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The American Red Cross Unveils Innovative New First Aid and CPR/AED Training Programs

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006

Contact: Pamela King
Phone: 202-303-5551

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, April 04, 2006 — The American Red Cross has begun instituting its newly revised training programs and materials for all first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillation (AED) and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) courses. Those looking to be trained will find simplified and flexible courses, with more stimulating teaching techniques.

One new teaching technique that the Red Cross will be using is the “practice-while-you-watch” method of instruction, which helps to make training more engaging. Participants utilizing the First Aid/CPR/AED for the Workplace and the First Aid/CPR/AED for Schools and Communities materials will learn their CPR skills while practicing along with a video. This method not only allows the classroom instructor more time to provide individual feedback, it also provides the participants a more uniform and fully engaging learning experience.

The revamped courses come after the latest review and evaluation of scientific research on injury and care. Every five years health and safety experts from around the world meet with the goal of determining if any new discoveries affect the way first aid and emergency care are delivered. The result of the research and deliberation was the “2005 International Consensus on CPR” and “ECC Treatment with Recommendations (CoSTR)” document. After analyzing the “CoSTR” document, related articles, studies and other scientific evidence, the American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid and Safety (ACFAS) - an independent panel of nationally recognized health and safety experts – along with the participation of the Red Cross Research and Product Development Team, produced the “American Red Cross 2005 Guidelines for Emergency Care and Education”. And, in a unique collaboration with the American Heart Association, the “2005 Guidelines for First Aid” was created.

Highlights of the skills changes, as a result of the new data, include: for CPR, students will now be instructed to perform cycles of 30 chest compressions and two breaths; and to aid a conscious choking victim, utilize a series of five back blows and five abdominal thrusts.

Whether recertifying skills or taking courses for the first time, students will find the new courses are equipped with the most updated and accurate science on delivering care. “The hard work the Red Cross and ACFAS have done in regards to incorporating this important new science into our training means we will continue to be the standard for health and safety in the nation,” said Scott Conner, vice president Red Cross Products and Health and Safety Services. “The goal of our approach is to make training more engaging and eliminate some of the barriers to getting people trained and certified.”

The American Red Cross encourages everyone to be trained and certified in first aid and CPR/AED. Receiving training through a certified instructor helps to ensure that you have the proper knowledge and skills to respond in the event of an emergency.

For more information on the new course offered by the Red Cross or to enroll in a training class, visit to find contact information for your local Red Cross chapter.

The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country and across the world—in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new—the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through more than 800 locally-supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some 4 million people give blood—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

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