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Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with unsuccessful cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the third leading cause of death in industrialised nations. Up to 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are witnessed by family members, friends and other bystanders. A greater percentage of cardiac arrests in infants are likely to involve first responders who are the child’s family members or other close caregivers. There is considerable rescuer variation in compression treatment styles, as shown in figure 1.1 When compared with adults, relatively few CPR data exist regarding treatment of children during cardiac arrest. As a result, internationally agreed CPR guidelines have been developed with data often extrapolated from adults or animal studies.2
Evidence suggests people feel unprepared for resuscitation of young children, babies and infants. Outcomes of infant CPR remain poor. This is partially due to the aetiology of the arrest, with hypoxia being much more common than primary arrhythmia. However, poor-quality chest compressions probably contribute to low return of spontaneous circulation rates. Training in CPR is believed to enhance real-life performance. Much effort is being expended to ‘upskill’ the general public in CPR, facilitating both competence and confidence. These include global initiatives such as the ‘World Restart a Heart Day’ and ‘Kids …
Contributors Both authors have contributed to the preparation of this editorial.
Funding The authors are supported by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and University College London. RKG is funded by awards from the British Heart Foundation (NH/15/1/31543) and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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