Introduction: In the US, 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrests occur annually, mostly resulting in death. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is associated with increased survival. Introducing hands-only CPR training in schoolchildren has been successful in a wide age-range. Some states require CPR training before 12th grade graduation, but there is little focus in exposing younger children to CPR.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that 6th graders would be able to perform hands-only CPR and that using music and a video game would help them attain the correct compression rate.
Methods: We assessed the ablity to perform high quality chest compressions during hands-only adult CPR in a group of N=160 children in 6th grade (mean age of 12) after showing them the AHA video CPR in Schools Training Kit. The goal was to achieve 100-120 compressions per minute (CPM) at a depth of 2 inches, triggering a click on the Annie adult CPR manikins. We divided them into 3 groups. The AHA video was played for all three groups. The control group (51 children) only saw the video. For one group (53 children) we also played music with a tempo matching the goal compression rate. Another group (56 children) played a video game designed to reinforce the goal compression rate. Each child was then individually tested on manikins.
Results: Of the control group, 98% called 911, 98% performed CPR in correct location, to a mean of 88 CPM (SEM 4.2) out of which a mean of 72 clicks per minute were appreciated. Of the music group, 93% called 911, 85% did CPR in correct location to 104 CPM (SEM 4.0) with 74 clicks. Of the video game group, 87% called 911, 95% did CPR in correct location, to 102 CPM (SEM 4.5) with 78 clicks.
Conclusion: The majority of children remembered to call 911 and performed CPR in correct location. Most provided high quality compressions with clicks over 70% of their compressions. The music group and the video game group both attained goal compression rate for effective CPR, while the control group was lower. Tempo-reinforcing tools like music and videogames may help children attain goal compression rate. We confirmed that 6th graders are capable of learning and performing effective hands only bystander CPR and this can and should be taught in schools even as young as the 6th grade level.