The 2015 European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2015 have been published and are in effect from 15th Oct 2015. These are directly adopted by UK Resuscitation Council.
Overall, there are very few changes
Response – If the casualty is unresponsive turn them onto their back, again no change here however the sentence “Shout for help” does not appear.
Airway – Same method of head tilt and chin lift and again an emphasis that Jaw thrust should not be used for lay rescuers.
Breathing – again no more than 10 seconds
What is interesting is that at this point, previous guidelines have discussed what to do if the casualty was, and was not breathing normally. The 2015 guidelines flow into just what to do if the casualty is not breathing normally.
The guidelines continue to explain that the emergency services should be contacted. They have added the point we have been teaching which is to activate the speaker on mobile phones to aid communications with the emergency services (999/112).
If an Defib/AED is available, someone should be sent to retrieve it however a lone rescuer should not leave the casualty to retrieve one; they should start CPR. The logic of this cannot be understood, if there is a defib in the building, why leave it unused.
Circulation – This links to performing compressions. Whilst the location and depth remain the same, there is emphasis on not pushing deeper than 6cm (risk of injury was greater if the chest was compressed more than 6cm). There is slightly more emphasis on allowing full recoil of the chest. The ERC guidelines explain that many “lean” on the casualty during CPR and therefore full recoil may not occur. Allowing full recoil, without removing the hands from the chest “may improve the effectiveness of CPR”.
Rescue breaths – Again the breaths are delivered over 1 second. The importance of not using forceful or rapid breaths is mentioned. In 2010 the guidelines mention two breaths should take no more than 5 seconds, however the 2015 guide mentions the time between compressions should be no more than 10 seconds, so a slightly different focus.
Use of an AED – This is a new focus. Typically the use of an AED has been a separate section in the guidelines however in 2015 they feature as a part of the protocol.
The UK guidelines are available on the UK Resuscitation Council website.
This article is based on a publication by Rob Shaloe of Qualifications Network.