Half-Hour CPR Classes Effective: Study

SATURDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Thirty-minute CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) classes can be just as effective as a half-day course, a new study finds.

A team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas found that a 30-minute, video-based CPR training session was as successful as a traditional three- to four-hour class in teaching basic lifesaving skills to people.

Six months after the classes, participants who took the shorter session were able to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) as well or better than those who took the longer course.

The half-hour course includes a 23-minute DVD developed by the American Heart Association that presents basic adult CPR skills. As they watch the DVD, students practice CPR techniques on manikins. Instructors are available to answer questions from the students.

The study, which is published in the August issue of the journal Resuscitation, is the first to document the long-term effectiveness of the 30-minute CPR/AED course, the researchers said.

"The results of this formal investigation should not only facilitate more widespread training and frequent re-training in CPR techniques, but it also diminishes some of the inefficiencies and labor-intensity inherent in traditional CPR training," Dr. Paul Pepe, chief of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern, said in a prepared statement.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, news release, July 25, 2007

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