CPR-trainingCPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can double a victim’s chance of survival if provided immediately and effectively. Yet, less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from an observer. To help more people learn CPR – and save more lives – HUP’s Center for Resuscitation is investigating a novel training model called the CPR Hospital-Initiated Training Project (CHIP).  

The initiative makes use of resources within the hospital – such as nurses and volunteers – to train family members of patients with high-risk cardiovascular factors, using a CPR Anytime Kit from the American Heart Association. The kit contains an instructional DVD and personal inflatable mannequin.  “We’re examining whether people can learn CPR from a DVD as opposed to attending a class with a trained CPR-certified instructor,” said Audrey Blewer, MPH, project manager.  Ben Abella, MD, is the study’s principal investigator. The multicenter study includes Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian as well as several other hospitals in the Delaware Valley.

Bernadette Tasker, RN, BSN, of Founders 10, has led the effort at HUP, working with the unit’s support associates and volunteers.  The unit’s conference room is set up with the DVD player on a cart and the CPR kits, she said, so the equipment can be wheeled anywhere on the unit.

Tasker said she stays with the family member initially but “you know if you’re doing it right.  You’ll hear a click when you depress the chest of the mannequin deep enough [two inches].”

It’s not easy, though.  “You have to do 100 of these compressions per minute,” she added. “People work up a sweat!”

Each family can take a kit home with them, “to encourage them to watch the video again to improve skills,” said Blewer.

So far more than 100 family members have received this training on Founders 10 and 11.  Tasker has also educated all the nurses on these units to help identify potential families. 

If the three-year study proves this approach is a viable technique to learn CPR, then the training could be done with outside groups as well, Blewer said. “We could use the kits to train church or home-school groups and then they could train additional people.  Our goal is to create a national model for equipping at-risk populations with the life-saving skill of CPR.”

For more information, contact Blewer at audrey.blewer@uphs.upenn.edu or 215.662.6912.


Photo caption: Bernadette Tasker teaches patient family member Maryann DiNunzio how to properly perform CPR.



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