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May 19, 1978

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Author Affiliations

Seattle-King County Department of Public Health Seattle

JAMA. 1978;239(20):2114. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280470026006

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To the Editor.—  In "Laymen May Outscore Physicians in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation" (239:391-392, 1978), the question is asked whether laymen forget cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. I have been personally informed by two lay people who had had CPR training that they failed to employ their skill on witnessing cardiac arrests outside the hospital because they felt too unsure of themselves and wanted to do no wrong. It had been too long since they had their CPR training. I was called for both cases but arrived too late to be of benefit.This points up the need for periodic CPR refresher courses for laymen and the desirability for lay people who have successfully completed a course to carry a wallet-sized reminder card with appropriate diagrams and the steps of what to to. In addition, when a person is known to have coronary heart disease, it might be appropriate to encourage his family