New requirements for American Heart Association adult CPR courses

Real-time feedback devices improve quality and provide consistency in CPR training

August 15, 2017 Categories: Program News

DALLAS, August 15, 2017 — The American Heart Association – the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease – will now require the use of an instrumented directive feedback device in all courses that teach adult CPR skills, effective January 31, 2019. The devices provide, real-time, audiovisual and corrective evaluation and instruction on chest compression rate, depth, chest recoil and proper hand placement during CPR training.

The Association’s evidence-based 2015 Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC highlights the emerging benefits of feedback devices. Studies reveal that this technology, which can be integrated into or serve as an accessory to a manikin, helps students master these critical CPR skills and reduces the time between training and demonstration of competence in a training environment.

This new requirement impacts the Association’s Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), ACLS for Experienced Providers and Heartsaver® adult CPR training courses taught in the United States and internationally.

“The American Heart Association trains more than 22 million people in CPR annually through its course offerings. Requiring a feedback device further solidifies its global leadership position in resuscitation science and CPR education training,” said Mary Elizabeth Mancini, Ph.D., MSN, American Heart Association volunteer and professor, senior associate dean for education innovation at The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Information. “Specific and targeted feedback is critical to students understanding and delivering high-quality CPR when faced with a cardiac emergency. Incorporating feedback devices into adult CPR courses improves the quality and consistency of CPR training, which increases the chance of a successful outcome when CPR is performed.”

When CPR is taught and performed according to the American Heart Association’s CPR and ECC Guidelines, chest compressions are delivered at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute and a depth of at least two inches. To comply with the new course requirement, feedback devices must, at a minimum, measure and provide real-time audio and/or visual feedback on compression rate and depth, allowing students to self-correct or validate their skill performance immediately during training.

Manufacturers offer a variety of instrumented directive feedback devices to address the chest compression rate and depth requirement, as well as provide feedback on hand placement. Training Centers and Instructors should contact device manufacturers directly regarding equipment capability. The Association cannot review or recommend specific equipment and is communicating this upcoming training requirement more than 16 months prior to January 2019, providing ample time to its Training Network to research, identify and incorporate device solutions into the Association’s courses.

“Integrating science and technology into CPR courses significantly enhances and augments the CPR training experience,” said Mancini. “The American Heart Association’s adult CPR courses are just the beginning. As more devices become available for child and infant CPR, the American Heart Association will require the use of feedback devices in courses that teach the skills of child and infant CPR.”

“CPR saves lives and ensuring our courses provide the necessary, correctly performed skills gives healthcare providers and others trained in CPR confidence and empowers them to help in doubling survival rates from cardiac arrest by 2020,” she said.

Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital and over 200,000 occur in a hospital setting. Only 46 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR before professional help arrives. CPR, if performed immediately and correctly, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Additional scientific information, evidence and research on feedback devices and CPR training can be found in “Part 14: Education, CPR Feedback/Prompt Devices in Training” of the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC. To learn more about CPR and find Association courses, visit heart.org/cpr and heart.org/findacourse.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Stephanie M. Brown: stephanie.brown@heart.org, (214) 706-1857

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org