Basic life support in adult cardiac arrest

Dr John Kennedy, MBBS, FACEM, MPHTM
Dr Kennedy is a Senior Staff Specialist Emergency Physician and Director of Emergency Medicine Training at the Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW.

SUDDEN cardiac arrest affects perhaps 30,000 Australians per annum and is a scenario that strikes fear into the heart of doctors. While it is not a common event in general practice, it certainly occurs.

A 1999–2000 survey of Queensland GPs found that 14% of metropolitan GPs and one-third of rural GPs had managed a cardiac