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1.  Use of Automated External Defibrillators in Cardiac Arrest 
Executive Summary
The objectives were to identify the components of a program to deliver early defibrillation that optimizes the effectiveness of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in out-of-hospital and hospital settings, to determine whether AEDs are cost-effective, and if cost-effectiveness was determined, to advise on how they should be distributed in Ontario.
Clinical Need
Survival in people who have had a cardiac arrest is low, especially in out-of-hospital settings. With each minute delay in defibrillation from the onset of cardiac arrest, the probability of survival decreases by 10%. (1) Early defibrillation (within 8 minutes of a cardiac arrest) has been shown to improve survival outcomes in these patients. However, in out-of-hospital settings and in certain areas within a hospital, trained personnel and their equipment may not be available within 8 minutes. This implies that “first responders” should take up the responsibility of delivering shock. The first responders in out-of-hospital settings are usually bystanders, firefighters, police, and community volunteers. In hospital settings, they are usually nurses. These first responders are not trained in reading electrocardiograms and identifying abnormal heart rhythms restorable by defibrillation.
The Technology
An AED is a device that can analyze a heart rhythm and deliver a shock if needed. Thus, AEDs can be used by first responders to deliver early defibrillation in out-of-hospital and hospital settings. However, simply providing an AED would not likely improve survival outcomes. Rather, AEDs have a role in strengthening the “chain of survival,” which includes prompt activation of the 911 telephone system, early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), rapid defibrillation, and timely advanced life support.
In the chain of survival, the first step for a witness of a cardiac arrest in an out-of-hospital setting is to call 911. Second, the witness initiates CPR (if she or he is trained in CPR). If the witness cannot initiate CPR, or the first responders of the 911 system (e.g., firefighters/police) have arrived, the first responders initiate CPR. Third, the witness or first responders apply an AED to the patient. The device reads the patient’s heart rhythm and prompts for shock when indicated. Fourth, the patient is handed over to the advanced life-support team with subsequent admission to an intensive care unit in a hospital.
The use of AEDs requires developing and implementing a program at sites where the cardiac arrest rate is high, where a number of potential first responders are trained and retained, and where patients are transferred to an advanced care facility after initiating resuscitation. Obviously, placing an AED at a site where no cardiac arrests are likely to occur would be futile, as would placing an AED at a site where no one knows how to use it. Moreover, abandoning patients after initial resuscitation by not transferring them to an advanced care facility would negate all earlier efforts. Thus, it is important to identify the essential components of an AED program that might also optimize the effectiveness of AED use.
There is a large body of literature on the use of AEDs in various settings ranging from closed environments such as hospitals, airlines, and casinos to open places such as sports fields and highways. There is little doubt regarding the effectiveness and safety of AEDs to treat people in cardiac arrest. It is intuitive that these devices should be provided in hospitals in areas that are not readily accessible to the traditional responders, the “code blue team.” Similarly, it is intuitive to provide AEDs in out-of-hospital settings where the risk of cardiac arrest is high and a response plan involving trained first responders in the use of AEDs is in place.
Thus, the Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed the literature and focused on the components of an AED program in out-of-hospital settings that maximize the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program in the management of cardiac arrest. Search engines included MEDLINE, EMBASE, EconLit and Web sites of other agencies that assess health technologies. Any study that reported results of an AED program in an out-of-hospital setting was included. Studies that did not use AEDs, had a physician-assisted emergency response plan, did not have a program for the use of AEDs, or did not include cardiac arrest as an outcome were excluded.
Summary of Findings
A total of 133 articles were identified; 62 were excluded after reviewing titles and abstracts. Of the 71 articles reviewed, 8 reported findings of 2 large studies, the Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support (OPALS) study and the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) trial. These studies examined the effect of a community program to respond to cardiac arrest with and without the use of AEDs. Their authors had reported a significant reduction in overall mortality from cardiac arrest with the use of AEDs.
Factors That Improve the Effectiveness of an AED Program
The PAD trial investigators reported a significant improvement in survival (P = .03) after providing AEDs in public access areas and training volunteers in CPR compared with training volunteers in CPR only. The OPALS study investigators reported odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for significant predictors of survival, which were age (OR [age per 10 year], 0.8; CI, 0.8–0.9), arrest witnessed by bystander (OR, 3.9; CI, 2.7–5.5), CPR initiated by bystander (OR, 3.7; CI, 2.6–5.1), CPR initiated by first responder (OR, 1.6; CI, 1.1–2.3), and emergency medical service response within 8 minutes (OR, 3.0; CI, 1.8–5.1). The last 3 variables are modifiable and thus may improve the effectiveness of an AED program. For example, the rate of bystander-initiated CPR was only 14% in the OPALS study, but it was 100% in the PAD trial. This was because PAD trial investigators trained community volunteers whereas the OPALS study investigators did not.
A systematic review of the literature suggests that cost-effectiveness varies from setting to setting. Most of the studies have estimated cost-effectiveness in American settings from a societal perspective; therefore, the results are not applicable to this report. However, results from this review suggest that the incidence of cardiac arrest in out-of-hospital setting in Ontario is 59 per 100,000 people. The mean age of cardiac arrest patients is 69 years. Eighty-five percent of these cardiac arrests occur in homes. Of all the cardiac arrests, 37% have heart rhythm abnormalities (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) that are correctable by delivering shock through an AED. Thus, in an out-of-hospital setting, general use of AEDs by laypersons would not be cost-effective. Special programs are needed in the out-of-hospital setting for cost-effective use of AEDs.
One model for the use of AEDs in out-of-hospital settings was examined in the OPALS study. Firefighters and police were trained and provided with AEDs. The total initial cost (in US dollars) of this program was estimated to be $980,000. The survival rate was 3.9% before implementing the AED program and 5.2% after its implementation (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03–1.7; P = .03). Applying these estimates to cardiac arrest rates in Ontario in 2002, one would expect 54 patients of the total 1,395 cardiac arrests to survive without AEDs compared with 73 patients with AEDs; thus, 19 additional lives might be saved each year with an AED program. It would initially cost $51,579 to save each additional life. In subsequent years, however, total cost would be lower (about $50,000 per year), when it would cost $2,632 to save each additional life per year. One limitation of the OPALS study was that the authors combined emergency medical service response time and application of an AED into a single variable. Thus, it was not possible to tease out the independent effects of reduction in response time and application of an AED on the small improvement in survival. Nevertheless, the PAD study found that when response time was fixed, the application of AED improved survival.
