ERC 2010 guidelines for adult and pediatric resuscitation: summary of major changes

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The new European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) published on October 18th, 2010, replace those published in 2005 and are based on the latest International Consensus on CPR Science with Treatment Recommendations (CoSTR). For both adult and pediatric resuscitation, the most important general changes include: the introduction of chest compression-only CPR in primary cardiac arrest as an option for rescuers who are unable or unwilling to perform expired-air ventilation; increased emphasis on uninterrupted, good-quality CPR and minimisation of both pre- and post-shock pauses during defibrillation. For adult resuscitation, the recommended chest compression depth and rate are 5-6 cm and 100-120 compressions per minute, respectively. Both a specific period of CPR before defibrillation during out-of-hospital resuscitation and use of endotracheal route for drug delivery during advanced life support are no longer recommended. During postresuscitation care, inspired oxygen should be titrated to obtain an arterial oxygen saturation of 94-98%, to avoid possible damage from hyperoxemia. In pediatric resuscitation, the role of pulse palpation for the diagnosis of cardiac arrest has been de-emphasised. The compression-to-ventilation ratio depends on the number of rescuers available, and a 30:2 ratio is acceptable even for rescuers with a duty to respond if they are alone. Chest compression depth should be at least 1/3 of the anterior-posterior chest diameter. The use of automated external defibrillators for children under one year of age should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Adult
  • Guidelines
  • Heart Arrest
  • Pediatric
  • Resuscitation


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