Skill retention in adults and in children 3 months after basic life support training using a simple personal resuscitation manikin

Department of Anaesthesia, Section 4231, Centre of Head and Orthopaedics, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Resuscitation (Impact Factor: 4.17). 09/2007; 74(2):296-302. DOI: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2006.12.012
Source: PubMed


As 70-80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, widespread training is needed to increase the likelihood of basic life support (BLS) being performed before the arrival of Emergency Medical Services personnel. Teaching BLS in public schools has been recommended to achieve this.
To compare BLS skill retention in school children with adults when using a simple personal resuscitation manikin.
The MiniAnne (Laerdal Medical, Norway) was distributed to 76 pupils (age 12-14 years) in three public schools and to 194 employees (age 22-51 years) in an insurance company. Using the enclosed DVD, the participants carried out a 24 min BLS course and took home the manikin for subsequent self-training. After 3 months, skill retention was assessed using the ResusciAnne and the PC Skill reporting System 2.0 (Laerdal Medical, Norway) in a 5 min test. A combined score ranging from 12 to 52 points was calculated and in addition, 12 different variables were compared.
The combined score was significantly higher in adults (35 points versus 32 points, P=0.0005). The adults performed significantly better than the children in all but four variables. 'Ventilation-compression ratio' and 'hand-position' were not significantly different. The children performed significantly better in the variables 'total compressions' (median 199 versus 154, P=0.0003), and 'hands-off time' (median 158.5s versus 188.5s, P<0.0001).
Three months after a BLS course, adults had higher overall BLS skill retention scores than school children when using a simple personal resuscitation manikin.

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    • "When the analysis includes more accurate methods of assessment, such as the volume of air supplied by mouth-to-mouth respiration, the retention levels are lower12,15. Only studies that include populations receiving intensive and frequent training demonstrate consistently better performance12-15, although the uptake of re-training courses is low in the general adult population14. Adaptations to the training methods that are already available do not seem to be effective16. Considering the data as a whole, we can conclude that knowledge retention is generally low and deteriorates with time regardless of either the assessment performed or the target population. "
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