2019 American Heart Association Focused Update on Pediatric Basic Life Support: An Update to the American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care

Pediatrics. 2020 Jan;145(1):e20191358. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-1358. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


This 2019 focused update to the American Heart Association pediatric basic life support guidelines follows the 2019 systematic review of the effects of dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DA-CPR) on survival of infants and children with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This systematic review and the primary studies identified were analyzed by the Pediatric Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation. It aligns with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation's continuous evidence review process, with updates published when the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation completes a literature review based on new published evidence. This update summarizes the available pediatric evidence supporting DA-CPR and provides treatment recommendations for DA-CPR for pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Four new pediatric studies were reviewed. A systematic review of this data identified the association of a significant improvement in the rates of bystander CPR and in survival 1 month after cardiac arrest with DA-CPR. The writing group recommends that emergency medical dispatch centers offer DA-CPR for presumed pediatric cardiac arrest, especially when no bystander CPR is in progress. No recommendation could be made for or against DA-CPR instructions when bystander CPR is already in progress.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation ▪; children ▪; emergency medical dispatcher ▪; heart arrest ▪; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • American Heart Association*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation* / mortality
  • Child
  • Emergency Medical Dispatcher*
  • Humans
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / mortality
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy*
  • United States