Are Lay Rescuers Adequately Prepared for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Its Aftermath?
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See Article by Mausz et al.
Nearly 40 patients experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) every hour in the United States, and survival rates remain <10%.1,2 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performed by bystanders (or lay rescuers) can be a life-saving intervention and is known to improve survival by >2-fold.3 However, the potential benefits of bystander CPR are not fully realized because rates of bystander CPR have remained <40% in the United States.2 Prior studies have identified several barriers in bystander response, which include fear of injuring the patient, lack of knowledge or physical inability, legal liability, and concern for transmissions of infections, among others.4 In a highly influential report “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: Time to Act,” the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) emphasized fostering a culture of action through public awareness and training as a key recommendation to improve dismal rates of survival for OHCA.5
As a result, public health initiatives have focused on disseminating CPR training to the lay public to ensure bystanders are capable of initiating CPR in a victim of cardiac arrest. A particular emphasis in recent years has been on hands-only CPR, which is simpler to learn and allays the angst of bystanders about delivering rescue breathing. Moreover, the traditional classroom teaching is increasingly making way for innovative training with videos or over the Internet, using mobile technology or social media, with the goal of making CPR training more widely available and at low cost.6,7 Advertisement campaigns, such as those developed by the British Heart Foundation in collaboration with actor Vinnie Jones, demonstrating the method of hands-only CPR to the tune of “Staying Alive,” have become widely popular. Although the above approaches to make CPR training simpler and more accessible are …