Dismal survival statistics associated with sudden cardiac arrest have led to the development of new strategies and mechanical devices aimed at improving the quality of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The most recent American Heart Association guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care were published in 2005. Major changes included revisions to current practices related to airway and ventilation, circulation, and defibrillation management. Greater emphasis is placed on providing simple, high-quality, effective CPR. New techniques and mechanical devices have been developed to augment CPR, hopefully improving survival rates and long-term outcomes. These include active compression-decompression CPR, Lund University Cardiac Assist System, LifeBelt, AutoPulse, and the impedance threshold device. This article focuses on current strategies aimed at improving survival rates for patients with sudden cardiac arrest. New techniques and mechanical devices developed to augment cardiopulmonary resuscitation will be discussed. These strategies will most likely shape future resuscitation practices.

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