Abstract

Background

Because most cardiac arrests occur at home, widespread training is needed to increase the incidence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by lay persons. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of mass distribution of CPR instructional materials among schoolchildren.

Methods and Results

We distributed 35 002 resuscitation manikins to pupils (12 to 14 years of age) at 806 primary schools. Using the enclosed 24-minute instructional DVD, they trained in CPR and subsequently used the kit to train family and friends (second tier). They completed a questionnaire on who had trained in CPR using the kit. Teachers also were asked to evaluate the project. The incidence of bystander CPR in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the months following the project was compared with the previous year. In total, 6947 questionnaires (19.8%) were returned. The 6947 kits had been used to train 17 140 from the second tier (mean, 2.5 persons per pupil; 95% confidence interval, 2.4 to 2.5). The teachers had used a mean of 64 minutes (95% confidence interval, 60 to 68) for preparation and a mean of 13 minutes (95% confidence interval, 11 to 15) to tidy up. Incidence of bystander CPR in the months after the project did not increase significantly compared with the previous year (25.0% versus 27.9%; P=0.16).

Conclusions

CPR training can be disseminated in a population by distributing personal resuscitation manikins among children in primary schools. The teachers felt able to easily facilitate CPR training. The incidence of bystander CPR did not increase significantly in the months following the project.