Basic Life Support: training students in emergencies

The Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine has just published a longitudinal investigation which shows how high school students’ skills –related to CPR- improve after being training with Basic Life Support Techniques. The document indicates that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the most common cause of death worldwide. It affects about 350,000 to 700,000 people in Europe annually and its incidence is expected to rise in the coming years. Although the Sudden Cardiac Arrest incidence at schools accounts for only 2.6% of all public location, if students, as well as teachers, know CPR manoeuvres, they can save a life that, otherwise, might be lost. Moreover, they will be capable of applying CPR anywhere a person collapsed by them.

According to Theresa M Meissner, Cordula Kloppe and Christoph Hanefeld investigation  people who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest depend on prompt basic life support (BLS). Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) have a two to three times higher survival rate (8.2% vs. 2.5% for patients who did not receive CPR). Extensive education of the population in particular countries and regions led to high numbers of bystander CPR in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. To mention but one example, 12 year old Kylee Shea collapsed in her school (in the United States). She survived because two trained teachers helped her using a life saving device, as shown in this video.

However, studies show that often less than one-third of out-of hospital witnessed cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR. Furthermore, 50-65% of cardiac arrests happen at home. Because these victims are less likely to receive bystander CPR, they have poorer outcomes than those who are subject to out of hospital cardiac arrest in other non-hospital locations. In these cases, bystanders are usually family members and can include high school aged students. “Educating school children about Basic Life Support- Meissner, Kloppe and Hanefeld say- is an excellent strategy to reach a broad public and increases the percentage of trained adults in a community”. It is also relevant the fact that high school students have the cognitive and physical ability to act as first bystanders in an emergency by providing CPR to children and even adults.

Other Civil Protection contents

There are some other important skill that students should learn at school. What to do in case of fire, how to act in a car accident, how to prevent, manage and protect yourself in case of natural or man made disaster, how to communicate the incident when calling 112 (911 in the USA), how to evacuate a building, if necessary.

In #Edcivemerg share the opinion that schools are an ideal setting to teach these contents  because a large part of the community is introduced to these life-supporting prospects. We highly recommend that all this knowledge are implemented as a mandatory part of the curriculum. And that is why #Edcivemerg spokespersons are having a meeting tomorrow with the General Director of Evaluation and Cooperation, Xavier Gisbert @XGDC at the Ministry of Education to present him our manifesto and some contents proposals to be introduce in Spanish schools.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

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