There are other delivery models for AEDs in casinos, sports arenas, and airports. The proportion of cardiac arrest at these sites out of the total cardiac arrests in Ontario is between 0.05% and 0.4%. Thus, an AED placed at these sites would likely not be used at all.
Of the 85% cardiac arrests that occur in homes, 56% occur in single residential dwellings (houses), 23% occur in multi-residential dwellings (apartments/condominiums), and 6% occur in nursing homes. There is no program in place except the 911 system to reach these patients.
Accordingly, the Medical Advisory Secretariat examined the cost-effectiveness of providing AEDs in hospitals, office buildings, apartments/condominiums, and houses. The results suggested that deployment of AEDs in hospitals would be cost-effective in terms of cost per quality adjusted life year gained. Conversely, deployment of AEDs in office buildings, apartments, and houses was not cost-effective. An exception, however, was noted for people at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest; these were patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction less than or equal to 0.35.
The OPALS study model appears cost-effective, and effectiveness can be further enhanced by training community volunteers to improve the bystander-initiated CPR rates. Deployment of AEDs in all public access areas and in houses and apartments is not cost-effective. Further research is needed to examine the benefit of in-home use of AEDs in patients at high risk of cardiac arrest.
PMCID: PMC3382296  PMID: 23074470
2.  Functions of standard CPR training on performance qualities of medical volunteers for Mt. Taishan International Mounting Festival 
BMC Emergency Medicine  2013;13(Suppl 1):S3.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a sudden emergency procedure that requires a rapid and efficient response, and personnel training in lifesaving procedures. Regular practice and training are necessary to improve resuscitation skills and reduce anxiety among the staff. As one of the most important skills mastered by medical volunteers serving for Mt. Taishan International Mounting Festival, we randomly selected some of them to evaluate the quality of CPR operation and compared the result with that of the untrained doctors and nurses. In order to evaluate the functions of repeating standard CPR training on performance qualities of medical volunteers for Mt. Taishan International Mounting Festival, their performance qualities of CPR were compared with those of the untrained medical workers working in emergency departments of hospitals in Taian.
The CPR performance qualities of 52 medical volunteers (Standard Training Group), who had continually taken part in standard CPR technical training for six months, were tested at random and were compared with those of 68 medical workers (Compared Group) working in emergency departments of hospitals in Taian who hadn’t attended CPR training within a year. The QCPR 3535 monitor (provided by Philips Company) was used to measure the standard degree of single simulated CPR performance, including the chest compression depth, frequency, released pressure between compressions and performance time of compression and ventilation, the results of which were recorded in the table and the number of practical compression per minute was calculated. The data were analyzed by x2 Test and t Test. The factors which would influence CPR performance, including gender, age, placement, hand skill, posture of compression and frequency of training, were classified and given parameters, and were put to Logistic repression analysis.
The CPR performance qualities of volunteers were much higher than those of the compared group. The overall pass rates were respectively 86.4% and 31.9%; the pass rates of medical volunteers in terms of the chest compression depth, frequency, released pressure between compressions were higher than those of the compared group, which were 89.6%, 94.2%, 95.8% vs 50.3%, 53.0%, 83.1%, P<0.01; there were few differences in overall performance time, which were (118.4±13.5s) vs (116.0±10.4s), P>0.05; the duration time of ventilation in each performance section was much shorter than that in the compared group, which were (6.38±1.2) vs (7.47±1.7), P<0.01; there were few differences in the number of practical compression per minute, which were (78.2±3.5) vs (78.8±12.2), P>0.05); the time proportion of compression and ventilation was 2.6:1 vs 2.1:1. The Logistic repression analysis showed that CPR performance qualities were clearly related to hand skill, posture of compression and repeating standard training, which were respectively OR 13.12 and 95%CI (2.35~73.2); OR 30.89, 95%CI (3.62~263.5); OR 4.07,95%CI (1.16~14.2).
The CPR performance qualities of volunteers who had had repeating standard training were much higher than those of untrained medical workers, which proved that standard training helped improve CPR performance qualities.
PMCID: PMC3701466  PMID: 23902568
Although socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to multiple health outcomes, there have been few studies of the effect of SES on the provision of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during cardiac arrest events and no studies that we know of on the effect of SES on the provision of dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR. This study sought to define the relationship between SES and the provision of bystander CPR in an emergency medical system that includes dispatcher-provided CPR instructions.
This study was a retrospective, cohort analysis of cardiac arrests due to cardiac causes occurring in private residences in King County, Washington, from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2005. We used the tax-assessed value of the location of the cardiac arrest as an estimate of the SES of potential bystanders as well as multiple measures from 2000 Census data (education, employment, median household income, and race/ethnicity). We also examined the effect of patient and system characteristics that may affect the provision of bystander CPR. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the association of these factors with two outcomes: the provision of bystander CPR with and without dispatcher assistance.
Forty-four percent (1,151/2,618) of cardiac arrest victims received bystander CPR. Four hundred fifty-seven people (17.5% of the entire study population, 39.7% of those who received any bystander CPR) received CPR without telephone instructions. A total of 694 people received dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR (25.6% of the entire population, 60.4% of those receiving any bystander CPR). After adjusting for demographic and care factors, we found a strong association between the tax-assessed value of the cardiac arrest location and increased odds of the provision of bystander CPR without dispatcher instructions and bystander CPR with dispatcher assistance compared with no bystander CPR.
This study suggests that higher bystander SES is associated with increased rates of bystander CPR with and without dispatcher instructions. CPR training programs that target lower-SES communities and assessment of these training methods may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC3041986  PMID: 19731160
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); cardiac arrest; bystander CPR; out-of-hospital CPR; socioeconomic status
4.  Clinical Awareness of Do’s and Don’ts of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Among University Medical Students-A Questionnaire Study 
Background: Medical students today are tomorrow’s future doctors. One of the key skills that students should develop during their graduation training is to be prepared for emergency life saving measures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) anytime, anywhere. The students play integral role in learning, mastering and inculcating the most pragmatic clinical skill of CPR.
