Lay Bystanders' Perspectives on What Facilitates CPR and AED Use in Real Cardiac Arrests

Lay Bystanders' Perspectives on What Facilitates CPR and AED Use in Real Cardiac Arrests

An international team of researchers recently investigated factors that encourage lay bystanders to initiate CPR and AED use in a cohort of bystanders previously trained in CPR techniques who were present at an out‐of‐hospital cardiac arrest.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, was conducted from 2012-2015 in Denmark. They found that several factors, other than previous hands‐on CPR training, facilitate lay bystander instigation of CPR and AED use. Recognition and modification of these factors may increase lay bystander CPR rates and patient survival following out‐of‐hospital cardiac arrest.

These factors include:

  • Prior knowledge that bystander intervention is critical for improving survival and cannot cause harm, and that the AED provides guidance through CPR
  • Prior hands‐on training in AED use
  • Teamwork during CPR performance using the AED voice prompt and a ventilation mask
  • Showing leadership and feeling morally obliged to act.

The findings indicate that focusing on technical CPR skills alone may fail to fully engage bystanders in CPR and AED use and would suggest the incorporation of new elements into CPR training courses, CPR awareness campaigns, and emergency dispatcher protocols, which may improve bystander intervention.

Read journal article here.

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