Latest American Heart Association Guidelines

Latest American Heart Association Guidelines

Every five years—2010 being the latest—the American Heart Association (AHA) releases guidelines for applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and for using an AED. Since its guidelines may affect voice prompts and procedures of the AED you choose, we provide highlights below:


What are the changes in the 2010 Guidelines?

Below is a summary of the key changes in the new AHA Guidelines. A more complete description of the 2010 Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) can be downloaded here.

Are AED manufacturers changing their AEDs to meet the 2010 Guidelines?

Some manufacturers of automated external defibrillators are releasing software updates to support the new Guidelines.

Do I need to upgrade my AED to meet the new Guidelines?

In order to meet the newest Guidelines, your AED may need a software upgrade, look for your AED model below to see if an upgrade will be needed.

Summary of Key Changes in the 2010 Guidelines
  • The “Look, listen, and feel” for breathing criteria has been removedWhen assessing a victim, a rescuer should start CPR immediately if a victim is unconscious and not breathing.
  • Emphasis on high quality CPR
    Chest compressions with proper rate and depth are emphasized, allowing for chest recoil after each compression. Excessive ventilation is avoided to help ensure minimal interruptions to compressions.
  • Change from “A-B-C” to “C-A-B”
    The newest Guidelines recommend a change from A-B-C (Airway, Breathing, Chest Compressions) to C-A-B (Chest Compressions, Airway, Breathing). This change highlights a new emphasis on chest compressions.
  • Compression Rate
    The recommended rate of compressions changed from, “approximately 100 per minute” to “at least 100 per minute.”
  • Compression Depth
    The recommended depth of CPR compressions changed from, “1 ½ inches to 2 inches” to “at least 2 inches.”
  • Hands-Only CPR
    The new Guidelines recommend “compressions only CPR” for responders who have not been trained in CPR. Trained rescuers perform rescue breaths in addition to compressions at a rate of 30:2.
AED Manufacturers 2010 Guidelines Upgrades
Philips HeartStart

AED Models: HeartStart OnSite, HeartStart HS1, HeartStart FRx, HeartStart FR2

Philips HeartStart AEDs that meet 2005 Guidelines also support the 2010 Guidelines.
The HeartStart OnSite, HS1, and FRx can be configured so that the CPR coaching supports either of the 2010 Guidelines CPR protocols – compressions only, or a 30:2 ratio of compressions and breaths. Configuration of the OnSite, HS1, and FRx AED requires HeartStart Event Event Review Software download here, and an infrared data cable.

Cardiac Science

AED Models: Powerheart G3 Plus, Powerheart G3 Pro, Powerheart AED, FirstSave AED, and the Cardiac Science Powerheart are AEDs that meet the 2005 Guidelines and also support the 2010 Guidelines.

Medtronic Physio-Control

AED Models: LIFEPAK CR Plus, LIFEPAK 500, Medtronic Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR Plus and LIFEPAK 500 are AEDs that meet the 2005 Guidelines and also support 2010 Guidelines.


AED Models: AED Plus, AED Pro

Zoll has developed software that will upgrade the AED Plus and AED Pro so that they are compliant with the 2010 Guidelines. The software enhancement is available free for any Zoll AED purchased after October 3, 2010. You can download the software by clicking here.  Zoll ZAS software and an infrared port device is required.  Optional labels can also be purchased to update the AED Plus faceplate.


AED Models: Lifeline AED, Reviver AED, View, Reviver View

Defibtech Lifeline and Reviver AEDs that meet 2005 Guidelines also support the 2010 Guidelines.
Defibtech is developing a software upgrade for the View and Reviver View AEDs to support the 2010 Guidelines. No date is given as to when this upgrade will be made available.


AED Model: samaritan PAD

Current HeartSine AEDs meet the 2010 Guideline recommendations. However, HeartSine has released a software update that provides enhancements in support of the 2010 Guidelines. The latest software revision may be downloaded and installed on PAD devices at A samaritan PAD data cable is required for the download.

Welch Allyn

AED Models: AED 10, AED 20
Welch Allyn AEDs that meet 2005 Guidelines also support 2010 Guidelines.

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