December 20, 1985

Prehospital Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Author Affiliations

American Heart Association Branford, Conn

JAMA. 1985;254(23):3309. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360230038010

To the Editor.—  The recent article on prehospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)1 is excellent within its scope, but it is imperative to emphasize a key phrase: "The clinical data suggest that bystander CPR buys valuable time, until definitive procedures (such as defibrillation) can be applied." Basic CPR, in itself, will rarely save a life unless more advanced intervention is available.To this end, the teaching of advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) has been gaining acceptance in this country. A major impetus behind the increased support for the teaching of ACLS has been the expanded awareness that approximately 330,000 people who die each year of coronary heart disease do so in the first symptom hour.2,3 Many of these arrests may be reversible.4 Advanced cardiac life-support training encompasses a wide spectrum of advanced techniques including defibrillation, synchronized cardioversion, central line venipuncture, monitoring and recognition of dysrhythmia, adjuncts for artificial circulation, airway ventilation,