Published on: November 14, 2010

CPR gets instituted less in palliative care than in other medical streams, but it might still become necessary at times.

The American Heart Association has published new guidelines (Circulation. 2010;122:S640-S656, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.970889).

The following are some of the key elements of the revised guidelines:

  • The AHA has rearranged the A-B-Cs (Airway-Breathing-Compressions) of CPR to C-A-B (Compressions-Airway-Breathing).
  • Chest compressions are therefore the first step for lay and professional rescuers to revive an individual with sudden cardiac arrest.
  • This change in CPR sequence applies to adults, children, and infants, but excludes newborns.
  • “Look, Listen and Feel” has been removed from the basic life support algorithm.
  • Rate of chest compressions should be at least 100 times a minute.
  • Rescuers should push deeper on the chest, resulting in compressions of at least 2 inches in adults and children and 1.5 inches in infants.
  • Between each compression, rescuers should avoid leaning on the chest so that it can return to the starting position.
  • Rescuers should avoid stopping chest compressions and avoid excessive ventilation.
  • Injection of atropine is no longer recommended in the treatment of asystole.

Read the full guidelines here – [PDF version]

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