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Members of the public lack skills, confidence necessary to save lives with CPR, Penn research shows
Date:11/12/2011

ORLANDO Even members of the lay public who have received CPR training are confused about how to perform the lifesaving skill and say they don't have confidence in their ability to do it properly, according to a study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania which will be presented today at the American Heart Association's annual Scientific Sessions (Abstract #65).

"Despite hours spent in CPR training courses and passing an exam, our study shows that even people who have been trained in what to do during a cardiac arrest may ultimately be unable to recall when or how to perform the skill," said lead author Audrey Blewer, MPH, of the Penn Emergency Medicine Department's Center for Resuscitation Science. "We believe that new approaches to training members of the lay public, especially by providing more hands-on training time and information about the option to perform "hands-only" CPR can improve peoples' ability and willingness to respond to a cardiac arrest."

The findings shed light on the reasons behind previous research showing that less than 30 percent of lay witnesses to cardiac arrest attempt resuscitation maneuvers.

The Penn team interviewed 19 subjects for an hour each, using a semi-structured qualitative approach in which subjects were queried on their awareness of CPR training and performance. Eleven percent of the subjects had never received CPR training, 47 percent had completed a training class in the past five years, and 42 percent had been trained more than five years ago. But the authors found that training history provided no guarantee that subjects were competent at performing CPR or confident in their ability to do so. Less than half the subjects could properly describe when to perform CPR, commonly confusing it with general first aid or clearing a victim's airway. And when asked about their previous CPR courses, subjects commonly described incomplete training such as lack of hands-on
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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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