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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Extended ETA

    Default New AHA guidelines vs. Patient Assmt skill sheet

    With the new AHA CPR standards now teaching CAB instead of ABC, how are we going to address the fact that we continue to teach new EMT students to look for ABC's in the Initial Assesment section of the Patient Assesment skills?

    I asked this question of senior state EMS reps this past weekend, and was told that CPR refers to a pt that is clinically dead and obviously unconscious, and that the trauma pt assesement station implies that the pt is conscious. When I pressed the issue that by telling our students that we do it one way and then another way will be guarenting confusion, the conversation took on a whole new direction and the was ultiamtely never definitivley answered.

    So, to my EMS brethren, let me ask this - and paticularly to the I/C's here on the would you explain that answer to a student when they ask "why CAB in CPR but ABC in Pt Assesment?"

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: New AHA guidelines vs. Patient Assmt skill sheet

    In the new AHA guidelines, assessment of mental status and the ABCs remains the same as before. What does change, is the order in which you physically treat the patient.

    The old guidelines were basically ABC, then treat ABC. We opened the airway first, then ventilated and finally CPR.

    Now we still do ABC to check for the occurrence of a cardiac arrest, and then we treat by essentially working the ABCs in reverse. We do compressions, then ventilate, and finally control the airway with an adjunct or advanced airway.

    Regardless of what you think you walked into, you still need to perform a proper assessment of the patient prior to jumping to conclusions.

    The thing about AHA/Red Cross and CPR in general, is for the most part, they base things on untested theories. What we do know for a fact, is that manually pumping oxygenated blood through the body to perfuse vital organs and immediate electrical therapy to correct lethal dysrhythmias is without a doubt an effective means of bringing a patient back to life. All the other toys in our bag of tricks has not been proven to increase survival rates in a clinical setting.

    The guidelines for CPR change every few years because it is basically a guessing game. We keep trying different things until one day we find the magic combination that keeps the grim reaper away.
    Fail to plan, plan to fail.

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