Objectives: a) To evaluate the CPR awareness among undergraduate medical students. b) To screen the knowledge regarding accurate, effective CPR procedural techniques and various barriers of CPR failure in clinical practice from student perspective. c) To ascertain interest in CPR training programs and also inculcating CPR as an active part of clinical practice in future.
Materials and Methods: The questionnaire comprised of three parts, first one dealing with general questions to know the importance of CPR in clinical practice, second one comprised of the main goal and accuracy of CPR intervention and the last segment consisted of questions targeting the indications, methods and effectiveness of CPR.
Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics and multiple response analyses were done by using SPSS 17.
Results: The students had good knowledge about the importance of CPR in clinical practice and stand average in knowing its indications and effectiveness. Whereas, only 1.2% of them were completely aware about the universal compression ventilation ratio, and 20.4% were aware of the current order of CPR being compression, airway and breathing.
Conclusion: Though, CPR awareness is good among the students but skills of CPR have to be mastered by proper certified training programs at regular intervals and knowledge has to be updated with the changing trends in CPR.
PMCID: PMC4149094  PMID: 25177588
Clinical practice; Future doctors; Lifesaving technique; Learning; Undergraduates
5.  Medical Students Teaching Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation to Middle School Brazilian Students 
Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia  2013;101(4):328-335.
Diseases of the circulatory system are the most common cause of death in Brazil. Because the general population is often the first to identify problems related to the circulatory system, it is important that they are trained. However, training is challenging owing to the number of persons to be trained and the maintenance of training.
To assess the delivery of a medical-student led cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training program and to assess prior knowledge of CPR as well as immediate and delayed retention of CPR training among middle school students.
Two public and two private schools were selected. CPR training consisted of a video class followed by practice on manikins that was supervised by medical students. Multiple choice questionnaires were provided before, immediately after, and at 6 months after CPR training. The questions were related to general knowledge, the sequence of procedures, and the method to administer each component (ventilation, chest compression, and automated external defibrillation). The instructors met in a focus group after the sessions to identify the potential problems faced.
In total, 147 students completed the 6-month follow-up. The public school students had a lower prior knowledge, but this difference disappeared immediately after training. After the 6-month follow-up period, these public school students demonstrated lower retention. The main problem faced was teaching mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
The method used by medical students to teach middle school students was based on the watch-and-practice technique. This method was effective in achieving both immediate and late retention of acquired knowledge. The greater retention of knowledge among private school students may reflect cultural factors. (Arq Bras Cardiol. 2013;101(4):328-335)
PMCID: PMC4062369  PMID: 23949324
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education; Students, Medical; Education, Primary and Secondary
6.  Effectiveness of a simplified cardiopulmonary resuscitation training program for the non-medical staff of a university hospital 
The 2010 Consensus on Science and Treatment Recommendations Statement recommended that short video/computer self-instruction courses, with minimal or no instructor coaching, combined with hands-on practice can be considered an effective alternative to instructor-led basic life support courses. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a simplified cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training program for non-medical staff working at a university hospital.
Before and immediately after a 45-min CPR training program consisting of instruction on chest compression and automated external defibrillator (AED) use with a personal training manikin, CPR skills were automatically recorded and evaluated. Participants’ attitudes towards CPR were evaluated by a questionnaire survey.
From September 2011 through March 2013, 161 participants attended the program. We evaluated chest compression technique in 109 of these participants. The number of chest compressions delivered after the program versus that before was significantly greater (110.8 ± 13.0/min vs 94.2 ± 27.4/min, p < 0.0001), interruption of chest compressions was significantly shorter (0.05 ± 0.34 sec/30 sec vs 0.89 ± 3.52 sec/30 sec, p < 0.05), mean depth of chest compressions was significantly greater (57.6 ± 6.8 mm vs 52.2 ± 9.4 mm, p < 0.0001), and the proportion of incomplete chest compressions of <5 cm among all chest compressions was significantly decreased (8.9 ± 23.2% vs 38.6 ± 42.9%, p < 0.0001). Of the 159 participants who responded to the questionnaire survey after the program, the proportion of participants who answered ‘I can check for a response,’ ‘I can perform chest compressions,’ and ‘I can absolutely or I think I can use an AED’ increased versus that before the program (81.8% vs 19.5%, 77.4% vs 10.1%, 84.3% vs 23.3%, respectively).
A 45-min simplified CPR training program on chest compression and AED use improved CPR quality and the attitude towards CPR and AED use of non-medical staff of a university hospital.
PMCID: PMC4024185  PMID: 24887037
7.  Novel electronic refreshers for cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a randomized controlled trial 
Currently the American Red Cross requires that individuals renew their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification annually; this often requires a 4- to 8-hour refresher course. Those trained in CPR often show a decrease in essential knowledge and skills within just a few months after training. New electronic means of communication have expanded the possibilities for delivering CPR refreshers to members of the general public who receive CPR training. The study’s purpose was to determine the efficacy of three novel CPR refreshers - online website, e-mail and text messaging – for improving three outcomes of CPR training - skill retention, confidence for using CPR and intention to use CPR. These three refreshers may be considered “novel” in that they are not typically used to refresh CPR knowledge and skills.
The study conducted two randomized clinical trials of the novel CPR refreshers. A mailed brochure was a traditional, passive refresher format and served as the control condition. In Trial 1, the refreshers were delivered in a single episode at 6 months after initial CPR training. In Trial 2, the refreshers were delivered twice, at 6 and 9 months after initial CPR training, to test the effect of a repeated delivery. Outcomes for the three novel refreshers vs. the mailed brochure were determined at 12 months after initial CPR training.
Assignment to any of three novel refreshers did not improve outcomes of CPR training one year later in comparison with receiving a mailed brochure. Comparing outcomes for subjects who actually reviewed some of the novel refreshers vs. those who did not indicated a significant positive effect for one outcome, confidence for performing CPR. The website refresher was associated with increased behavioral intent to perform CPR. Stated satisfaction with the refreshers was relatively high. The number of episodes of refreshers (one vs. two) did not have a significant effect on any outcomes.
