IntroductionCardiac arrest in the operating room is a rare but potentially life-threatening event with mortality rates of more than 50%. Contributing factors are often known, and the event is recognised rapidly as patients are usually under full monitoring. This guideline covers the perioperative period and is complementary to the European Resuscitation Council guidelines.Material And MethodsThe European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care and the European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery jointly nominated a panel of experts to develop guidelines for the recognition, treatment, and prevention of cardiac arrest in the perioperative period. A literature search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. All searches were restricted to publications from 1980 to 2019 inclusive and to the English, French, Italian and Spanish languages. The authors also contributed individual, independent literature searches.ResultsThis guideline contains background information and recommendation for the treatment of cardiac arrest in the operating room environment, and addresses controversial topics such as open chest cardiac massage, resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion and resuscitative thoracotomy, pericardiocentesis, needle decompression, and thoracostomy.ConclusionsSuccessful prevention and management of cardiac arrest during anaesthesia and surgery requires anticipation, early recognition, and a clear treatment plan. The ready availability of expert staff and equipment must also be taken into consideration. Success not only depends on medical knowledge, technical skills and a well-organised team using crew resource management, but also on an institutional safety culture embedded in everyday practice through continuous education, training, and multidisciplinary co-operation.
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