1. What is the aim of the study?
The study aims to evaluate the efficacy of short duration – less than one hour – CPR and AED training as compared to traditional 4 hour HeartSaver training. Specifically the study will be looking at whether Grade 9 and 10 students after completing the 45 minute CPR Anytime™ video based training course are willing and able to perform effective CPR and properly deploy a public access defibrillator. The study will also compare skill retention in the less than one hour versus four hour groups at the six month mark
2. How will the study be conducted?
Approximately 400 Grade 9 students at six GTA high schools will complete the study. They will be randomized into a study group (CPR Anytime™/ 22 minutes) and a control group (HeartSaver/ 4 hours). Prior to the training students will be surveyed about their willingness and preparedness to perform CPR in a real life setting. After completing their respective training students will answer the same questions as well as be tested on the quality of their CPR performance using a Laerdal Skill Reporter™ manikin. Six months after the initial training students will be re-tested to assess the skill retention associated with each arm of the study.
3. Who is involved?
The principal investigator for the study is Dr. Laurie Morrison of Rescu. Funding for the study is through a grant from the American Heart Association and Laerdal Corporation, additional support is being provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Paramedic/CPR Instructors from Halton Region, Peel Region, York Region and Toronto EMS will be delivering the training and testing.
The six participating schools are St. Michael’s College School and Crescent School Toronto, Burlington Central, Aldershot and M.M. Robinson High Schools in Burlington and T.A. Blakelock High School in Oakville.
4. What problem are we hoping to solve?
The end game for all community CPR programs must be to create an increase in survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest which historically have been very low. Resuscitation scientists have identified several elements (collectively called Utstein elements) that contribute to improved survival for cardiac arrest. Foremost amongst these elements is early and effective bystander intervention, which is defined as the initiation of basic life support (CPR and defibrillation) by members of the community prior to the arrival of professional responders. The communities with highest bystander intervention rates, Seattle WA, Edmonton AB, also enjoy the highest survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Toronto’s bystander involvement rate is amongst the lowest in North America and Rescu is looking for ways to strengthen this vital element.
5. How will this study help to solve the problem?
Rescu believes that young people can and will play an important role in improving bystander involvement rates in our communities. Two barriers that school boards have to implementing universal CPR training for all (Grade 9) students are the lack of available time and the lack of resources to train the teachers, provide substitute teachers during training and purchase and maintenance of mannequins and teaching materials. If it can be demonstrated that a 22 minute, video based instruction tool is an effective way for students to learn CPR then both of those barriers are removed and schools have optional teaching methods to ensure all the students are taught in their institutes
Previous studies have shown that when participating students are allowed to keep their CPR Anytime™ kit they will take it home and share it with family and friends. This has a multiplier effect on the percentage of people in the community that are trained to respond in a cardiac emergency. This is an important additive effect not seen in the 4 hour courses. We plan to track this in the follow up and see if the multiplier effect observed in other studies translates to more people learning CPR in our communities.