There was no consistent evidence for the superiority of novel refreshers as compared with a traditional mailed brochure, but the low degree of actual exposure to the materials does not allow a definitive conclusion. An online web-based approach seems to have the most promise for future research on electronic CPR refreshers.
PMCID: PMC3536583  PMID: 23170816
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; CPR; CPR refreshers; Prehospital emergency care; Cardiac arrest
8.  Survival after In-Hospital Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in a Major Referral Center during 2001-2008 
Despite efforts to save more people suffering from in-hospital cardiac arrest, rates of survival after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are no better today than they were more than a decade ago. This study was undertaken to assess the demographics, clinical parameters and outcomes of patients undergoing CPR by the code blue team at our center during 2001 to 2008. Data were collected retrospectively from adult patients (n=2262) who underwent CPR. Clinical outcomes of interest were survival at the end of CPR and survival at discharge from the hospital. Factors associated with survival were evaluated using binomial and tests. Of the patients included (n=2262), 741 patients (32.8%) had successful CPR. The number of male patients requiring CPR was more than females in need of the procedure. The majority of patients requiring CPR were older than 60 years (56.4±17.9). The number of successful CPR cases in long-day shift (7:00 to 19:00) was more than that in the night shift (19:00 to 7:00). Furthermore, 413 (18.4%) cases were resuscitated on holidays and 1849 (81.7%) on the working days. The duration of CPR was 10 min or less in 710 (31.4%) cases. Cardiopulmonary resuscitations which lasted less than 10 minutes were associated with better outcomes. The findings of the present study indicate that some manageable factors including the duration of CPR, working shift, working day (holiday or non-holiday) could affect the CPR outcomes. The findings might also be taken as evidence to suggest that the allocation of more personnel in each shift especially in night shifts and holidays, planning to increase the personnel's CPR skills, and decreasing the waste time would result in the improvement of CPR outcome.
PMCID: PMC3559123  PMID: 23365479
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Cardiopulmonary arrest; survival
9.  Low-Dose, High-Frequency CPR Training Improves Skill Retention of In-Hospital Pediatric Providers 
Pediatrics  2011;128(1):e145-e151.
To investigate the effectiveness of brief bedside cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to improve the skill retention of hospital-based pediatric providers. We hypothesized that a low-dose, high-frequency training program (booster training) would improve CPR skill retention.
CPR recording/feedback defibrillators were used to evaluate CPR quality during simulated arrest. Basic life support–certified, hospital-based providers were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 study arms: (1) instructor-only training; (2) automated defibrillator feedback only; (3) instructor training combined with automated feedback; and (4) control (no structured training). Each session (time: 0, 1, 3, and 6 months after training) consisted of a pretraining evaluation (60 seconds), booster training (120 seconds), and a posttraining evaluation (60 seconds). Excellent CPR was defined as chest compression (CC) depth ≥ one-third anterior-posterior chest depth, rate ≥ 90 and ≤120 CC per minute, ≤20% of CCs with incomplete release (>2500 g), and no flow fraction ≤ 0.30.
Eighty-nine providers were randomly assigned; 74 (83%) completed all sessions. Retention of CPR skills was 2.3 times (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1–4.5; P = .02) more likely after 2 trainings and 2.9 times (95% CI: 1.4–6.2; P = .005) more likely after 3 trainings. The automated defibrillator feedback only group had lower retention rates compared with the instructor-only training group (odds ratio: 0.41 [95% CI: 0.17–0.97]; P = .043).
Brief bedside booster CPR training improves CPR skill retention. Our data reveal that instructor-led training improves retention compared with automated feedback training alone. Future studies should investigate whether bedside training improves CPR quality during actual pediatric arrests.
PMCID: PMC3387915  PMID: 21646262
pediatric; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; quality appraisal
10.  A randomized trial of video self-instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for lay persons 
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves outcomes after cardiac arrest. Much of the lay public is untrained in CPR skills. We evaluated the effectiveness of a compression-only CPR video self-instruction (VSI) with a personal manikin in the lay public.
Adults without prior CPR training in the past year or responsibility to provide medical care were randomized into one of three groups: 1) Untrained before testing, 2) 10-minute VSI in compressions-only CPR (CPR Anytime, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX), or 3) 22-minute VSI in compressions and ventilations (CPR Anytime). CPR proficiency was assessed using a sensored manikin. The primary outcome was composite skill competence of 90% during five minutes of skill demonstration. Evaluated were alternative cut-points for skill competence and individual components of CPR. 488 subjects (143 in untrained group, 202 in compressions-only group and 143 in compressions and ventilation group) were required to detect 21% competency with compressions-only versus 7% with untrained and 34% with compressions and ventilations.
Analyzable data were available for the untrained group (n = 135), compressions-only group (n = 185) and the compressions and ventilation group (n = 119). Four (3%) achieved competency in the untrained group (p-value = 0.57 versus compressions-only), nine (4.9%) in the compressions-only group, and 12 (10.1%) in the compressions and ventilations group (p-value 0.13 vs. compressions-only). The compressions-only group had a greater proportion of correct compressions (p-value = 0.028) and compressions with correct hand placement (p-value = 0.0004) compared to the untrained group.
VSI in compressions-only CPR did not achieve greater overall competency but did achieve some CPR skills better than without training.
PMCID: PMC3700766  PMID: 23663288
Public; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Cardiac arrest; Education; Randomized trial
11.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training Rates in the United States 
JAMA internal medicine  2014;174(2):194-201.
Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the likelihood of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), yet treatment rates differ by a community’s racial and income composition.
To determine if CPR training differs by the race and income of communities across the United States (U.S.).
Design, Setting, and Participants
We analyzed county-level CPR training rates from 2010–2011 using CPR training data from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the Health and Safety Institute. We utilized multivariable logistic regression models to examine the association of annual adult CPR training rates with a county’s proportion of black residents and median household income (categorized as tertiles), as well as other demographic, geographic, and healthcare characteristics.
Main Outcome Measure
CPR training rate.
