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April 1984

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation SkillsDo We Expect Too Much?

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(4):699-701. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350160047007

There is a substantial body of evidence to support the positive impact of bystander-initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the outcome of victims of cardiac arrest.1-3 Furthermore, there would seem to be little question that the medical community supports American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross training programs for citizen-initiated CPR. A recent survey of cardiologists, internists, and family practitioners substantiates overwhelming support for such programs.4

Since the development of the original standards in 1974 by the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council and the AHA,5 investigators have concerned themselves with the question of skill attainment and retention. Particular interest has focused on the degree of skill deterioration during various intervals of time. In all studies, a deterioration of CPR psychomotor skills was observed at either 12, 6, or 3 months.6-11 These studies, which encompass almost a decade of research, are not easily compared because of