Do you know how to do a “life-saving massage”? You can learn it (well) even with virtual reality – WWN

Do you know how to do a “life-saving massage”?  You can learn it (well) even with virtual reality – WWN

Of Ruggiero Corcella

Scientific work published in Resuscitation demonstrates the effectiveness of a school-based CPR teaching program with traditional and VR lessons within the global Kids Save Lives initiative

You know what they are cardiac massage and the cardiopulmonary resuscitation? You know how to do it and, above all, in front of a person hit by a cardiac arrest would you feel like intervening? These are all questions to which, with an adequate learning program, you can answer yes in absolute serenity. In fact, the sooner you start, the better.

Traditional or digital teaching?

Gi: but what type of program? There are traditional ones, with theoretical and practical lessons from certified instructors. But, thanks to technological innovation, others are spreading that also use the potential offered by virtual reality (VR). And the results are surprising.

This is demonstrated by a study published in Resuscitation on a mixed program (theoretical lessons, mannequins and VR) developed by the Local Health Authority of Bologna in collaboration with the Italian Resuscitation Council and with the support of the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna and Ravenna within the global initiative Kids Save Lives. This program, designed to educate primary and secondary school studentsaims to equip them with the fundamental skills to intervene in the event of cardiac arrest.

It can be learned from the age of 4

At what age can you start teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation? Let’s go now from 4 years of ageas the three main ones recommend scientific societies resuscitation ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, founded in 1992 as a technical table of the main scientific organizations on resuscitation), ERC (European resuscitation council, the European scientific society responsible for promoting guidelines on cardiac arrest) and AHA ( American heart Association), published in May 2023 on Resuscitation.

Theoretical lessons, dummies and VR

The four-hour program combines theoretical lessons, practical training using mannequins and virtual reality through two apps
for smartphones. But the project also involves the involvement of parents of students through homework, to reinforce what they have learned. Between June 2022 and October 2023, 20 events were organized involving primary and secondary schools in the Bologna metropolitan area.

How did it go? The results of the study, conducted on a sample of 1,179 students of different ages (13% of elementary school; 6% of middle school; 81% of high school), put it in black and white: the willingness of students to intervene in the event of cardiac arrest has increased significantly, passing from 56.9% to 93.1% after completing the course.

How virtual teaching works

Italian resuscitation council, a scientific society accredited by the Ministry of Health (founded in ’94 to spread the culture and organization of cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the Local Health Authority of Bologna have created the apps A Breathtaking Picnic VR, dedicated to primary schools, and School of CPR VR, designed for secondary schools.

Enough download the application from one of the Apple or Google Play stores, insert your smartphone in a 3D viewer, a kind of case to be worn like a pair of glasses, and you find yourself immersed in a scenario that makes the student experience (for children, the environment is that of a fairy tale) how to assist a person under arrest heart rate and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The education of the future

The use of virtual reality has received extremely positive responses, underlining the potential of this technology to spark interest and consolidate skills practices among young people. According to the students, this mode should even become the formation of the future to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

In the same study, with a survey on a sample of 1,201 young people carried out with a questionnaire administered at the end of the course, 72.5% declared themselves in favor of teaching with VR, 12.8% indifferent and 14.7 % against.

Their assessment of the realism of the scenario it was very good in 80% of cases. And to think that only 19% of students had already taken a BLSD (Basic life support defibrillation) course.

Community involvement

And among the promoters of the project, the unanimous opinion: positive. Our goal is to prepare future generations to face emergency situations by making them first responders within their communities, says Federico Semeraro, anesthetist and resuscitator at the Ospedale Maggiore and president-elect of the European Resuscitation Council. The use of virtual reality has made learning more engaging and interactive, ensuring that children can learn in a fun way what to do in the event of cardiac arrest.

The ultimate goal involve all communities of schools with teachers and children, to also reach their families, and help them become first responders and supportive citizens: joining the community of the DAE RespondER project means making yourself available to intervene in the event of cardiac arrest. For this reason we have made the two Apps available free of charge on the Stores, usable both directly with the smartphone and with Virtual Reality viewers, which make the training experience extremely more effective, says Donatella Del Giudice, head of the Regional Center 118 Program.

According to Andrea Scapigliati, president of the Italian Resuscitation Council, innovation is the key to preparing the next generation to save human lives and the “Kids Save Lives” program is an extraordinary example of this. Law 116/21 provides for the introduction of mandatory training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at school and this field research clearly demonstrates how innovative tools and integrated educational methods can improve students’ ability to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to intervene effectively in the event of cardiac arrest.

For Giovanni Gordini, director of the Intercompany Emergency Department: Dialogue with the school community and the general population is one of the tasks of public health to improve the survival of people who are victims of cardiac arrest. Teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation at school allows you to transmit values ​​to children that they can use to become responsible citizens.”

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January 3, 2024 (modified January 3, 2024 | 08:34)

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