Aim. To assess football referees´ cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills and automated external defibrillator (AED) use in a simulated sport incident scenario, after a brief training program.
Material and Methods. Quasi-experimental study with 35 amateur league football referees. A test – retest of related samples was carried out after the training program. Theoretical and hands-on session lasted 30 minutes, with 1/10 instructor/participant ratio. CPR skills were measured using Wireless Skill Report software and AED use by means of a specific check list.
Results. A third of sample knew what an AED is but only 8% knew how to use it. After training, all participants achieved 70% or higher CPR quality scores and were able to use AED properly (54.2% without any incidence). Mean time to discharge was shorter for participants who accomplished the quality goal (p=0.022).
Conclusions. After a very brief and simple training program, football referees were able to perform a potentially effective CPR and use an AED correctly in a simulated scenario. Basic life support training should be implemented in football referees´ formative curriculum.
Key words: automated external defibrillator, referees, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, training, sport, football