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Giving CPR Kits to Kids Nudges Parents to Learn

Danish study found seventh graders trained an average of 2.5 friends, family members

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Distributing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) kits to schoolchildren is an effective way of getting parents -- who are the most likely to need the lifesaving skill -- to become trained in CPR, a Danish study suggests.

"Adults age 40 to 50 are more likely to encounter a colleague, spouse or friend in cardiac arrest, but they are less likely than others to attend a conventional CPR class. Training target group members at home can help overcome that barrier," study author Dr. Dan Isbye, of Copenhagen University Hospital, said in a prepared statement.

He and his colleagues gave free CPR video-based, self-training kits to 35,002 7th graders at 806 schools. The students watched the 24-minute training video at school, and teachers helped the students practice CPR on the inflatable mannequins included in the kids. The students then took the kit home to teach their family and friends.

"It seemed a possible way to reach a huge group of parents and get them trained in CPR. To my knowledge, this is the largest study of CPR training in schoolchildren and the first to document a cascade effect in teaching others," Isbye said.

A follow-up survey completed by 6,947 students found that each student taught CPR to an average of 2.5 friends and family members.

The study appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Circulation.

"One of the most important lessons from this study is that it is possible, in a relatively cheap manner, to disseminate knowledge of CPR training in a population using children as effective facilitators," Isbye said.

More information

The American Medical Association has more about CPR.

-- Robert Preidt

American Heart Association, news release, Aug, 27, 2007

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