Embargoed until 8 a.m. PT/ 11 a.m.  ET, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017

ANAHEIM, California, Nov. 11, 2017 — Students as young as sixth-graders can learn and perform CPR effectively and should be targeted for training, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers assessed the ability of 160 sixth-graders (average age 12) to perform Hands-Only CPR for adults, using music and a video game to help the students attain the correct compression rate.

The students were divided into three groups. One group (the control) watched the American Heart Association’s video CPR in Schools Training Kit to learn how to perform 100 to 120 compressions per minute (CPM) on the adult CPR manikins. The second group watched the video and listened to music with a tempo matching the goal compression rate. The third group watched the video and played a video game to reinforce the goal compression rate. Each child then tested their new skills on the manikins.

Across the groups, most students remembered to call 911, performed CPR in the correct location and provided high-quality compressions. However, attainment of goal compression rate for effective CPR was higher among the music and video game groups than the control group.

Based on these findings, researchers suggest that tempo-reinforcing tools like music and video games may help children attain goal compression rate to perform effective Hands-Only CPR.

Some states already require Hands-Only CPR training for high school graduation, but researchers say there has been little focus on younger children.

“We were wondering why they need to wait until 12th grade when sixth graders have learned the circulation system and seem mature enough and are interested in learning Hands only CPR,” said author Mimi Biswas, M.D., a cardiologist at University of California Riverside School of Medicine and Riverside Community Hospital.

Sixth-graders were the focus of this study because it began as a science project for one of the researcher’s sixth-grade son.   

Mimi Biswas M.D., University of California Riverside School of Medicine and Riverside Community Hospital.

Note: Scientific presentation is 8:40 a.m. PT, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Presentation location: Room 155-159 / ACC North

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding


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 and AHA Spokesperson Perspective:

AHA News Media in Dallas: 214-706-1173

AHA News Media Office, Nov. 11-15, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center: 714-765-2004

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

heart.org and strokeassociation.org