New cardiac arrest guidelines: implications for paramedic practice

New UK, European and international guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were published in October 2010 (Nolan et al, 2010). These guidelines marked the 50th anniversary of modern CPR (Kouwenhoven et al, 1960). The new guidelines give greater emphasis on early bystander CPR, high quality chest compressions with minimal interruption, early effective defibrillation and good quality post cardiac arrest care for achieving neurological survival in cardiac arrest victims. Guidelines 2010 recommendations also attempt to make it easier for rescuers to achieve this in any setting. The full UK guidelines can be accessed from the Resuscitation Council (UK) website ( In this article, the authors discuss issues relating to the new guidelines that they feel are relevant for paramedic practice.

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