ORLANDO, Fla. — The American Heart Association no longer recommends performing mouth-to-mouth while doing CPR to save a life.

What You Need To Know

  • The American Heart Association issued new CPR guidelines due to the COVID pandemic

  • The AHA no longer suggests people give mouth-to-mouth breaths 

  • Only chest compressions should be performed instead, the group said

  • The AHA recommends wearing face masks, such as an N95 mask, when doing so 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the association now advises first responders and bystanders alike to do CPR while wearing a face covering such as an N95 mask.

Additionally, new recommendations suggest doing chest compressions alone is the safest method of resuscitation going forward.

Registered nurse Sam Stewart, who teaches CPR classes weekly for All Care Health Services in Orlando, says there’s usually still enough oxygen in a person’s system to circulate by performing the compressions. Stewart calls that the most important part of CPR.

She said she believes the new recommendations will actually cause more bystanders to help in emergencies and possibly feel less intimidated.

“That’s the thing, if we simplify it and we’re keeping everybody safe, we’re definitely more apt to have someone going in and wanting to help if they know it’s simple now, all you have to do is push hard and fast on that chest,” Stewart said.