From 07/01/2010–06/30/2011, 13.1 million persons in 3143 U.S. counties received CPR training. The median county training rate ranged from 0.00%–1.29% (median=0.51%) in the lower tertile, 1.29%–4.07% (median=2.39%) in the middle tertile, and >4.07% (median=6.81%) in the upper tertile. Counties that were most likely to have CPR training rates in the lower tertile included those with a higher proportion of rural (odds ratio [OR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10, 1.15 per 5 percentage point [PP] change), black (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.06, 1.13 per 5 PP change), and Hispanic residents (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02, 1.11 per 5 PP change); those with a lower median household income (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04, 1.34 per $10,000 decrease); those with a higher median age (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.04, 1.53 per 10 year change); and those located in the South.
Counties with a higher proportion of rural, black, Hispanic, and lower income residents had lower CPR training rates. Differences in CPR training by race and income may contribute to recognized disparities in bystander CPR treatment and OHCA survival, and offer opportunities for future community interventions.
PMCID: PMC4279433  PMID: 24247329
out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; cardiopulmonary resuscitation training rates; racial disparities; income disparities
12.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training of family members before hospital discharge using video self-instruction: a feasibility trial 
Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial therapy for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), yet rates of bystander CPR are low. This is especially the case for SCA occurring in the home setting, as family members of at-risk patients are often not CPR trained.
To evaluate the feasibility of a novel hospital-based CPR education program targeted to family members of patients at increased risk for SCA.
Prospective, multicenter, cohort study.
Inpatient wards at three hospitals.
Family members of inpatients admitted with cardiac-related diagnoses.
Family members were offered CPR training via a proctored video-self instruction (VSI) program. After training, CPR skills were assessed, in addition to participant perspectives regarding their training experience. Surveys were conducted one month post-discharge to measure the rate of “secondary training” of other individuals by enrolled family members. At the three study sites, 756 subjects were offered CPR instruction; 280 agreed to training and 136 underwent instruction using the VSI program. Of these, 78/136 (57%) had no previous CPR training. After training, chest compression performance was generally adequate (mean compression rate 90±26 /min, mean depth 37± 12 mm). At one month, 57/122 (47%) of subjects performed secondary training for friends or family members, with a calculated mean of 2.1 persons trained per kit distributed.
The hospital setting offers a unique “point of capture” to provide CPR instruction to an important, undertrained population in contact with at-risk individuals.
PMCID: PMC3116026  PMID: 20717891
cardiac arrest; patient education; discharge planning
13.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training of Family Members Before Hospital Discharge Using Video Self-Instruction: A Feasibility Trial 
Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a crucial therapy for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), yet rates of bystander CPR are low. This is especially the case for SCA occurring in the home setting, as family members of at-risk patients are often not CPR trained.
To evaluate the feasibility of a novel hospital-based CPR education program targeted to family members of patients at increased risk for SCA.
Prospective, multicenter, cohort study.
Inpatient wards at 3 hospitals.
Family members of inpatients admitted with cardiac-related diagnoses.
Family members were offered CPR training via a proctored video-self instruction (VSI) program. After training, CPR skills and participant perspectives regarding their training experience were assessed. Surveys were conducted one month postdischarge to measure the rate of “secondary training” of other individuals by enrolled family members. At the 3 study sites, 756 subjects were offered CPR instruction; 280 agreed to training and 136 underwent instruction using the VSI program. Of these, 78 of 136 (57%) had no previous CPR training. After training, chest compression performance was generally adequate (mean compression rate 90 ± 26/minute, mean depth 37 ± 12 mm). At 1 month, 57 of 122 (47%) of subjects performed secondary training for friends or family members, with a calculated mean of 2.1 persons trained per kit distributed.
The hospital setting offers a unique “point of capture” to provide CPR instruction to an important, undertrained population in contact with at-risk individuals.
PMCID: PMC4091628  PMID: 21916007
14.  Impact of Simulation Training on Time to Initiation of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for First-Year Pediatrics Residents 
Pediatrics residents have few opportunities to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Enhancing the quality of CPR is a key factor to improving outcomes for cardiopulmonary arrest in children and requires effective training strategies.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a simulation-based intervention to reduce first-year pediatrics residents' time for 3 critical actions in CPR: (1) call for help, (2) initiate bag-mask ventilation, and (3) initiate chest compressions.
A prospective study involving 31 first-year pediatrics residents at a children's hospital assigned to an early or late (control) intervention group. Residents underwent baseline assessment followed by repeat evaluations at 3 and 6 months. Time to critical actions was scored by video review. A 90-minute educational intervention focused on skill practice was conducted following baseline evaluation for the early-intervention group and following 3-month evaluation for the late-intervention group. Primary outcome was change in time to initiating the 3 critical actions. Change in time was analyzed by comparison of Kaplan-Meier curves, using the log-rank test. A 10% sample was timed by a second rater. Agreement was assessed using intraclass correlation (ICC).
There was a statistically significant reduction in time for all 3 critical actions between baseline and 3-month evaluation in the early intervention group; this was not observed in the late (control) group. Rater agreement was excellent (ICC ≥ 0.99).
A simulation-based educational intervention significantly reduced time to initiation of CPR for first-year pediatrics residents. Simulation training facilitated acquisition of critical CPR skills that have the potential to impact patient outcome.
PMCID: PMC3886460  PMID: 24455010
15.  Effect of Crew Size on Objective Measures of Resuscitation for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest 
There is no consensus among emergency medical services (EMS) systems as to the optimal numbers and training of EMS providers who respond to the scene of prehospital cardiac arrests. Increased numbers of providers may improve the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but this has not been studied as part of a comprehensive resuscitation scenario.
To compare different all-paramedic crew size configurations on objective measures of patient resuscitation using a high-fidelity human simulator.
We compared two-, three-, and four- person all-paramedic crew configurations in the effectiveness and timeliness of performing basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS) skills during the first 8 minutes of a simulated cardiac arrest scenario. Crews were compared to determine differences in no-flow fraction (NFF) as a measure of effectiveness of CPR and time to defibrillation, endotracheal intubation, establishment of intravenous access, and medication administration.
