Basic and advanced paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation – Guidelines of the Australian and New Zealand Resuscitation Councils 2010


Dr James Tibballs, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. Fax: 61 3 9345 6239; email:


Guidelines for basic and advanced paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) have been revised by Australian and New Zealand Resuscitation Councils. Changes encourage CPR out-of-hospital and aim to improve the quality of CPR in-hospital. Features of basic CPR include: omission of abdominal thrusts for foreign body airway obstruction; commencement with chest compression followed by ventilation in a ratio of 30:2 or compression-only CPR if the rescuer is unwilling/unable to give expired-air breathing when the victim is ‘unresponsive and not breathing normally’. Use of automated external defibrillators is encouraged. Features of advanced CPR include: prevention of cardiac arrest by rapid response systems; restriction of pulse palpation to 10 s to diagnosis cardiac arrest; affirmation of 15:2 compression–ventilation ratio for children and for infants other than newly born; initial bag-mask ventilation before tracheal intubation; a single direct current shock of 4 J/kg for ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia followed by immediate resumption of CPR for 2 min without analysis of cardiac rhythm and avoidance of unnecessary interruption of continuous external cardiac compressions. Monitoring of exhaled carbon dioxide is recommended to detect non-tracheal intubation, assess quality of CPR, and to help match ventilation to reduced cardiac output. The intraosseous route is recommended if immediate intravenous access is impossible. Amiodarone is strongly favoured over lignocaine for refractory VF and adrenaline over atropine for severe bradycardia, asystole and pulseless electrical activity. Family presence at resuscitation is encouraged. Therapeutic hypothermia is acceptable after resuscitation to improve neurological outcome. Extracorporeal circulatory support for in-hospital cardiac arrest may be used in equipped centres.