020 due to an aging population, smoking and changes in diet and lifestyle.


With AHA’s permission, CHF was given a cultural allowance with respect to the logo and allowed to create a more suitable version for China. The Chinese phrase to the left of the dress means “treasure, value/priceless, love, women, heart” it roughly translates to “treasure the woman’s heart.”

“China consists of an immense population of patients with a high morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., a past president of AHA and medical director of the Penn Heart and Vascular Center in Philadelphia. “Working with China Heart Federation to improve the cardiovascular health of women is an important part of an overall approach.”

Since its creation in 2004, Go Red For Women has increased awareness that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women worldwide, educated women about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and illustrated how women can lead a more heart-healthy lifestyle. Additionally, Go Red For Women encourages women to share what they’ve learned about heart health with their loved ones.

The new collaboration is among the more than 50 global agreements made by the AHA in collaboration with the WHF. I am extremely proud that our past Global Strategies efforts have helped create additional opportunities for other AHA initiatives, such as Go Red, to help save more lives worldwide. We know CHF’s Go Red For Women movement will help empower women in China to lower their risks for cardiovascular disease.


AHA Employee Helps Save a Life With CPR

With the release of our 2015 Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC last week, we stressed that people should continue to jump in quickly to give CPR to speed up the rescue of cardiac arrest victims. The guidelines, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, highlight how quick action, proper training, use of technology and coordinated efforts can increase survival from cardiac arrest.

We have a staff member within our Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) department who is a testament to the importance of immediate bystander action.  Jennifer Zanganeh, who works as an ECC Account Manager in our Los Angeles office, jumped in to help save a young boy recently at a roller skating rink. Within seconds, the boy started responding. “When I felt his heartbeat … it was indescribable,” Zanganeh said of the mid-September rescue.


Suzanne Sands (left), Jennifer’s supervisor in Western States Affiliate, presents the Heartsaver Hero award to Jennifer on October 15th.

The boy was lucky that a pair of lifesavers jumped in to perform CPR. It’s often not the case in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, but it makes a huge difference, doubling or tripling the odds of survival. That’s a promising stat considering there are more than 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the U.S.

It’s always amazing when a life is saved using CPR. And we are all especially proud when that life is saved by one of our own. As Jennifer’s story illustrates, it’s crucial that all of us stay up to date on our CPR training. If you haven’t taken a refresher class in a while, please do so, and please encourage your colleagues, friends and families to do the same because you’ll never know when you may need to jump in and save a life.

Please read the full story here on our blog.heart.org site.


2015 Guidelines Update Released Today

Every five years, we undergo a rigorous international evaluation process that involves hundreds of resuscitation scientists and experts who evaluate thousands of peer-reviewed publications to update our Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC). The guidelines, published today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and are based off the latest resuscitation research, have been published since 1966 to provide science-based recommendations for treating cardiovascular emergencies – particularly cardiac arrest in adults, children, infants and newborns.

This 2015 update confirms known CPR recommendations from 2010, with several quality enhancements to help save even more lives, including a range for the rate and depth of chest compressions during CPR. Overall, the new guidelines highlight the importance of a strengthened system of care by healthcare professionals, immediate bystander response, and employing mobile technology to speed up the rescue of cardiac arrest victims.

More than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year and about 90 percent of them die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. The 2015 guidelines say high-quality CPR training for both bystanders and healthcare providers will help them feel more confident to act and provide better CPR to cardiac arrest victims. This guidelines update, which is intended to evolve CPR training, also recommends that all bystanders should act quickly and use mobile phones to alert dispatchers, with the ultimate goal of having immediate CPR given to all victims of cardiac arrest.

“Everyone has a role to play in the Chain of Survival – from bystanders to dispatchers, emergency responders to healthcare providers,” said Dr. Mark A. Creager, president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and director of the Heart and Vascular Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. “When everyone knows their role, knows CPR and works together, we can dramatically improve cardiac arrest victims’ chances of survival.”

Please visit 2015ECCguidelines.heart.org for a full compendium of all the association’s scientific findings. Also today, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross jointly released the 2015 Guidelines Update for First Aid. We have co-sponsored the development and publication of these guidelines since 2005.