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Difference Between AHA and Red Cross CPR

AHA Vs Red Cross CPR

The AHA (American Heart Association) and the Red Cross (completely known as the American Red Cross or ARC) are two institutions that offer medical trainings to laypersons and medical professionals about certain basic life support procedures like the CPR. To this regard, many come to question where to go and which firm offers the most attractive certifications, most especially for those seeking to be employed.

It is said that Red Cross grasps its theory for their medical trainings from AHA itself. Thus, AHA is the institute that really does the leg work for all the necessary researches while Red Cross simply borrows the theory from them. Both seem to rely on the guidelines set by AHA last 2005. In this connection, AHA trainings were deemed to be more difficult and are inclined for those who already have basic and professional medical background. They are usually the ones who conduct trainings at accredited hospitals nonetheless.

Not to degrade the quality of superb CPR training at Red Cross, but they seem to give a much easier approach to CPR training. In the evaluation process, they only require a lesser passing percentage of about 80% per exam compared to AHA’s 84-85%. Thus, many would recommend Red Cross’ CPR training to those who don’t have much medical background yet. However, it has been noticed that Red Cross’ CPR trainings are a little more expansive than AHA’s. Their training timelines are generally longer than the other.

With regard to the actual course, AHA’s CPR training is split into three sub courses:

1. Basic Life Support (BLS) which is intended for medical professionals

2. Heartsaver AED

3. Heartsaver CPR

Red Cross also splits their training into three:

1. Professional Rescuer’s CPR, also known as CPR Pro

2. Schools and the Community’s CPR

3. Workplace CPR

One of the immediate differences that you’ll come across between the two is the length of time being certified. AHA offers a two-year certification program for all their trainings first aid, AED and all three courses in CPR while Red Cross only offers a year’s worth of certification for their last two CPR courses. Only the Professional Rescuer’s CPR is worth 2 years. On top of that, Red Cross’ CPR Pro is said to be not that recognized by medical institutions compared to AHA’s BLS training. This is one of the reasons why most health care professionals would seek out for an AHA CPR certification over Red Cross.

Nevertheless, both AHA and Red Cross are nationally recognized to lead in rendering topnotch basic medical training for either local or national degrees.

1. AHA is a said to be a more difficult CPR training than Red Cross’

2. AHA offers 2 year certification for all their CPR courses while Red Cross offers only one year certification for the courses ‘“ CPR for the Workplace, Schools and the Community except for CPR Pro that is worth 2 years.

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  1. Great post. I also did a detailed comparison of AHA vs Red Cross CPR on my blog http://www.cprcertificationonlinehq.com/difference-aha-red-cross-cpr-training-programs/ check it out!

  2. I am Red Cross Volunteer and I also work for the YMCA. Some of your facts are not correct in every Red Cross Territory so I would like to address that if I may.
    The American Red Cross does in fact offer a two year CPR/First Aid/AED Certification.
    Also our course options are in line with OSHA’s best practices for Workplace First Aid Training Program.
    Did you know that you can take a digital refresher class ANY time after that, as many times as you like, to keep your skills fresh? The American Red Cross also offers Professional Rescuer for Life Guards and other health professionals such as First Responders and BLS providers.
    I became CPR/First Aid certified by the Red Cross for the first time in 1977 while taking “ARC Babysitters Training Course” being offered at our local church. I was just 12 yrs old and those skills allowed me to be the the highest trained- in demand sitter in our neighborhood until I was 18 and moved away.
    As I said, I also work for the YMCA, all of our Y employees are CPR/AED First Aid trained by the American Red Cross as part of our hiring procedures. We must pass and maintain this as a job requirement. We don’t pass at 80%. We each score 100% before leaving that class and know our technique for single rescuers and two man CPR or we do it again and again. This isn’t a spelling test! Someone is dying and it’s up to you to activate 911 and keep their blood circulating until more help arrives.
    This might not be every instructors requirements, there are those that don’t strive for perfection every time. BUT when it comes to saving a life, there is no room for ONLY knowing only 80%!

    • D.J. Nay

      This is true TODAY what you are saying. I don’t know when that article was posted. It probably was true over 10 years ago but I have gone through certification for BLS for professionals in both organizations and I can honestly actually say that the online Red Cross program was longer and harder. Red Cross only had a 20 question test for the online portion and you needed 80%. AHA BLS for professionals was 25 questions similar to RC but you needed 84% The classroom part was much longer with the RC than the AHA. AHA instructor just doubled checked your knowledge but there was no test. I feel the AHA was good but in no ways better than RC in comparing both today.

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