There was no significant difference in mean NFF among the two-, three-, and four-provider crew configurations (0.32, 0.26, and 0.27, respectively; p = 0.105). More three- and four-person groups completed ALS procedures during the scenario, but there was no significant difference in time to performance of BLS or ALS procedures among the crew size configurations for completed procedures. There was a trend toward lower time to intubation with increasing group size, though this was not significant using a Bonferroni-corrected p-value of 0.01 (379, 316, and 263 seconds, respectively; p = 0.018).
This study found no significant difference in effectiveness of CPR or in time to performance of BLS or ALS procedures among crew size configurations, though there was a trend toward decreased time to intubation with increased crew size. Effectiveness of CPR may be hindered by distractions related to the performance of ALS procedures with increasing group size, particularly with an all-paramedic provider model. We suggest a renewed emphasis on the provision of effective CPR by designated providers independent of any ALS interventions being performed.
PMCID: PMC2902150  PMID: 20128704
cardiac arrest; emergency medical services; crew configuration; cardiopulmonary resuscitation
16.  Diffusion of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training to Chinese Immigrants with Limited English Proficiency 
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an effective intervention for prehospital cardiac arrest. Despite all available training opportunities for CPR, disparities exist in participation in CPR training, CPR knowledge, and receipt of bystander CPR for certain ethnic groups. We conducted five focus groups with Chinese immigrants who self-reported limited English proficiency (LEP). A bilingual facilitator conducted all the sessions. All discussions were taped, recorded, translated, and transcribed. Transcripts were analyzed by content analysis guided by the theory of diffusion. The majority of participants did not know of CPR and did not know where to get trained. Complexity of CPR procedure, advantages of calling 9-1-1, lack of confidence, and possible liability discourage LEP individuals to learn CPR. LEP individuals welcome simplified Hands-Only CPR and are willing to perform CPR with instruction from 9-1-1 operators. Expanding the current training to include Hands-Only CPR and dispatcher-assisted CPR may motivate Chinese LEP individuals to get trained for CPR.
PMCID: PMC3200204  PMID: 22046544
17.  Barriers and Facilitators to Learning and Performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in Neighborhoods with Low Bystander CPR Prevalence and High Rates of Cardiac Arrest in Columbus, Ohio 
Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes  2013;6(5):10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.111.000097.
Residents who live in neighborhoods that are primarily African-American, Latino, or poor are more likely to have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), less likely to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and less likely to survive. No prior studies have been conducted to understand the contributing factors that may decrease the likelihood of residents learning and performing CPR in these neighborhoods. The goal of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators to learning and performing CPR in three low-income, “high-risk” predominantly African American, neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio.
Methods and Results
Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches were used to develop and conduct six focus groups in conjunction with community partners in three target high-risk neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio in January-February 2011. Snowball and purposeful sampling, done by community liaisons, was used to recruit participants. Three reviewers analyzed the data in an iterative process to identify recurrent and unifying themes. Three major barriers to learning CPR were identified and included financial, informational, and motivational factors. Four major barriers were identified for performing CPR and included fear of legal consequences, emotional issues, knowledge, and situational concerns. Participants suggested that family/self-preservation, emotional, and economic factors may serve as potential facilitators in increasing the provision of bystander CPR.
The financial cost of CPR training, lack of information, and the fear of risking one's own life must be addressed when designing a community-based CPR educational program. Using data from the community can facilitate improved design and implementation of CPR programs.
PMCID: PMC3886185  PMID: 24021699
heart arrest; CPR; sudden death
18.  CPR Training for Nurses: How often Is It Necessary? 
The ability to respond quickly and effectively to a cardiac arrest situation rests on nurses being competent, prepared and up-to-date in the emergency life-saving procedure of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This study aimed to determine the extent to which nurses acquire and retain CPR cognitive knowledge and psychomotor skills following CPR training courses.
A quasi-experiment was used. CPR knowledge of 112 nurses was assessed via a questionnaire using valid multiple-choice questions. An observatory standard checklist was used and CPR performance on manikins was evaluated to assess psychomotor skills (before the course baseline, after the course, after 10 weeks and then 2 years after the 4 hours CPR training course). Scores were based on a scale of 1 to 20.
A mean baseline score of 10.67 (SD=3.06), a mean score of 17.81 (SD=1.41) after the course, 15.26 (SD=3.17) 10 weeks after and 12.86 (SD=2.25), 2 years after the 4 hours CPR training course was noticed. Acquisition of knowledge and psychomotor skills of the nurses following a four-hour training program was significant. However, significant deterioration in both CPR knowledge and psychomotor skills was observed 2 years after the training program among 42 nurses.
The study findings present strong evidence to support the critical role of repetitive periodic CPR training courses to ensure that nurses were competent, up to date and confident responders in the event of a cardiac arrest.
PMCID: PMC3372042  PMID: 22737563
Training; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); Knowledge; Skill; Nurse
19.  Survey of junior hospital doctors' attitudes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2002;78(921):413-415.
Most cardiac arrest teams are made up of junior doctors. The stressful effect of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on doctors has not previously been established. A questionnaire was sent to all 52 junior doctors who participated in the cardiac arrest team at a district general hospital. Forty one questionnaires were returned by 22 junior house officers, 12 senior house officers, and seven specialist registrars. The questionnaire was anonymous so non-responders could not be recontacted. Seventy three per cent found CPR stressful. The main reason for stress was the inappropriateness of CPR on the individual patient (12), poor outcome (13), no advanced life support (ALS) course (4), and the procedure itself (4). Fifty four per cent felt the number of inappropriate CPR had increased in the last six months with the main reason given (48%) being failure of senior staff to make "do not resuscitate" orders. Ninety seven per cent felt some CPRs were inappropriate; 70% felt a debriefing session should occur after CPR, while 88% reported not having one. Seventy six per cent felt competent at performing CPR, 22% felt incompetent of whom none had undergone ALS training. Fifty eight per cent found it difficult to discuss CPR with patients; 46% found it difficult to discuss CPR with relatives.
Most junior doctors feel stress from CPR. Adequate review by senior doctors with documentation of do not resuscitate orders where appropriate, after discussion with patients, might be beneficial. Adequate training, improving communication skills, and support for junior doctors in the cardiac arrest team need to be reviewed since improvement in these areas may reduce stress.
