1: Executive Summaries

    Key Words:
  • cardiac arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • emergency
  • resuscitation
PDF Accessible Version


The American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care and First Aid form a living document.

This Web Version of the Guidelines contains the most recent recommendations and essential supporting text. The detail of the Guidelines, along with the evidence evaluation, all of the references, and who performed the reviews and their conflict of interest disclosures are contained in the published Guidelines and Focused Updates, available here: (2010 CPR Guidelines), (2015 CPR Guidelines), (2017 Adult BLS Update), (2017 Pediatric BLS Update), (2018 ACLS Update), (2018 PALS Update), (2019 Systems of Care Update), (2019 ACLS Update), (2019 PBLS Update), (2019 PALS Update), (2019 Neonatal Update).

Most topics/questions were last reviewed in 2015. Where there have been significant new studies published since 2015, the data were re-evaluated and the Guidelines were updated by Focused Updates in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Some topics/ questions were last updated in 2010 because the data published since 2010 has been insufficient to warrant a new review. The next full review and update of the Guidelines is scheduled for 2020.

The recommendations contained in these Guidelines were developed by the AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care resuscitation experts, using an international scientific evidence evaluation process under the auspices of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR). ILCOR is made up of the AHA along with the other national resuscitation organizations from around the globe (European Resuscitation Council, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Australia and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation, the Resuscitation Council of South Africa, InterAmerican Heart Foundation and Resuscitation Council of Asia).

Recommendations are added or changed based on a detailed and systematic review of accumulated evidence, using a stringent process, which is described in the published Guidelines and in Part 2 of this Web Guidelines. If you wish to understand the review process and the changes which have occurred with each review, you will need to view the relevant section of each of the 2010 and 2015 Guidelines.

You will notice that the Class of Recommendation (Class) and Level of Evidence (LOE) citations differ, depending on the year of most recent review. This is because the method used to describe the Class/LOE was been improved and updated between the 2010 and 2015 Guidelines. Each recommendation has a Class/LOE and a link explaining what the classification means.


The American Heart Association requests that this document be cited as follows:

American Heart Association. Web-based Integrated Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care – Part 1: Executive Summary. ECCguidelines.heart.org.

© Copyright 2015, 2017, 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.


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1: Executive Summaries