Our foundation has been teaching hands only CPR for a little under 3 years time. In that time period we have taught over 25,000 people hands only CPR and how to use an AED. We have had over 50 instructors come through our program. The vast majority of our instructors are college students who we have taught to become CPR instructors. Each of our instructors individually have taught thousands of people CPR and are high volume instructors.
Last month in the journal Resuscitation, a study was published that looked at CPR instruction from elementary school teachers who received standard CPR instruction versus teachers that received more in-depth CPR instruction. The CPR instructors that received more specialized instruction did a significantly better at practicing CPR, better job performing CPR, gave more feedback to students and more engaged in the cognitive activities of CPR instruction. Our instructors undergo traditional CPR certification and then intensive training in cardiac arrest education and hands only training. Each of our instructors teaches thousands of people in a few months time.
Another article in the Journal of the American Heart Association studied what factors led to bystanders to initiate CPR and use an AED in an out of hospital cardiac arrest. The following were described as important facilitators: prior knowledge that intervention is crucial in improving survival, cannot cause substantial harm and prior hands on training in AED use. The beginning of our class educates the students in what a cardiac arrest actually is and the importance of rapid action. Yes we acknowledge that a cardiac arrest victim can be injured during a resuscitation but usually this is just a rib fracture that heals without intervention. We know that almost 100% of the time no resuscitation effort leads to death. So any CPR is better than no CPR. Lastly, we throughly demonstrate how to use an AED and and the simplicity of the device. This part of our class is always very interesting to the students.
We have always felt our method of instruction has been a great approach. Now there is some scientific evidence supporting this technique.
Lastly, an important study in the journal Resuscitation looked at what happened to CPR instructors on down the road in medical school. The CPR instructors in this study were medical students and in this paper they found that by being a CPR instructor improved their effectiveness at teaching and and CPR skills. This is not that surprising that by becoming a CPR instructor will lead to better performance of resuscitation efforts in the future. This is an important skill set for all physicians. We have had a number of our instructors go on to medical school and it is good to know that they will be better physicians because of participation in our program.
1.Iserbyt P., et al.The effect of a specialized content knowledge workshop on teaching and learning Basic Life Support in elementary school: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Resuscitation 2017; 112:17-21.
2. Hansen CM., et al. Lay bystanders’ perspectives on what facilitates cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of automated external defibrillator in real cardiac arrests. J Am Heart Assoc 2017;6:e004572.
3. Beck S., et al. Teaching school children basic life support improves teaching and basic life support skills of medical students:a randomized, controlled trial. Resuscitation 2016;108:1-7.