A New Direction for CPR Training

"We have always had a one-size-fits-all approach, blanketing a whole area with CPR training, and we assume that will get to everyone," said Dr. Comilla Sasson, M.D., MS, the statement's lead author.

Here's hoping the scientific statement recently published by the American Heart Association succeeds at raising the nation's poor survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. AHA’s brainstorm has the virtue of simplicity: target CPR education to high-risk neighborhoods.

Bystanders perform CPR only 40 percent of the time, and participation rates vary widely, as do out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates, according to AHA, which said the national survival rate has been stuck at about 9.5 percent for three decades.

The statement calls for communities to determine which of their neighborhoods have a high incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and low rates of bystander CPR by using geographic information systems to map the location of each cardiac arrest. It says they should then focus public education efforts in the high-risk neighborhoods.

"We have always had a one-size-fits-all approach, blanketing a whole area with CPR training, and we assume that will get to everyone," Dr. Comilla Sasson, M.D., MS, the statement's lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver, said in a Feb. 25 AHA news release. "We are now saying that we need to shift our thinking to target CPR training to the areas where it is most needed. You have to have that kind of data to understand there are going to be specific areas that need to be targeted to increase awareness of cardiac arrest symptoms and how to do bystander CPR."

She said charting the addresses of everyone who receives CPR training also can be helpful: "Are we hitting the same people who have always been trained and not really impacting these higher-risk neighborhoods?"

The statement also recommends a standardized dispatcher-assisted telephone program for 9-1-1 operators to provide CPR instructions to willing bystanders. Co-authors of the statement are Hendrika Meischke, Ph.D.; Benjamin S. Abella, M.D., MPH; Frederick Masoudi, M.D., MPH; Michael R. Sayre, M.D.; Robert A. Berg, M.D.; Bentley J. Bobrow, M.D.; Marcus Ong, M.D.; Elisabeth Dowling Root, Ph.D.; Paul S. Chan, M.D., M.Sc.; Michele Heisler, M.D., MPH; Jerrold H. Levy, M.D.; Mark Link, M.D.; John S. Rumsfeld, M.D., Ph.D.; and Thomas D. Rea, M.D., MPH.

This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus