Implementing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training Programs in High Schools: Iowa's Experience

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Abstract

Objective

To understand perceived barriers to providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) education, implementation processes, and practices in high schools.

Study design

Iowa has required CPR as a graduation requirement since 2011 as an unfunded mandate. A cross-sectional study was performed through multiple choice surveys sent to Iowa high schools to collect data about school demographics, details of CPR programs, cost, logistics, and barriers to implementation, as well as automated external defibrillator training and availability.

Results

Eighty-four schools responded (26%), with the most frequently reported school size of 100-500 students and faculty size of 25-50. When the law took effect, 51% of schools had training programs already in place; at the time of the study, 96% had successfully implemented CPR training. Perceived barriers to implementation were staffing, time commitment, equipment availability, and cost. The average estimated startup cost was <$1000 US, and the yearly maintenance cost was <$500 with funds typically allocated from existing school resources. The facilitator was a school official or volunteer for 81% of schools. Average estimated training time commitment per student was <2 hours. Automated external defibrillators are available in 98% of schools, and 61% include automated external defibrillator training in their curriculum.

Conclusions

Despite perceived barriers, school CPR training programs can be implemented with reasonable resource and time allocations.

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