the emphasis on team


As the pre hospital ALS world digests the recent release of the 2015 CPR consensus statements many are pouring over the documents looking for the ‘big impact’ statements. The changes in rate, rhythm or depth? How much and when is what the majority want to know? How many joules, drugs or devices’ should I be using? But it’s the more astute eye that’s going to pick up on a few recommendations that are potentially changing the way we manage a cardiac arrest in the future.

In a small, lonely box at the top of the page for the UK resus council’s cardiac arrest algorithm is the recommendation “call the resuscitation team”.  It’s a short printed statement that has always been there, calling attention to the fact that a cardiac arrest team can bring something to this emergency [1]. Does your system have a support system?

In the European Resus Councils guidelines a single paragraph refers to training in non-technical skills like team leadership and team member roles[2]. Does your support system bring something valuable to the cardiac arrest?

What has all this got to do with resuscitation I hear you cry? I’m a team player. Ok . .  you’re probably not really asking that, but already have an understanding of the team approach needed during any resuscitation. But let me ask how often have you heard the emphasis being placed on the non-technical skills of a resus, rather than the compression to ventilation ratio at your last ALS update? If a cardiac arrest is like a boat race, then we need all the team members pulling on the oars in unison. So if you are studying these new guidelines, looking for the big changes, don’t forget the small things like a good team approach.




[1] Resuscitation Council (UK) Adult advanced life support algorithm 2015. London

[2] European Resuscitation Council. Summary of the main changes in the Resuscitation Guidelines 2015:8


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