New international guidelines on resuscitation

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6051 (Published 27 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6051
  1. Peter Morley, director of medical education
  1. 1Royal Melbourne Hospital Clinical School, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia 3010
  1. pmorley{at}unimelb.edu.au

Based on extensive review of the literature with important implications for practice

The most extensive review of the resuscitation literature ever attempted was published on 18 October.1 The review was performed by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation,2 and it was based on 277 specific questions about resuscitation; the answers were drawn from 411 systematic reviews.3 The newly released resuscitation guidelines of various organisations throughout the world, including those of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and the American Heart Association (AHA),4 5 are based on this information.

Annabella Bluesky/Science Photo Library

Many of the recommendations made in the 2010 ERC guidelines remain unchanged, either because no new studies have been published or because evidence since 2005 supports what was previously available. There are several new recommendations, however, that have practical implications.

Basic life support6

Chest compressions combined with rescue breaths remain the method of choice for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). However, “chest compression only” CPR is recommended if the rescuer is not trained (for example, in dispatcher assisted CPR) or is not willing to give rescue breaths. The aim is now to compress the chest to a depth of 5-6 cm (rather than 4-5 cm). This recommendation is based on several studies showing that deeper compressions were associated with improved short term outcomes. The risk of harm (such as …

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