Why do resuscitation guidelines change?

How many times have you attended your annual resuscitation training wondering what the guidelines say this year? You may remember when the ratio was 5:1, 15:2, 30:2, different for one or two rescuers? It can be so confusing. Well, although it may feel confusing, the reality is not so. The Resuscitation Council are the professional body who publish the guidelines in the UK and they review these guidelines and therefore what we teach and use in practice, approximately every 5 years.

Their work is based on International and European scientific research and guidance and is fully accredited by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). The guidelines were last updated in October 2015 and most people wouldn’t recognise the small changes between this and the previous guidance released in 2010 for Basic Life Support. Would you believe we have been using the ratio of 30:2 for adults since 2005!

The guidance is evidence based and as research continues and we learn what can improve survival rates, the guidance changes to reflect this. It also takes in to account changes in our way of life i.e. the use of mobile phones or public access defibrillators. These updates can only mean good things for our patients so we can give them the best possible chance of survival, if they should ever need resuscitating whilst in our care.

The lengthy documents that are released to support the guidance is fascinating reading to us at ECG, but we do recognise most people don’t consider them light bedtime reading material! So let our trainers come and do the hard work for you. Our expertise means we can pick out the parts most relevant to your workplace and role and clear up the myths and confusion that can surround resuscitation guidelines in a clear and simple way for you to remember. Together, let’s keep it crystal clear, simple and get it right!

Written by Sophie McCracken Clinical Advisor ECG 9th March 2017