PMCID: PMC1742414  PMID: 12151657
20.  Heart-Alert: emergency resuscitation training in the community 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1977;117(12):1399-1403.
One approach to reducing avoidable mortality from coronary artery disease is to provide resuscitation capability in the community. In Manitoba this is the function of the Heart-Alert program, sponsored by the Manitoba Heart Foundation. The program is based on public and professional education dealing with the recognition and immediate care of cardiac emergencies, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The three components to the program are (a) training in basic CPR for all health care and community rescue groups; (b) training in definitive CPR for physicians, critical care nurses and advanced emergency medical technicians; and (c) education of the public to recognize the signs of impending or actual cardiac emergencies and to take appropriate action to summon quickly an emergency rescue team.
The initial emphasis of the program has been on developing an organizational structure and a training network for basic CPR. A corps of instructor-trainers and instructors has been certified to implement CPR training in the medical and community target groups. Developmental problems include problems of quality control, of providing for self-sustaining and continued expansion, and of evaluation of the overall results.
It is suggested that widespread implementation of CPR training is facilitated by the incorporation of CPR into existing training activities, particularly those of the medical, nursing and other health care disciplines, those of community protection agencies such as police, fire and ambulance departments, and those of volunteer groups concerned with rescue work and first-aid. If the impetus, organizational structure and instructor training are provided by a strategic agency, wide dissemination of CPR training is then possible at relatively modest cost.
PMCID: PMC1880425  PMID: 589540
21.  Correlations between quality indexes of chest compression 
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a kind of emergency treatment for cardiopulmonary arrest, and chest compression is the most important and necessary part of CPR. The American Heart Association published the new Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care in 2010 and demanded for better performance of chest compression practice, especially in compression depth and rate. The current study was to explore the relationship of quality indexes of chest compression and to identify the key points in chest compression training and practice.
Totally 219 healthcare workers accepted chest compression training by using Laerdal ACLS advanced life support resuscitation model. The quality indexes of chest compression, including compression hands placement, compression rate, compression depth, and chest wall recoil as well as self-reported fatigue time were monitored by the Laerdal Computer Skills and Reporting System.
The quality of chest compression was related to the gender of the compressor. The indexes in males, including self-reported fatigue time, the accuracy of compression depth and the compression rate, the accuracy of compression rate, were higher than those in females. However, the accuracy of chest recoil was higher in females than in males. The quality indexes of chest compression were correlated with each other. The self-reported fatigue time was related to all the indexes except the compression rate.
It is necessary to offer CPR training courses regularly. In clinical practice, it might be better to change the practitioner before fatigue, especially for females or weak practitioners. In training projects, more attention should be paid to the control of compression rate, in order to delay the fatigue, guarantee enough compression depth and improve the quality of chest compression.
PMCID: PMC4129892  PMID: 25215093
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Chest compression; Quality indexes; Correlation
22.  Continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation training promotes rescuer self-confidence and increased secondary training: A hospital-based randomized controlled trial 
Critical care medicine  2012;40(3):787-792.
Recent work suggests that delivery of continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an acceptable layperson resuscitation strategy, although little is known about layperson preferences for cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We hypothesized that continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation education would lead to greater trainee confidence and would encourage wider dissemination of cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills compared to standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation training (30 compressions: two breaths).
Prospective, multicenter cohort study.
Three academic medical center inpatient wards.
Adult family members or friends (≥18 yrs old) of inpatients admitted with cardiac-related diagnoses.
In a multicenter randomized trial, family members of hospitalized patients were trained via the educational method of video self-instruction. Subjects were randomized to continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation or standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation educational modes.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance data were collected using a cardiopulmonary resuscitation skill-reporting manikin. Trainee perspectives and secondary training rates were assessed through mixed qualitative and quantitative survey instruments.
Main Results
Chest compression performance was similar in both groups. The trainees in the continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation group were significantly more likely to express a desire to share their training kit with others (152 of 207 [73%] vs. 133 of 199 [67%], p = .03). Subjects were contacted 1 month after initial enrollment to assess actual sharing, or “secondary training.” Kits were shared with 2.0 ± 3.4 additional family members in the continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation group vs. 1.2 ± 2.2 in the standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation group (p = .03). As a secondary result, trainees in the continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation group were more likely to rate themselves “very comfortable” with the idea of using cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills in actual events than the standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation trainees (71 of 207 [34%] vs. 57 of 199 [28%], p = .08).
Continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation education resulted in a statistically significant increase in secondary training. This work suggests that implementation of video self-instruction training programs using continuous chest compression cardiopulmonary resuscitation may confer broader dissemination of life-saving skills and may promote rescuer comfort with newly acquired cardiopulmonary resuscitation knowledge.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: Unique identifier: NCT01260441.
PMCID: PMC3746171  PMID: 22080629
cardiac arrest; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; education; hospital care; quality of care; sudden death
23.  Which Form of Medical Training is the Best in Improving Interns’ knowledge Related to Advanced Cardiac Life Support Drugs Pharmacology? An Educational Analytical Intervention Study Between Electronic Learning and Lecture-Based Education 
Conventional educational systems seem to be improper throughout the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) teaching process. The most common causes of failed resuscitation are unfamiliarity with cardiopulmonary resuscitation algorithms, poor performance of leader of the CPR team and lack of skilled personnel, coordination among members during resuscitation, and responsibility of staff.
Electronic learning, as a new educational method is controversial issue in medical education for improving physicians’ practical knowledge and it is inevitable that further research on its effectiveness should be done.
Materials and Methods:
The present study is a prospective, pre- and post-educational, cross-sectional research, in which 84 interns were randomly divided into two groups. pre- and post- educational interventions that took place in the Department of Emergency Medicine, interns were evaluated by 21 multiple choice questions related to American Heart Association guidelineson cardiopulmonary resuscitation drugs. Questions were assessed in terms of routes for CPR drugs administration, CPR drug dosage forms, clinical judgment and appropriate CPR drug administration, and the alternative drugs in emergency situations. Data were analyzed by generalized estimating equations regression models and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Evaluating the effectiveness of both educational methods revealed that the mean answering score for 21 questions before education was 7.5 ± 2.6 and no significant difference was observed in groups (P = 0.55). However, after education, the average scores significantly increased to 11.0 ± 3.9 (P < 0.001). Electronic learning method was not associated with considerable increase in the knowledge of interns in this group compared with the lecture-based group (P = 0.49).
