New Resuscitation Guidelines 2015

First Aid

The new Resuscitation Guidelines 2015 were released on the 15th October 2015.  As I suspected the basics haven’t changed but there has been some further fine tuning and slight changes in terminology.

AED (Defibrillator) added to Basic Life Support algorithm

I am pleased to see that the use of an AED has been added to the Basic Life Support algorithm.  I teach AED use on all my First Aid courses and I encourage my learners to have AED training even if they don’t have one on the premises.  The guidelines say to send someone to find the nearest available AED; something that the ambulance dispatcher should be able to advise on.  However, if you’re on your own don’t leave the casualty to find one.

It is also recommended that all AEDs in the community are registered with your local ambulance service.  If, like me, you’re in the East Midlands area you can register your device here.

A casualty may fit when they have a cardiac arrest

There has also been an emphasis on recognising that a casualty may appear to have a seizure when they first have a cardiac arrest; this is due to the lack of oxygen to the brain.  We are therefore asked to ensure that someone who is fitting or who has fitted is breathing normally.

Giving rescue breaths should take no longer than 10 seconds

Each rescue breath should be given over 1 second but the total interruption to compressions should be no longer than 10 seconds.

Rescue breaths are still a key part of Basic Life Support as the evidence did not support removing them from the algorithm, therefore, if trained and able give rescue breaths.  However, if unable to give breaths we can give compression only CPR.

Stopping CPR

Unless absolutely certain that the casualty has recovered then continue CPR until emergency services arrive and instruct you to stop.

Guidance on compressing the chest of an infant or child

The term used to indicate how far to depress the chest of a child or infant has previously been ‘to compress the chest by at least one third’ this has been expanded and it is now recommended to compress the chest of an infant by 4 cm and the chest of a child by 5 cm.  I think this is to ensure that the compressions are deep enough as people fear doing harm.

All school aged children should learn CPR and how to use an AED

The Resuscitation Council has recommended that all school children should learn CPR and the use of an AED.  Also that everyone who is able to carry out CPR should learn CPR and I hope this will encourage schools to arrange training for their students.

If you have any questions please comment below or you can read them in full on the Resuscitation Council website.

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