New AHA CPR Guidelines highlight ReSS programming

ReSS_MattHerpEach year, more than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital; about 90 percent of them die. That’s often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. With survival depending on immediate CPR and other actions initiated by bystanders, the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care highlight how quick action, proper training, use of technology and coordinated efforts can increase survival from cardiac arrest.

According to the guidelines, people should continue to jump in quickly to give CPR, using breaths if they’ve been trained in CPR and employing mobile technology to speed up the rescue of cardiac arrest victims.

The guidelines were based on the latest resuscitation research, and they were reported on during the Late-Breaking Clinical Trial at the three-day Resuscitation Science Symposium. This symposium is the premier international forum for fundamental, translational, clinical and population scientists, and care providers to share discoveries and learn from others in this exciting field.

Key points from the 2015 Guidelines Update provides bystanders, dispatchers and communities with practical guidance to improve the effectiveness of their team efforts:

  • Untrained bystanders should still call 911 and provide hands-only CPR, or CPR without breaths, pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest at the rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. However, if the bystander is trained in CPR and can perform breaths, he or she should add breaths in a 30:2 compressions-to-breaths ratio.
  • Bystanders should use mobile phones to immediately call 911, placing the phones on speaker, so the dispatcher can help bystanders check for breathing, get the precise location and provide instructions for performing CPR.
  • Dispatchers should be trained to help bystanders check for breathing and recognize cardiac arrest. Dispatchers also should be aware that brief generalized seizures may be an early sign of cardiac arrest.
  • Mobile dispatch systems that notify potential rescuers of a nearby presumed cardiac arrest can improve the rate of bystander CPR and shorten the time to first chest compressions. Communities may want to consider this service to improve the chain of survival.

Attendees of the three-day Resuscitation Science Symposium gained knowledge about recent advances in cardiopulmonary arrest and traumatic injury treatment. In addition to the report on the AHA CPR Guidelines and Guidelines Instructor Conference, Institute of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau, MD, gave the Report on Cardiac Arrest, and four representatives with National Institutes of Health discussed emergency care research, the Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials Network Initiative, and the Trans-NIH K12 career development awards and T32 training grants.

Other ReSS highlights included the Young Investigator Networking Dinner, concurrent specialty sessions featuring the Women in Resuscitation Networking Meeting, the ReSS/Japanese Circulation Society Joint Session, Best of the Best Oral Abstract Presentations, and plenary, poster and oral abstract sessions.

Prior to the symposium, the American Heart Association held the 2015 Guidelines Instructor Conference. Attendees of the Instructor Conference learned what the new guidelines mean for teaching lifesaving CPR and emergency cardiovascular care from AHA science experts, volunteers and staff. They also participated in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support sessions, which were offered multiple times. A fourth educational track for instructor development and enrichment also was offered.