CPR Training for Families of Patients with Cardiac Arrest Risk Factors: A Hospital Based Approach

Project: Research


  • Benjamin S Abella (PI)


Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) afflicts over 300,000 U.S. citizens annually, and less than 20% of SCA victims survive to hospital discharge. While cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been shown to double or even triple survival when promptly initiated, less than 30% of SCA victims receive CPR from family or other bystanders, in part explaining the dismal survival rate from this leading cause of death. Despite widespread training efforts, the majority of the population has not been educated in CPR; moreover, those trained tend to be younger, healthier, and less likely to witness a SCA event. In addition, the provision of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (rescue breaths) serves as a further barrier to bystander CPR delivery. Given that over 60% of SCA events occur in the home, and the majority of SCA events afflict those with risk factors such as coronary artery disease, an enormous potential to improve the rate of bystander CPR and potentially save lives exists by training the appropriate target population - namely, family members of patients with known cardiac disease. Using recently validated video self-instructional (VSI) kits for CPR training, we hypothesize that this population can be efficiently identified and trained at a crucial 'point of access', during hospitalization of their family member for their cardiac condition. Further, we propose using this training model to test the hypothesis, in a randomized controlled fashion, that using VSI methodology to teach "hands-only" CPR (without rescue breaths) will lead to improved chest compression quality and retention of CPR skills over three months compared to standard CPR teaching via VSI. We will measure both objective metrics of CPR skill acquisition and secondary training among family members to quantify a training 'multiplier effect' in this population. We will employ a primary outcome measure of chest compression quality at three month follow-up testing. A key anticipated result is that chest compression skill retention and quality will be higher in the "hands-only" group. We envision that this paradigm for training of family members could become a low-cost national model for hospital-based education and family care, and may profoundly broaden CPR education consistent with American Heart Association priorities for prompt initiation of the 'chain of survival' to save lives.
Award amount$110,000.00
Award date01/01/2009
Program typeMentored Clinical & Population Research Program
Award ID0980018N
Effective start/end date01/01/200912/31/2010