If you’re a professional whose job relies on a CPR certification, it’s important for you to be aware of the latest CPR guidelines. Although there are no new 2023 CPR guidelines – because guidelines are developed every 5 years with the latest updates published in 2020 – here’s what you need to know about the latest guidelines as of 2023.
It’s also important to know the difference between guidelines and certification requirements. Depending on your profession, the requirements that govern your knowledge and related training can vary widely.
Knowing what CPR guidelines are and where they come from can help you decide which specific courses or certifications will best meet your personal or professional needs.
Read on for an overview of the 2020 – 2023 CPR guidelines, who regulates them, and other important considerations for anyone looking to get CPR certified.
What to Know About the 2020 – 2023 CPR Guidelines
The American Heart Association (AHA) is the U.S. liaison to the International Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR), which meets every five years to update CPR guidelines. Here are five direct quotes regarding the most notable updates to the 2020 – 2023 CPR guidelines and what they mean to you.
Early Initiation of CPR by Lay Rescuers
“We recommend that laypersons initiate CPR for presumed cardiac arrest because the risk of harm to the patient is low if the patient is not in cardiac arrest.”
The 2010 guidelines recommended that laypersons not check for a pulse because the average person is unable to accurately check for a pulse. Healthcare providers were advised to take no more than 10 seconds to check for a pulse. If no pulse was present, they would then begin chest compressions.
However, the evidence suggests that victims who receive unnecessary chest compressions are at low risk for injury. Thus, laypersons should begin CPR immediately in the event of a perceived cardiac arrest.
Early Administration of Epinephrine
“With respect to timing, for cardiac arrest with a nonshockable rhythm, it is reasonable to administer epinephrine as soon as feasible.”
The 2023 CPR guidelines for the early administration of epinephrine have strengthened the 2010 suggestion to a recommendation. This upgrade of value is based on several studies that show that this life-saving medicine can increase survivability when used in tandem with the 2023 CPR guidelines.
Real-Time Audiovisual Feedback
“It may be reasonable to use audiovisual feedback devices during CPR for real-time optimization of CPR performance.”
This reaffirmation of suggestions from previous years was supported by a randomized clinical trial (RCT) report that showed a 25% survival rate increase in hospital discharges for in-hospital cardiac arrests that were treated with audio feedback for compression depth and recoil techniques.
Physiologic Monitoring of CPR Quality
“It may be reasonable to use physiologic parameters such as arterial blood pressure or ETCO2 when feasible to monitor and optimize CPR quality.”
These 2023 CPR guidelines have been updated from 2015 to reflect a new understanding of the usefulness of different measurable parameters to assist resuscitators in assessing the quality of CPR techniques they’re providing.
Double Sequential Defibrillation Not Supported
“The usefulness of double sequential defibrillation for refractory shockable rhythm has not been established.”
This entirely new guideline seeks to address some preliminary case reports that show good outcomes for the use of double sequential defibrillation. These optimistic interpretations of the case reports didn’t have enough evidence to support the recommendation for double sequential defibrillation, and the 2023 CPR guidelines recommend against routine use.
2023 CPR Guidelines vs. CPR Requirements
When it comes to CPR certifications and the 2023 CPR guidelines, it’s important to understand the difference between guidelines and the requirements.
CPR guidelines are established by ILCOR, an international group that meets every five years to review the most up-to-date scientific data on how to effectively provide CPR in a way that increases survival rates. The AHA is then tasked with relaying this information to the U.S., so that organizations can structure their training around the most current guidelines.
CPR requirements, on the other hand, vary greatly by profession and state. For example, teaching is fairly standardized across the nation, with clearly identified educational training; however, the CPR certifications for teachers can vary greatly. Some states leave the decision to require CPR certification, as well as other training, up to the individual school districts.
This is a great example of why researching your specific training needs is a great idea when researching current 2023 CPR guidelines and CPR requirements.
What Are the Main Influences for CPR Requirements?
Once you’ve identified that the training you are considering taking follows the best practice guidelines set by ILCOR and published by the AHA, what are the determining factors behind why you should take one course or training versus another course? Your CPR requirements are set by a variety of different organizations depending on your profession.
Your employer is likely the first stop in considering if the course you are registering for will fulfill your CPR requirements at work. Some employers may direct you toward a preferred company or one that has already been vetted by your HR department so that they know it’s a quality program.
Additionally, your employer may require more specific training based on your role in the organization. For example, an elementary school teacher may need training and certifications that are geared toward younger populations. A construction worker, on the other hand, may need training that includes emergency first aid.
If you’re a licensed professional, you’re already aware that your role has oversight in how your profession is conducted, but some licensing boards extend that guidance to require CPR training and certification.
For example, the State of Texas mandates that licensed EMS in the state have a Healthcare Provider level CPR/BLS (Basic Life Support) certification. This is a generally nationally required certification; however, most states include additional training and certifications such as AED and continuing education requirements, as well.
Before registering for any CPR or additional training, check in with your licensing board for their current guidelines and requirements for training.
State or National Governing Board
Finally, once you’ve taken into account your employer’s requirements and the requirements from your licensing board, there’s one other common board that influences your training requirements. State or national governing boards are organizations that certify or oversee various professions, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
These boards are established to maintain a consistent standard of best practices when it comes to safety and ensuring quality policies and procedures are in place. In following these guiding principles, organizations like OSHA simply require CPR training to follow the established and current CPR guidelines set by ILCOR.
At the end of the day, if you’re assessing a course for yourself or your organization, you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of the 2023 CPR guidelines and other requirements set by your own profession’s state or national governing board.
What Courses Should I Consider for My Profession?
Meeting your employer’s CPR requirements is crucial for your job, and taking a CPR course that meets the 2023 CPR guidelines is the best way to stay prepared. There are various CPR courses available that can help you meet your employer’s requirements.
Health Care Professions
If you work in health care, you’re familiar with the value that being CPR trained and certified adds in an emergency situation. Saving lives is the focus of your profession, but what other courses can add value to you and your organization?
BLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) are two common requirements from most healthcare providers. ProTrainings provides both courses online, so you can work at your own pace to fulfill your job training requirements or even bring added value to your resume if you’re on the job hunt.
Working With Children
Most organizations that have routine contact with children will require that at least one person on site be CPR certified. While this requirement varies greatly, we’re advocates for everyone who works with children having a basic understanding of the 2023 CPR guidelines for children and infants.
When considering a CPR course, you want to make sure that your CPR course specifically focuses on performing CPR on children and infants because, naturally, some of the guidance and techniques are different than those that should be used to resuscitate an adult.
Finding an Organization That Meets 2023 CPR Guidelines
There are many considerations when researching appropriate training and certifications for your unique needs. Assuring that the training you’ve selected follows the current 2023 CPR guidelines is a great first consideration, as well as that it will meet your CPR training requirements.
At ProTrainings, we strive to provide the highest quality, most up-to-date training to our students. We pride ourselves on our 99% employer acceptance rate across the country and the flexibility of our online and blended training methods that both meet the 2023 CPR guidelines and enable people of all lifestyles to prioritize learning a life-saving skill.
Contact us today to learn more about 2023 CPR guidelines and how ProTrainings can help you make getting your CPR certification easier and more efficient.