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Highlights from the literature
  1. Jonathan Wyatt

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Prehospital cardiac arrests

The concept of the chain of survival following cardiac arrest is well established. Unfortunately, in many cases of out of hospital arrest, one of the key elements of the chain, namely early access to defibrillation, is not always available. An article in the BMJ (2013;347:26) calls for statutory provision of automated external defibrillators in public places, combined with improved training of the general public in basic life support.

Sedation controversy

The issue of whether or not non-anaesthetists can safely provide sedation continues to receive attention. Writing in an editorial in the British Journal of Anaesthesia (2013;111:136–8), two anaesthetists summarise the concerns which have been generated following a large body of research which has been published in this area. Given the background of the authors, it is perhaps natural that they might be sceptical as to whether non-anaesthetists should be taking on this role. Most of the examples and arguments that they use relate to gastroenterologists undertaking endoscopic procedures—it is not clear what views they hold on emergency practitioners performing …

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