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Cardiac arrest 

Cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest

Jasmeet Soar

, Jerry P. Nolan

, and David A. Gabbott


July 30, 2015: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Technique of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)—modified recommendation for chest compressions.

Airway and ventilation—waveform capnography should be used to confirm correct placement of a tracheal tube and also provides an indication of the quality of CPR.

Treatment of shockable rhythms and of asystole—algorithms updated.

Monitored and witnessed VF/VT cardiac arrest should be treated with defibrillation attempts before chest compressions are commenced in some situations.

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date: 19 September 2021

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest, which causes over 60% of adult coronary heart disease deaths. In Europe, the annual incidence of out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrests treated by emergency medical systems is 38 per 100 000.

Survival from cardiac arrest depends on a sequence of interventions—the Chain of Survival—comprising (1) early recognition and call for help, (2) early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), (3) early defibrillation, and (4) postresuscitation care. The division between basic life support and advanced life support (ALS) is arbitrary—the resuscitation process is a continuum....

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