Bystander basic life support (BLS) is an important part of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and improves outcome after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, the general population has poor BLS skills. Several training initiatives could be used to improve this situation and the challenge is to find the most efficient one.


To compare the efficiency of a 24 min instruction using a DVD-based selftraining  BLS course combined with a simple, take-home resuscitation manikin to a conventional 6 h course for teaching BLS to laypersons.


In total, 238 laypersons (age 21—55 years) without previous BLS-training were allocated into two groups: one group received 24 min of instruction using a DVD-based instruction tool on a big screen combined with a BLS self-training device, Laerdal MiniAnne manikin (MAM), before taking home the instruction material for subsequent self-training. The second group attended a conventional 6 h BLS course (6HR). After 3 months BLS skills were assessed on a Laerdal ResusciAnne manikin using the Laerdal PC Skill reporting System, and a total score was calculated.


There was no significant difference between groups in BLS performance using the total score. Assessment of breathing was performed significantly more often in the 6HR-group (91% versus 72%, P= 0.03). In the MAM-group, average inflation and chest compression depth were significantly higher (844mL versus 524 mL, P= 0.006, and 45mm versus 39mm, P=0.005).


When assessed after 3 months, a 24 min DVD-based instruction plus subsequent self-training in BLS appears equally effective compared to a 6 hour BLS course and hence is more efficient.