These guidelines aim to provide clear advice to healthcare professionals and members of the general public about the delivery of basic life support (BLS) to children.
Cardiorespiratory arrest occurs less frequently in children than in adults; thus, both healthcare professionals and lay people are less likely to be involved in paediatric resuscitation. It is therefore important to be familiar with the knowledge and skills required for paediatric BLS so that the best care possible can be delivered in what is often a stressful situation.
The review of these guidelines has incorporated new information from the ILCOR 2015 review of resuscitation science. They also include practical changes intended to aid training and retention of knowledge and skills required to deliver high quality BLS in children.
There is limited evidence on paediatric resuscitation as there are relatively few studies, particularly randomised controlled trials, in this area. Existing evidence derived from observational studies is of variable quality but new collaborations involving national and international registries should yield valuable data on the resuscitation of children.
What is known is that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should start as soon as possible for optimum outcome. This should start with the first person on scene, who is often a bystander (i.e. a lay rescuer).
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