Advanced cardiac life support: Update on recent guidelines and a look at the future

K. J. Tucker, J. L. Larson, A. Idris, A. B. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The objectives of this article are to provide an update of the American Heart Association (AHA) 1992 National Conference guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency cardiac care and to review the investigation and development of new methods of CPR which may be considered in future recommendations. Despite an organized approach to sudden cardiac arrest, survival in patients receiving CPR is in the range of 5–15%. The new AHA guidelines recommend standard manual CPR performed at a rate of 80–100 compressions/min and organized algorithms of advanced cardiac life support. These guidelines stress widespread community training and rapid response in the following sequence: (1) recognition of early warning signs, (2) activation of the emergency medical system (EMS), (3) basic CPR, (4) early defibrillation, (5) intubation, and (6) intravenous medication. Several new recommendations pertain specifically to in‐hospital care and are, therefore, particularly relevant to physician management of cardiac arrest. The best predictor of survival in patients requiring circulatory support after cardiac arrest is attainable coronary and cerebral perfusion. Unfortunately, the minimal levels of end‐organ perfusion required to sustain life are often difficult or impossible to achieve with standard manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation and several new techniques have therefore been introduced. The most promising of these techniques are (1) interposed abdominal compression, (2) pneumatic vest, and (3) active compression‐decompression resuscitation. Each of these techniques offers unique advantages when compared with standard manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The 1992 National Conference recommendations provide a rational framework for the resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims. New methods of cardiopulmonary resuscitation are now available and investigation into these methods continues. In the future, these modalities may be incorporated in newer guidelines and be available on a widespread basis to supplement our current approach to cardiac arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • cardiac arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • circulatory support
  • paramedics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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