First Aid 2015 AHA update

The ‘Top Five Changes’ Project: Let’s Not Forget Changes to First Aid

In Infographics, Knowledge Translation, Medical Concepts by Jan JensenLeave a Comment

Editor’s note: First aid was not included in the initial ‘Top 5 Changes’ infographic series. Thanks to Jan Jensen for bringing this to attention. Please enjoy the latest edition to the series on changes to first aid.

As emergency clinicians, it is important that we understand, support, and even provide leadership for first aid providers and programs. In this most recent ILCOR cycle, First Aid was added as a new Task Force, following the same structure and process as the other ILCOR areas of focus (e.g., BLS, PALS, ACS). Prior to the 2015 cycle, evidence evaluation was handled in a similar way by the International First Aid Science Advisory Board and the U.S. National First Aid Advisory Board. The goal of these groups and now the ILCOR Task Force is to reduce morbidity and mortality due to emergency events by making recommendations based on analysis of the scientific literature[1].

As such, the 2015 AHA and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada resuscitation guidelines include a First Aid chapter. We at BoringEM have developed a ‘Top Five Changes’ infogram to outline the changes to First Aid. This will give you the most interesting highlights, but obviously not the complete picture. All emergency clinicians should take a peek and review the guidelines and ILCOR publication. Whether you have any involvement in first aid or not, you should be aware of the current standards, so you know what you may expect before you arrive to your next EMS patient, your next ED patient arrives at the door, or when others ask you about what they should do.

The quantity of data published and quality of studies conducted for first aid interventions varies widely making scientific review of this care important! First aid covers the initial behaviours and care provided for an acute illness or injury and can be delivered by anyone[2]. This includes lay persons, those working in designated roles, and health care providers (yes, you!) who find themselves in an emergency outside of a workplace setting.

The Top 5 Changes to First Aid in the 2015 AHA Guidelines

Take a peek and let us know what you think.

2015 Guideline Systems of Care Update Infographic (Conflict

Download a pdf to add to your ‘Top 5 Changes’ library by clicking 2015 Guideline Systems of Care Update Infographic.



[1] Singletary EM et al. Part 15: First Aid 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid. Circulation. 2015; 132: s574-s589

[2] Singletary EM et al. Part 9: First Aid 2015 International Consensus on First Aid Science with Treatment Recommendations. Circulation. 2015; 132: s269-s311.


Jan Jensen

Jan Jensen is an Advanced Care Paramedic and Research Leader for the Emergency Health Services system in Nova Scotia. Jan has been a ground ambulance paramedic in Halifax since 2000, serving in operations and continuing education leadership positions. She has completed a Masters in Applied Health Services Research at Dalhousie University. Jan’s area of research is paramedic clinical decision making, evidence-based practice and health services research in EMS.
BoringEM has been 'bringing the boring' to emergency medicine since 2012. In 2016 this Canadian blog brought its content to CanadiEM.