New American Heart Association Guidelines & Updates for AEDs

Keith Hildebrandt

In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) released their updated guidelines for treating sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and heart attacks. The AHA reviews and updates their recommendations every five years to keep up with new medical discoveries and procedures. AED Brands has made the 2010 AHA Guidelines available for your convenience.

For our recap of the changes, see AHA 2010 Guidelines Updates for AEDs. To get a full copy of the updates from the American Heart Association, download the 2010 Guidelines for CPR and ECC.  These updates are important because you may need to update the software on your automated external defibrillator and/or make changes to your AED program’s policies and procedures. See below for the highlights.

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should begin immediately if the victim is unconscious and has stopped breathing. The “look, listen and feel” protocol has been removed and high quality CPR is now emphasized allowing for more focus on chest compressions.
  • Chest compressions, airway, breathing (C-A-B) is now the preferred CPR order, replacing the A-B-C way of the past, in order to again, put more focus on the importance of chest compressions.
  • Compression rate and compression depth have also changed.
    • At least 100 compressions per minute are now recommended.
    • Compression depth should be at least two inches.
  • People who have no CPR training are urged to use compressions only and leave the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to CPR-trained rescuers.

The following AED manufacturers have made changes to their AED software.

  • Philips HeartStart
  • Cardiac Science
  • Medtronic-Physio-Control
  • Zoll
  • Defibtech
  • HeartSine
  • Welch Allyn

If you have any of these brands, you may need an AED software upgrade. For specific models, please see our AHA 2010 Guidelines Updates for AEDs. If you have questions or if your AED brand or model is not listed, you may contact us via email, phone, or contact form for further information.

As always, AED Brands’ mission is to help save lives. We do this by carrying only the best automated external defibrillators available and by providing as much information as we can about the difference AEDs can make to a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of surviving an SCA. We want to help you implement an AED program that is both compliant and effective.


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