That’s the advice from the Australian Resuscitation Council. The voluntary co-ordinating body represents all major groups involved in the teaching and practice of resuscitation. Sponsored by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, they are an excellent reference source when it comes to techniques and terminology.
The Australian Resuscitation Council produces guidelines to assist in fostering uniformity and simplicity. The guidelines are produced after consideration of all available scientific and published material and are only issued after acceptance by all member organisations. Safe to say, their advice can be trusted.
The development of easy to operate AEDs has led to defibrillation being included in basic life support and resuscitation teaching. AEDs can accurately identify the cardiac rhythm as “shockable” or “non-shockable” and provide verbal and visual prompts of the next steps (e.g.. shock advised or no shock advised, and continue with CPR).
With cardiac arrest, time to defibrillation is a key factor that influences a person’s chance of survival. A defibrillator should be applied to the person who is unresponsive and not breathing normally as soon as it becomes available so that a shock can be delivered if necessary.
Read the ANZCOR guidelines for use of AEDs in basic life support here.
COVID-19 and sudden cardiac arrest
But what about resuscitation in the midst of a pandemic? How has COVID-19 affected best practice? The ARC has updated its instructions for this new era, with compression only CPR and rescuer safety noted.
You’ll find the new flowchart here.