The 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care were just released. As promised, I am forwarding a summary of guideline changes. Most notable, there will no longer be a guideline update every 5 years but rather there will now be a continuous Web-based updated guidelines located at www.eccguidelines.heart.org.
CPR changes: More is not better. Until now push hard and push fast meant compress at >100 per min at a depth of at least 2 inches. The problem was that if you compressed at 150/min you probably didn’t push hard enough. Excessive depth of compressions can be harmful as well. The new recommendations are to compress at >100/min up to 120/min and at least 2 inches deep but no greater than 2.4 inches deep.
Healthcare Providers performing asynchronous CPR with an advanced airway should now ventilate at one breath every 6 seconds which is 10 per minute (the previous one breath every 6-8 seconds or 8-10 per minute was confusing).
Mechanical chest compression devices may be considered in situations such as in a moving ambulance however they have not been shown to be superior to rescuer performed chest compressions. Manual chest compressions remain the generally preferred method.
ACLS changes: Vasopressin was removed as an alternative to Epi. In regards to the timing of Epi, when the initial rhythm is shockable the priority is rapid defibrillation but it appears that it is reasonable to push epi when feasible (i.e after the first shock).
Lastly, although I do not know how this will translate into future card expiration dates, the Heart Association has concluded that practicing these skill every two years is not adequate.
Just wanted to share an update.
Matt Goldstein, DHSc, PA-C, NRP
Startbeat, LLC- American Heart Association Training Center