Changes To Basic Life Support 2011

Summary of major changes to Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Basic Life Support guidelines effective 1st January 2011.

The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) has now published its revised resuscitation guidelines for Basic Life Support.  These changes reflect the most recent scientific evidence which was evaluated and recently published by the Australian Resuscitation Council.

The guidelines continue to emphasise the importance of commencing resuscitation and providing good quality CPR.  Resuscitation should be commenced where the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally. It is now recommended that at the commencement of resuscitation 30 chest compressions are provided before giving the initial rescue breaths. The compression / rescue breaths ratio remains at 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths.

Key Points:

  • Increase emphasis on bystander CPR as life saving intervention.
  • Compression: Rescue breathing ratio remains at 30:2
  • Steps in resuscitation are now DRS ABCD

–  Check for Danger

–  Check for Response

–  ‘S’ has been added for Send for help

–  ‘A’ directs rescuers to open the Airway

–  ‘B’ directs rescuers to check Breathing but no need to deliver rescue breaths

–  ‘C’ directs rescuers to perform 30 Compressions to patients who are unresponsive and not breathing normally, followed by 2 rescue breaths

–  ‘D’ directs rescuers to attach an AED as soon as it is available and follow prompts

  • The major change is that in the patient who is unresponsive and not breathing normally, CPR commences with chest compressions rather than rescue breaths.
  • If unwilling / unable to perform rescue breathing, then perform compression only CPR, as any attempt at resuscitation is better than no attempt and should be encouraged.

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