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An editorial in the BMJ (2008;336:782–3) summarises recent developments in the debate regarding “compression only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the prehospital environment. Arguments in favour of moving to compression only CPR include it being easier to learn and perform as well as being more aesthetically acceptable. On the basis that by encouraging bystanders to at least perform chest compressions the chance of survival is likely to be enhanced, the American Heart Association has published a statement which received considerable press attention (Circulation 2008; Mar 31 Epub ahead of print). The issue is certain to be a central focus when current resuscitation guidelines are next reviewed and revised.


A recent review of health emergencies on aeroplanes caught Sophia’s attention. As prehospital environments go, aeroplanes are not easy places to provide emergency care. The statement that “most doctors will encounter a medical emergency once or twice in a lifetime of travelling to and from holidays and medical conferences” should focus the attention of readers who fly frequently (BMJ 2008; …

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