Objectives. Sudden cardiac death is a major cause of death in today's world. During the minutes passing from the onset of cardiac arrest to the arrival of professional help, the cardiac arrest victim can only rely upon cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provided by educated bystanders. Our aim was to explore the possibility of whether a short and affordable course of CPR reeducation could have a significant effect on skills retention and quality of CPR delivered.
Methods. We performed a prospective randomized study that included 72 first and second year medical students who had no clinical experience and no prior training in CPR. Subjects were educated in CPR in accordance with a standardized CPR education protocol. Six months later, half of the studied group (randomly chosen) underwent short reeducation in CPR. One year after initial education they were all tested for CPR skills. The results were printed and filmed.
Results. Students who attended the short reeducation were significantly better in approaching the victim safely, in obtaining a clear airway and in checking the pulse of the victim.
Conclusions. A short and inexpensive course of reeducation, carried out six months after initial education, may render CPR performance more effective for the victim and safer for the rescuer.
Key words: medical education, resuscitation, medical students, basic life support