No significant differences were observed between electronic learning and lecture-based education in improving interns’ knowledge of CPR drugs.
PMCID: PMC3961037  PMID: 24719802
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; Emergency Medicine; Education
24.  The impact of response time reliability on CPR incidence and resuscitation success: a benchmark study from the German Resuscitation Registry 
Critical Care  2011;15(6):R282.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most frequent causes of death in the world. In highly qualified emergency medical service (EMS) systems, including well-trained emergency physicians, spontaneous circulation may be restored in up to 53% of patients at least until admission to hospital. Compared with these highly qualified EMS systems, markedly lower success rates are observed in other systems. These data clearly show that there are considerable differences between EMS systems concerning treatment success following cardiac arrest and resuscitation, although in all systems international guidelines for resuscitation are used. In this study, we investigated the impact of response time reliability (RTR) on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) incidence and resuscitation success by using the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after cardiac arrest (RACA) scores and data from seven German EMS systems participating in the German Resuscitation Registry.
Anonymised patient data after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest gathered from seven EMS systems in Germany from 2006 to 2009 were analysed with regard to socioeconomic factors (population, area and EMS unit-hours), process quality (RTR, CPR incidence, special CPR measures and prehospital cooling), patient factors (age, gender, cause of cardiac arrest and bystander CPR). End points were defined as ROSC, admission to hospital, 24-hour survival and hospital discharge rate. χ2 tests, odds ratios and the Bonferroni correction were used for statistical analyses.
Our present study comprised 2,330 prehospital CPR patients at seven centres. The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest ranged from 36.0 to 65.1/100,000 inhabitants/year. We identified two EMS systems (RTR < 70%) that reached patients within 8 minutes of the call to the dispatch centre 62.0% and 65.6% of the time, respectively. The other five EMS systems (RTR > 70%) reached patients within 8 minutes of the call to the dispatch centre 70.4% up to 95.5% of the time. EMS systems arriving relatively later at the patients side (RTR < 70%) initiate CPR less frequently and admit fewer patients alive to hospital (calculated per 100,000 inhabitants/year) (CPR incidence (1/100,000 inhabitants/year) RTR > 70% = 57.2 vs RTR < 70% = 36.1, OR = 1.586 (99% CI = 1.383 to 1.819); P < 0.01) (admitted to hospital with ROSC (1/100,000 inhabitants/year) RTR > 70% = 24.4 vs RTR < 70% = 15.6, OR = 1.57 (99% CI = 1.274 to 1.935); P < 0.01). Using ROSC rate and the multivariate RACA score to predict outcomes, we found that the two groups did not differ, but ROSC rates were higher than predicted in both groups (ROSC RTR > 70% = 46.6% vs RTR < 70% = 47.3%, OR = 0.971 (95% CI = 0.787 to 1.196); P = n.s.) (ROSC RACA RTR > 70% = 42.4% vs RTR < 70% = 39.5%, OR = 1.127 (95% CI = 0.911 to 1.395); P = n.s.)
This study demonstrates that, on the level of EMS systems, faster ones more often initiate CPR and increase the number of patients admitted to hospital alive. Furthermore, we show that, with very different approaches, all centres that adhere to and are intensely trained according to the 2005 European Resuscitation Council guidelines are superior and, on the basis of international comparisons, achieve excellent success rates following CPR.
PMCID: PMC3388696  PMID: 22112746
25.  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training in High School Using Avatars in Virtual Worlds: An International Feasibility Study 
Approximately 300,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) annually in the United States. Less than 30% of out-of-hospital victims receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) despite the American Heart Association training over 12 million laypersons annually to conduct CPR. New engaging learning methods are needed for CPR education, especially in schools. Massively multiplayer virtual worlds (MMVW) offer platforms for serious games that are promising learning methods that take advantage of the computer capabilities of today’s youth (ie, the digital native generation).
Our main aim was to assess the feasibility of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in high school students by using avatars in MMVM. We also analyzed experiences, self-efficacy, and concentration in response to training.
In this prospective international collaborative study, an e-learning method was used with high school students in Sweden and the United States. A software game platform was modified for use as a serious game to train in emergency medical situations. Using MMVW technology, participants in teams of 3 were engaged in virtual-world scenarios to learn how to treat victims suffering cardiac arrest. Short debriefings were carried out after each scenario. A total of 36 high school students (Sweden, n=12; United States, n=24) participated. Their self-efficacy and concentration (task motivation) were assessed. An exit questionnaire was used to solicit experiences and attitudes toward this type of training. Among the Swedish students, a follow-up was carried out after 6 months. Depending on the distributions, t tests or Mann-Whitney tests were used. Correlation between variables was assessed by using Spearman rank correlation. Regression analyses were used for time-dependent variables.
The participants enjoyed the training and reported a self-perceived benefit as a consequence of training. The mean rating for self-efficacy increased from 5.8/7 (SD 0.72) to 6.5/7 (SD 0.57, P<.001). In the Swedish follow-up, it subsequently increased from 5.7/7 (SD 0.56) to 6.3/7 (SD 0.38, P=.006). In the Swedish group, the mean concentration value increased from 52.4/100 (SD 9.8) to 62.7/100 (SD 8.9, P=.05); in the US group, the concentration value increased from 70.8/100 (SD 7.9) to 82.5/100 (SD 4.7, P<.001). We found a significant positive correlation (P<.001) between self-efficacy and concentration scores. Overall, the participants were moderately or highly immersed and the software was easy to use.
By using online MMVWs, team training in CPR is feasible and reliable for this international group of high school students (Sweden and United States). A high level of appreciation was reported among these adolescents and their self-efficacy increased significantly. The described training is a novel and interesting way to learn CPR teamwork, and in the future could be combined with psychomotor skills training.
PMCID: PMC3636066  PMID: 23318253
Serious games; virtual learning environments; MMVW; avatars; students; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; patient simulation; self-efficacy; concentration

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