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In a earlier summary of the 2010 ACLS guidelines, Dr. Demian Szyld succinctly highlighted changes from previous guidelines.
There are 2 flowcharts (above) that the AHA provides. They are conceptually complete, but I had a hard time implementing the steps in real-time.
So, I created my own. Thanks to Dan, who commented in my chat box that I should make an ACLS card.
Update 3/30/12: A reader (@drtompalfi) mentioned adding two other causes for potentially "reversible causes":
- 2 minutes of continuous, uninterrupted CPR is key before rechecking the rhythm.
- Think about giving epinephrine every OTHER time you check the rhythm. This puts it at roughly a q4 minute dosing (recommended q3-5 minutes).
- Don't delay CPR when you recognize a cardiac arrest. That means do this first, and then work on giving oxygen, placing the patient on various monitors, setting up the defibrillator, and establishing IV/IO access. Hence, the C-A-B mnemonic (Circulation before Airway)
- Chest compressions should be "hard and fast" -- Depth of at least 2 inches and ≥ 100 compressions with a target pCO2 on the end-tidal capnography of ≥10 mm Hg.
- Use your mobile phone's timer to help alert you every time when 2 minutes is up.
Neumar RW, Otto CW, Link MS, et al. Part 8: adult advanced cardiovascular life support: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Circulation. 2010 Nov 2;122(18 Suppl 3):S729-67. Review. Erratum in: Circulation. 2011 Feb 15;123(6):e236. Pubmed