2015 Resuscitation Council Guidelines Published

2015 Resuscitation Council Guidelines Published

The 2015 European Resuscitation Council (ERC) Guidelines were released yesterday, October 15th 2015.  In the first aid industry these are always long awaited as they directly influence our training and practice for resuscitation techniques. It’s a big day in the calendar for us every 5 years. Candidates are always worried when the guideline change, the good news this time round is there are NO MAJOR CHANGES TO THE RESUSCITATION GUIDELINES.

In layperson’s terms; the ERC sits with the American Heart Association, and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, and analyse the science and data associated with resuscitation of casualties.  Their recommendations following that are then what we as first aid trainers, teach our students.

In October 2010, there weren’t any significant changes to techniques or protocols, and many in the industry suspected that there might be some this time around.  However, the headline news is that no major changes to CPR protocols have been recommended, and we can carry on as we were.

AED trainingThe ERC Guidelines 2015 do highlight “the critical importance of the interactions between the emergency medical dispatcher, the bystander who provides CPR and the timely deployment of an AED. An effective, co-ordinated community response that draws these elements together is key to improving survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.”  The emphasis on and high quality chest compressions, combined with rescue breaths at a ration of 30 – 2 remains essential in improving outcomes for casualties.   

Reading into the detail a little further reveals that there is a much greater emphasis on Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use in the CPR treatment protocols.  AEDs are considered essential in the treatment of CPR, with statistics showing that defibrillation within 3 – 5 minutes of collapse, can produce survival rates of as high as 50-70%.

There is a slight change to the protocol for a drowning casualty, which we will be implementing in our training over the coming weeks.  And a new protocol has been developed for treatment of casualties who have been caught in an avalanche, both of which will be of interest to students on our Outdoor First Aid courses.