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Is the public equipped to act in out of hospital cardiac emergencies?
  1. K L Smith1,
  2. P A Cameron2,
  3. A D McR Meyer2,
  4. J J McNeil1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash Medical School, Monash University, Australia
  2. 2Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Karen L Smith, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash Medical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Prahran 3181;


Study objective: This study aimed to determine whether the people in Australia are informed about and prepared to intervene in a cardiac emergency.

Methods: A cross sectional telephone survey, which contained sections regarding participant demographics, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, knowledge of CPR, and the emergency contact number and potential barriers to performing chest compressions and mouth to mouth.

Results: A total of 1489 people completed the questionnaire. Only 11% of the population had recently (<12 months) trained in CPR. When presented with a cardiac arrest scenario most participants stated that they would telephone 000. Significantly more respondents believed that they would give mouth to mouth to a family member compared with a stranger. A bleeding victim and fear of not having the skills were the most common barriers that reduced the participants perceived willingness to perform chest compressions and mouth to mouth.

Conclusion: This study suggests that a low percentage of the public is currently trained in CPR and also that they are unprepared to act in a cardiac emergency.

  • cardiac emergencies
  • out of hospital
  • CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • EMS, emergency medical services

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