Educating schoolchildren in CPR

Bernd W. Böttiger

Should we educate schoolchildren in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)?

Bernd W. Böttiger: We are educating schoolchildren in many things over many years. It has been shown that if you are doing 2 hours of CPR education in schoolchildren – and we recommend to start at the age of 12 years, because then they have enough energy and power to do it; we recommend this because we know from studies in Denmark and in other countries, if you are educating schoolchildren, all along you will educate major parts of the society, because they bring their knowledge to their parents, grandparents, and other people in the society. Educating schoolchildren in CPR is an investment into the future to increase lay resuscitation rates over time.

We are very lucky and we are very proud of the fact that the World Health Organization is now supporting our approach. The approach is called Kids Save Lives, and it means 2 hours of education in CPR every year starting at the age of 12 years as long as they go to school. With this approach, we are very sure that we can increase lay resuscitation rates all over the world, and if lay people start with resuscitation following a collapse in the out-of-hospital setting, they can bridge the time until the emergency medical service system arrives, and therefore they can save lives and brains with this approach.

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