CPR training: mannequin or not mannequin?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training rates in the United States are low, highlighting the need to develop CPR educational approaches that are simpler, with broader dissemination potential.

The minimum training required to ensure long-term skill retention remains poorly characterized. We compared CPR skill retention among laypersons randomized to training with video-only (VO; no manikin) with those trained with a video self-instruction kit (VSI; with manikin).

We hypothesized that VO training would be non-inferior to the VSI approach with respect to chest compression (CC) rate.


Methods and results of the study

We performed a prospective, cluster-randomized trial of CPR education for family members of patients with high-risk cardiac conditions on hospital cardiac units, using a multicenter pragmatic design.

Eight hospitals were randomized to offer either VO or VSI training before discharge using volunteer trainers. CPR skills were assessed 6 months post-training.

Mean CC rate among those trained with VO compared with those trained with VSI was assessed with a noninferiority margin set at 8 CC per min; as a secondary outcome, mean differences in CC depth were assessed.

From February 2012 to May 2015, 1464 subjects were enrolled and 522 subjects completed a skills assessment. The mean CC rates were 87.7 (VO) CC per min and 89.3 (VSI) CC per min; we concluded noninferiority for VO based on a mean difference of -1.6 (90% confidence interval, -5.2 to 2.1).

The mean CC depth was 40.2 mm (VO) and 45.8 mm (VSI) with a mean difference of -5.6 (95% confidence interval, -7.6 to -3.7). Results were similar after multivariate regression adjustment.


Conclusions of the study

In this large, prospective trial of CPR skill retention, VO training yielded a non-inferior difference in CC rate compared with VSI training. CC depth was greater in the VSI group.

These findings suggest a potential trade-off in efforts for broad dissemination of basic CPR skills; VO training might allow for greater scalability and dissemination, but with a potential reduction in CC depth.




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