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Basic life support training in schools: Reflecting on students' and teachers' perspectives in Portugal

02 June 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 3


Cardiovascular events are the third cause of death in the world. It is generally accepted by all the main health organisations dedicated to this topic that increasing the number of potential members of the public who could intervene if necessary will lead to an increase in the survival rate in the case of cardiac arrest. To achieve this goal, offering effective training courses to as many individuals as possible, on a large scale and at a low cost, is recommended. Schools are by nature one of the ideal places for implementing this type of large-scale training programme. With this study the authors aim to measure how open students and teachers are to basic life-support training in their school and how this can improve their confidence levels in performing basic life-support if needed.

It is estimated that cardiovascular events are the third cause of death in the world (Berdowski et al, 2010), with about 420 000 out of hospital cardiac arrests occurring in the USA and 275 000 cross Europe each year (Atwood et al, 2005; Go et al, 2014).

Although most cardiac arrests occur at home, a considerable number still take place in public places (Berdowski et al, 2013; Marijon et al, 2015) where the intervention of a member of the public trained in basic life-support (BLS) could potentially make the difference (Sanghavi et al, 2015). However, from all these witnessed arrests, only in a third BLS manoeuvres have taken place with many others having to wait for the arrival of the emergency services (López et al, 2018).

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