In preparation for the 2018 ACLS/PALS/NRP/CPR Guidelines (maybe 2017) the AHA (American Heart Association) and ILCOR (the International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation) are reviewing the questions they ask to examine the evidence, or the lack of evidence, on various interventions addressed by the guidelines for the:
First Aid Task Force (Public comment on PICO prioritization has recently closed. PICO categorization public comment period was open from October 10 to 24, 2016)
Advanced Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)
Basic Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)
Pediatric Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)
Education, Implementation and Teams Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 21st, 2017!)
Neonatal Life Support Task Force (Public comment on PICO categorization is NOW OPEN until 12:00 AM CST on February 22nd, 2017!)
Some questions are obvious and will be continued, such as 428. This is the review of antiarrhythmic drugs for cardiac arrest. Recent research shows no benefit to patients from amiodarone, or lidocaine.
What do the 2015 ACLS Guidelines recommend?
Amiodarone may be considered for VF/pVT that is unresponsive to CPR, defibrillation, and a vasopressor therapy (Class IIb, LOE B-R).
Lidocaine may be considered as an alternative to amiodarone for VF/pVT that is unresponsive to CPR, defibrillation, and vasopressor therapy (Class IIb, LOE C-LD).
Outside of controlled trials that are large enough to provide useful answers, amiodarone and lidocaine have no place in the treatment of cardiac arrest.
Much less obvious is 808, the suggestion that we should ventilate patients in the absence of evidence of benefit from ventilation – at least there is no evidence of benefit for the patient. Hands-only CPR seems to annoy doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, . . . .
Why are we still ventilating adult cardiac arrest patients with cardiac causes of their cardiac arrest in the absence of evidence of safety and in the absence of evidence of benefit?
Why is there any question about 788? Results from Paramedic2 should be available next year. Is epinephrine in cardiac arrest better than a placebo?
This is the first time we will have valid evidence to start to decide what to do with a treatment we have been using for over half a century based on the weakest of evidence. Paramedic2 is unlikely to answer many questions, such as which cardiac arrest patients should receive epinephrine and which should not, but it will be a start.
Then there is 464 – Drugs for monomorphic wide complex tachycardia. Considering the recent publication of PROCAMIO and the absence of discussion of tachycardia and bradycardia in the 2015 Guidelines, it is bizarre that this is among the questions recommended for elimination. Since there was no recommendation on treatment of ventricular tachycardia in the 2015 ACLS Guidelines, the recommendation from 2010 continues unchanged.
What did PROCAMIO show? If we give a high enough dose of amiodarone to actually try to treat the arrhythmia, major adverse cardiac events are more common than any benefit.
Are we using amiodarone just to make stable ventricular tachycardia unstable?
Procainamide is safer and more effective.
Cardioversion is safer and more effective.
Adenosine is safer and probably more effective.
Doing nothing is safer and only slightly less effective.
What about blood-letting for stable ventricular tachycardia?
Blood-letting is probably safer and maybe just as effective as amiodarone.
 ILCOR Continuous Evidence Evaluation
AHA (American Heart Association) and ILCOR (the International Liaison Committee On Resuscitation)
ILCOR 2016-2017 PICO categorization and prioritization public comment page
 Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.
Kudenchuk PJ, Brown SP, Daya M, Rea T, Nichol G, Morrison LJ, Leroux B, Vaillancourt C, Wittwer L, Callaway CW, Christenson J, Egan D, Ornato JP, Weisfeldt ML, Stiell IG, Idris AH, Aufderheide TP, Dunford JV, Colella MR, Vilke GM, Brienza AM, Desvigne-Nickens P, Gray PC, Gray R, Seals N, Straight R, Dorian P; Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators..
N Engl J Med. 2016 May 5;374(18):1711-22. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514204.
 2015 Recommendations—Updated
Part 7: Adult Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
 Randomized comparison of intravenous procainamide vs. intravenous amiodarone for the acute treatment of tolerated wide QRS tachycardia: the PROCAMIO study.
Ortiz M, Martín A, Arribas F, Coll-Vinent B, Del Arco C, Peinado R, Almendral J; PROCAMIO Study Investigators.
Eur Heart J. 2016 Jun 28. pii: ehw230. [Epub ahead of print]
The primary outcome, major adverse cardiac events within 40 minutes of infusion initiation, for procainamide vs. amiodarone, was 9% vs. 41%, p = 0.006. Severe hypotension or symptoms requiring immediate direct current cardioversion (DCCV) occurred in 6.3% vs. 31.0%. Results were similar in patients with structural heart disease (n = 49).
Physicians observed of old, and continued to observe for many centuries, the following facts concerning blood-letting.
1. It gave relief to pain. . . . .
2. It diminished swelling. . . . .
3. It diminished local redness or congestion. . . . .
4. For a short time after bleeding, either local or general, abnormal heat was sensibly diminished.
5. After bleeding, spasms ceased, . . . .
6. If the blood could be made to run, patients were roused up suddenly from the apparent death of coma. (This was puzzling to those who regarded spasm and paralysis as opposite states; but it showed the catholic applicability of the remedy.)
7. Natural (wrongly termed ” accidental”) hacmorrhages were observed sometimes to end disease. . . . .
8. . . . venesection would cause hamorrhages to cease.