2020 AHA GUIDELINES
The American Heart Association (AHA) revises the recommendations, or Guidelines, for Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), including CPR, every five years. These modifications were released on October 21, 2020, and will be implemented into AHA classes over the next few months.
A few of the major topics of change include the implementation of Deliberate Practice and Mastery Learning, Booster Training and Spaced Learning, Lay Rescuer Training, ACLS Course Participation, Opioid Overdose Training for Lay Rescuers, Disparities in Education, and EMS Practitioner Experience and Exposure to Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.
The following is a summary of some of the key issues and major changes for Resuscitation Education Science and Systems of Care.
1. The use of deliberate practice and mastery learning during life support training, and using repetition with feedback and minimum passing standards, in order to improve skills retention.
2. A recommendation that booster training such as brief retraining sessions should be added to massed learning and traditional course based training to assist with retention of CPR skills.
3. For laypersons, self-directed training, either alone or in combination with instructor-led training, is recommended to improve willingness and ability to perform CPR. The increased use of independent and hybrid training may remove an obstacle to more widespread training of the general public in CPR.
4. It is advised that middle school and high school age children should be trained to provide high-quality CPR.
5. It is recommended that the general public and those in non-healthcare settings receive training in how to respond to victims of opioid overdose, including the administration of naloxone.
6. Bystander CPR training should always address socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic populations who have historically exhibited lower rates of bystander CPR.
7. CPR training professionals should also acknowledge the presence of gender-related barriers in order to improve rates of bystander CPR performed on women.
8. EMS systems should monitor how much exposure their providers receive in treating cardiac arrest victims and provide continuing education on a frequent basis.
9. All healthcare providers should complete an adult ACLS course or its equivalent.
10. Use of mobile phone technology by emergency dispatch systems to alert bystanders to medical crisis that may require CPR or AED use.
11. Incorporate the addition of booster training sessions including brief and frequent sessions focused on repetition of prior content to resuscitation courses as this has been shown to improve the retention of CPR skills.
12. Acknowledge that long term survival after a cardiac arrest event requires support from family and professional caregivers, and incorporate experts in cognitive, physical, and psychological rehabilitation and recovery.
Here at Help-A-Heart CPR we will be implementing these and other advised changes over the next few months so stay tuned. For more information about the 2020 AHA Guidelines, please visit AHA 2020 guidelines. To register in an American Heart Association ACLS, BLS, PALS, or PEARS class following AHA 2020 guidelines view the Help-A-Heart CPR training registration portal.
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is the CEO of Help-A-Heart CPR, LLC and an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.