Bystander CPR video-only training without manikin still effective

Chest compression performance was measured six months after training

ORLANDO, Fla. — Family members of cardiac patients, trained in CPR using video training without a manikin, performed chest compressions similarly six months after their training as those who received video training with manikins.

"Low bystander rates present a major public health problem which calls for innovative approaches to training the public," said Audrey L. Blewer, MPH, University of Pennsylvania, in an oral abstract research presentation at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Researchers studied 571 patient family members, mostly spouses and immediate family members, who completed either video-only CPR training without a manikin or with a video self-instruction kit, including a practice manikin. The majority of subjects had never received CPR training.

A slide from the presentation at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.
A slide from the presentation at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

"CPR instruction was offered to family members of hospitalized patients by volunteers," Blewer said.

They compared the study participants' CPR skills, including chest compression rate and depth, at six months after the training.

The rates of chest compressions per minute were similar regardless of whether the video training included a manikin or not. Chest compression depth was slightly lower in the group that did not train with a manikin, at 40 millimeters deep, compared to the manikin group, at 45 mm. However, according to researchers, the depths achieved in both groups fall within the 40 mm to 55 mm suggested range for maximum survival benefit.

"Twenty-six of the subjects used the skills they were taught," Blewer said. "Though we weren't able to follow up on the clinical outcome it was encouraging that the skills were put to use."

This is the largest prospective trial of CPR training and long-term retention among the general public and the findings suggest video-only training is as good an educational tool as video self-instruction with a manikin when it comes to chest compression rate. The difference in chest compression depth might have a minimal impact on survival, given the evidence-based range for maximum survival benefit.

"The video only education platform opens new possibilities for innovative training of the public — reaching an enormous audience," Blewer said.

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