Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac deaths claim around 700,000 lives a year in Europe and the USA.1 Many of these lives could be saved if more members of the public were able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Kids Save Lives initiative, endorsed by the World Health Organization in 2015, is teaching school children worldwide about the importance of CPR and how to perform it.1
An ePoster by Doctor Charalambos Parisis (404 General Military Hospital, Larissa, Greece) and colleagues discusses preliminary results from a study in Greek secondary schools that is evaluating the effects of the Kids Save Lives programme on students’ knowledge, skills and willingness to perform CPR.
From 2017 to 2019, 3,421 students responded to a 12-point questionnaire before and after completing the Kids Save Lives programme. Students’ practical CPR skills, as performed on manikins, were evaluated by experienced European Resuscitation Council Basic Life Support instructors.
The Kids Save Lives training significantly improved theoretical knowledge of CPR, the proportion of correct questionnaire answers increasing from 49.5% before training to 82.4% after training (p<0.001). Completion of the programme also led to an increase in the proportion of students willing to perform bystander CPR, from 93.1% to 97.3% (p<0.001). In terms of practical skills, most students were able to identify the correct position in which to put the patient (98.9%) and to correctly perform the chin-lift manoeuvre (91.0%). While over 90% were able to correctly place their hands in the centre of the chest (93.4%) and perform chest compressions at the recommended rate (90.1%), only 76.4% achieved the desired compression depth of 5–6 cm.
The results from this study demonstrate that the Kids Save Lives programme improves the knowledge, practical skills and attitudes of school students to CPR, and support wider implementation of the programme.