ARC – Basic Life Support update

Basic Life Support

The only change to the ANZCOR BLS guidelines in light of the release of the ILCOR
Consensus on Science and Treatment Recommendations is related to rate of chest
compressions and this has changed from “approximately 100” to “100 to 120
compressions per minute”.

ANZCOR acknowledges that compression rates will vary between and within providers and there is evidence that survival rates are optimised at compressions rates of 100-120 compressions per minute.

There is some evidence that compressions rates less than 100 or greater than 140 compressions per minute are associated with lower rates of survival.

The recommendations regarding depth of compression are unchanged however
ANZCOR does acknowledge evidence suggesting detriment with compression
depths greater than 6cm. In making the decision not to change our current
recommendations (sternum should be depressed approximately one third of the
depth of the chest with each compression.

This equates to more than 5cm in adults, approximately 5cm in children and 4 cm in infants), ANZCOR has taken the view that the clinical reality of being able to tell the difference between 5 or 6 cm and adjust compressions accordingly is questionable. Inadequate compression depth is definitely associated with poor outcomes.

ANZCOR has elected not to put an upper limit on compression depth as the risk of too shallow compressions outweighs the risk of compressions that are too deep

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