Survey: CPR performance worse than you think

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A survey has revealed several perceptions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performance that are at odds with reality: that the overall quality of CPR is excellent; that training is vital where little exists; and that CPR technology improves outcomes but is little used. Survey results were presented during the American HeartAssociation’s (AHA) conference in Orlando, Fla.

The quantitative, attitudinal survey of 1,023 respondents (454 U.S. healthcare professionals and 569 healthcare professionals from the U.K., France and Germany)—completed by the CPR Improvement Working Group—reported discrepancies between perceptions of CPR performance and statistics.

“CPR is a complex, time-sensitive procedure with high stakes where the quality directly impacts patient outcomes,” said Dana Edelson, MD, of the University of Chicago Hospital and council member of the CPR Working Group.

Survey results showed that while frequent studies have pinpointed CPR performance by healthcare professionals to be “poor,” 55 percent of survey respondents felt that the quality of CPR was “good,” “very good” or “excellent”.

In addition, 93 percent of healthcare professionals surveyed noted that they considered CPR training to be vital in increasing the quality of care, but less than half reported that their organizations provided training beyond the listed AHA guidelines and requirements.

Three-quarters of respondents agreed that CPR technology can help improve CPR quality and 65 percent agree CPR technology should be used. However, only 36 percent currently use any type of CPR assistance and only 15 percent use CPR assistance with instantaneous feedback, despite the fact that studies show CPR technology can improve CPR performance.

Overall, respondents reported themselves as being “very familiar” with 2005 AHA CPR guidelines on which the survey was based, but in actuality less than half reported performing a rate, depth and ratio during CPR that complied with the guidelines.

In fact, 90 percent of U.S. healthcare professionals rated themselves as having a high-skill level in CPR, yet statistics indicate that 75 percent of them do not execute CPR in line with the 2005 AHA guidelines.

Globally, Germany came out on top to be the most compliant with standards, and in France, over one-fifth of healthcare professionals reported being unaware of whether their organization conformed to the CPR guidelines.

In the U.S., about half of those responsible for other aspects of CPR claim their organizations have current quality assurance programs in place. In Europe, the percentage is even smaller with 27 percent of healthcare professionals claiming their organizations have a quality assurance program.

“With a number of programs and initiatives already underway and the American Heart Association and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation issuing revised CPR guidelines in 2010, we have an opportunity as healthcare professionals to improve the current state of CPR and potentially increase patient survival outcomes,” said Vinay Nadkarni, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and the CPR Working Group Expert Council member.

The study was performed by Iposos, a global market research company in partnership with the CPR Improvement Working Group.