The debate of whether to use CCR or CPR

CCR or CPR? An interesting debate

Currently there is a debate regarding whether first aiders should carry out Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation as advised by the UK Resuscitation Council or Cardio Cerebral Resuscitation (continuous chest compressions), advocated in the Vinnie Jones advert, as seen on television, issued by the British Heart Foundation. In years gone by, from 2006 onwards, if a First aider came across an unconscious casualty, the correct procedure was to go through a process of assessment to identify if the casualty was or wasn’t breathing. If the casualty was not breathing, the first aider would then carry out breaths and chest compressions on the unconscious casualty.

The number of resuscitation breaths was two and the number of chest compressions was thirty. Chest compressions and resuscitation combined, is known as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and more commonly known as CPR. CPR is currently the technique advised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council. The rate at which the compressions should be carried out is 100-120 compressions per minute. (Approximately 2 per second). Once CPR has been commenced, it should be continued until the emergency services arrive and take over or a defibrillator is available or the casualty recovers.

The British Heart Foundation have commissioned an advert which has been running on UK television for over 1 year where the actor and ex-footballer Vinnie Jones recommends that First aiders, if they come across a casualty who is unconscious carry out continuous chest compressions, but do not resuscitate. In Vinnies words, “you only kiss your missus on the lips”. Continuous chest compressions are known as Cardio Cerebral Compressions (CCR). The advert has raised awareness amongst the general public about what to do if you come across an unconscious casualty who is not breathing.

If you are qualified First aider and have undergone some form of structured, the advice from the UK resuscitation council is that you should carry out breaths and compressions, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). If however you have never undergone any formal first aid training, the advice is that you carry out continuous chest compressions (CCR). The reasoning behind this advice is that the first aider should have the skills to perform effective breaths, whereas a member of the public who has had no formal training may not perform effective breaths.

There are exceptions to the advice above. If you are dealing with a casualty who has drowned or a baby (0-1 year of age) it is preferable if CPR is performed.

Which of the two techniques is more successful? Well, studies indicate this depends entirely upon the particular circumstances around why the casualty is unconscious and not breathing. It would be wrong to suggest one technique is better than the other; it is down to each individual situation. More information about this will be published at a future date.

In summary, as a general guide, first aiders should carry out CPR, whilst members of the public who have had no first aid training should carry out CCR. The UK Resuscitation Council advise that all members of the public undertake some form of first aid training are held throughout the United Kingdom.

Becoming a first aider is an important step to making a real difference to the well-being of your colleagues. The One Day First Aid Course is approved by the HSE. Its full title is Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW). For more details on this course please visit our One Day Emergency First Aid Training Page.