BACKGROUND: Early recognition and immediate bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation are critical determinants of survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Our aim was to evaluate current knowledge on basic life support (BLS) in Danish high school students and benefits of a single training session run by junior doctors. METHODS: Six-hundred-fifty-one students were included. They underwent one 45-minute BLS training session including theoretical aspects and hands-on training with mannequins. The students completed a baseline questionnaire before the training session and a follow-up questionnaire one week later. The questionnaire consisted of an eight item multiple-choice test on BLS knowledge, a four-level evaluation of self-assessed BLS skills and evaluation of fear based on a qualitative description and visual analog scale from 0 to 10 for being first responder. RESULTS: Sixty-three percent of the students (413/651) had participated in prior BLS training. Only 28% (179/651) knew how to correctly recognize normal breathing. The majority was afraid of exacerbating the condition or causing death by intervening as first responder. The response rate at follow-up was 61% (399/651). There was a significant improvement in correct answers on the multiple-choice test (p < .001). The proportion of students feeling well prepared to perform BLS increased from 30% to 90% (p < .001), and the level of fear of being first responder was decreased 6.8 ± 2.2 to 5.5 ± 2.4 (p < .001). CONCLUSION: Knowledge of key areas of BLS is poor among high school students. One hands-on training session run by junior doctors seems to be efficient to empower the students to be first responders to OHCA.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 2014, Vol 22, Issue 1