2020 American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC)

The 2020 Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) are a comprehensive revision of the AHA’s guidelines for adult, pediatric, neonatal, resuscitation education science, and systems of care topics. They have been developed for resuscitation providers and AHA instructors to focus on the resuscitation science and guidelines recommendations that are most significant or controversial, or those that will result in changes in resuscitation training and practice, and to provide the rationale for the recommendations.

Highlights 

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Hands-Only CPR

If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, hands-only CPR is the recommended form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It not only increases the likelihood of surviving breathing and cardiac emergencies that occur outside of medical settings, but it’s simple to learn and easy to remember. For a refresher any time, you can print up this page and keep it with the rest of your first-aid supplies.

Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids

Most acutely ill and injured children are managed within emergency departments that are not part of a children’s hospital. Difficulties in getting the right resources and training have been cited as barriers to providing the best possible care in these settings. This has resulted in variable levels of emergency care for children. TREKK is a knowledge mobilization network established to address these critical knowledge gaps and improve emergency care for children. 

2018 AHA PALS Update – Nothing New


The optimal sequence of PALS interventions, including administration of antiarrhythmic drugs during resuscitation, and the preferred manner and timing of drug administration in relation to shock delivery are still not known. One study reported a statistically significant improvement in return of spontaneous circulation when lidocaine administration was compared with amiodarone for pediatric ventricular fibrillation/pulseless ventricular tachycardia cardiac arrest. However, no difference in survival to hospital discharge was observed among patients who received amiodarone, lidocaine, or no antiarrhythmic medication.

Normal (Abnormal) Saline vs. Ringer’s Lactate

The choice of crystalloid fluid for volume resuscitation is debated often. With rising concern about the effect of hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis associated with normal saline, clinicians more commonly are opting for balanced crystalloids, such as lactated Ringer’s solution or Plasma-Lyte. 

American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR & Emergency Cardiovascular Care 2017

 

These highlights summarize the key issues and changes in the adult and pediatric basic life support (BLS) 2017 focused updates to the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC).