Arrhythmias are a significant health burden in Australia, responsible for about 1% of deaths annually. The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) ‘Guideline 11.9 Managing Acute Dysrhythmias’ was designed to guide doctors, paramedics and nurses in the emergency management of arrhythmias. It is important to have high quality clinical practice guidelines to aid the treatment of these arrhythmias. The AGREE II tool utilised is widely used to asses clinical practice guidelines for quality. The objective of this study was to assess the quality of the ARC clinical practice guideline ‘Guideline 11.9 Managing Acute Dysrhythmias’.
Two raters assessed the six domains of quality of the ARC arrhythmia guideline using the AGREE II tool. The inter-rater agreement between the raters was measured with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 2, 1).
Inter-rater agreement was good at 0.73 (95% CI 0.45 to 0.88). Both raters assigned the ARC guideline 11.9 Managing Acute Dysrhythmias a score of three, for a combined score of three out of a possible seven on the AGREE II rating scale.
The use of the ARC guideline 11.9 Managing Acute Dysrhythmias is not recommended based on this assessment with the AGREE II tool. Emergency departments and prehospital systems should consider not using this arrhythmia guideline to guide their practice, but to look elsewhere for a higher quality guideline.
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