(Good Medical Health) – Boston medical students teach CPR to high school students in the area. Younger people report feeling better prepared to help with cardiac arrest, if the need arises.

The PumpStart program was initiated by students at BUSM (Boston University School of Medicine) as part of a voluntary effort by physicians in training to visit nearby high schools and raise awareness CPR.

"It is essential that the general public feels comfortable performing CPR by a third party in order to overall improve the chances of survival following a cardiac arrest," he said. said Anita Knopov, a medical student at BUSM and co-author of the study, in a press release.

Manual CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, consists of administering fast and rhythmic chest compressions to a cardiac arrest patient to help provide blood to the heart and brain while the heart is stopped.

When CPR starts immediately, patients have the best chance of survival. But the administration of CPR by third parties is incoherent.

"Among the most significant barriers to CPR that were raised during the sessions was the lack of self-confidence and the inability of students to do so," Knopov told Good Medical Health.

During PumpStart sessions of one hour, "we not only explained how to perform CPR, but also (we also put the students). . . in role-playing situations where we had dummies with practical practice. . . It was therefore a very concrete skill that they were learning, "Knopov said.

Before and after the sessions, high school students responded to anonymous surveys. On questions relating to the technique of CPR, the average score was 37% before attending the CPR workshop and 89% after the session, according to data collected during the first year of the year. program.

After the sessions, 72% of students reported feeling more comfortable with CPR, reports Knopov and colleagues in the Journal of Education.

"It appears that this PumpStart program can be applied to other settings to improve knowledge and, hopefully, to use CPR in other large cities," said Dr. Graham Nichol, Emergency Physician for Washington University in Seattle. the study, told Good Medical Health.

The medical students who ran the courses were facing difficulties, including logistical difficulties, as scheduling sessions suited to themselves and high school students proved difficult, said co-author Dr. Nikita Kalluri at Good Medical Health by telephone. Kalluri, currently a pediatric resident physician at Boston Children's Hospital and Boston Medical Center, participated in the program as a medical student.

The authors acknowledge that students may forget what they learned in one sitting.

Knopov said the PumpStart team wanted to develop a refresher course for high school students.

Dr. Kathleen Ogle, an emergency physician at George Washington University Hospital and the Washington VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, told Good Medical Health by email: "This program is certainly valuable and a great first step in addressing some of the challenges that exist. currently as barriers to CPR among the uninitiated in cases of cardiac arrest outside the hospital. "

But, she added, "complementary studies and different assessment methods are needed to assert that these learners have actually acquired the skills rather than simply expanding their knowledge."

In the meantime, said Kalluri, "we do not offer CPR certifications that need to be renewed. We think there are benefits to presenting the concept and raising awareness. "

Further information on CPR is available from the American Heart Association at the following address: bit.ly/2TpRF9d.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2sWaxBa Journal of Education, online December 26, 2019.