AHA updates CPR guidelines

The American Heart Association (AHA) released new guidelines for CPR that are specific to adult, pediatric, and neonatal resuscitation. The guidelines include 491 recommendations, with important updates on what to do in opioid-related emergencies and new standards for CPR in children, among others.

Following are key guideline updates that incorporate new algorithms and graphics:

-Two new opioid-associated emer­gency algorithms for lay rescuers and trained responders address the increase in respiratory and cardiac arrests due to opioid overdoses.

-The recommendation for pediatric CPR is one breath every 2 to 3 sec­onds (20–30 breaths/min). AHA said the causes of cardiac arrest in infants and children differ from those of cardiac arrest in adults, and a growing body of pediatric-specific evidence supports these recommen­dations. Prior recommendations for children were based on information extrapolated from adult data.

-The new algorithm and updated recommendations on resuscitation during pregnancy focus on the best outcomes for both mother and baby. The new recommendations state that airway management should be prioritized during resuscitation from cardiac arrest in pregnancy because pregnant patients are more prone to hypoxia.

AHA also encourages early initia­tion of CPR by laypersons for pre­sumed cardiac arrest because the risk of harm to the patient is low if the patient is not in cardiac arrest.

Roughly 40% of nonhospitalized adults in cardiac arrest receive layper­son-initiated CPR before the arrival of emergency medical services.

In addition, the guidelines address disparities for layperson-rescuer CPR. “Bystander CPR training should target specific socioeconomic, racial, and eth­nic populations who have historically exhibited lower rates of bystander CPR,” said AHA. “CPR training should address gender-related barriers to improve bystander CPR rates for women.”

AHA has a specific page where health professionals can find training options.

For the full article, please visit www.pharmacytoday.org for the January 2021 issue of Pharmacy Today.