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Basic life support skill retention by medical students: a comparison of two teaching curricula
  1. Alexandra Papaioannou1,
  2. Othon Fraidakis2,
  3. Nikolaos Volakakis3,
  4. Georgios Stefanakis1,
  5. Eirini Bimpaki3,
  6. Joseph Pagkalos4,
  7. Charalambos Psarologakis5,
  8. Panagiotis Aggouridakis2,
  9. Helen Askitopoulou1
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  3. 3University of Crete, Faculty of Medicine, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  4. 4Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Lancaster, UK
  5. 5Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexandra Papaioannou, University Hospital of Heraklion, Livadias 11A, Heraklion 71409, Crete, Greece; alpapa{at}


Aim In December 2005 the new guidelines for resuscitation were released and a new curriculum for the teaching of basic life support (BLS) was adopted. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of the new guidelines and teaching curriculum on the BLS skill retention of medical students 1 year following their initial training.

Methods The study was conducted in two consecutive academic years and compared BLS skill retention of two groups of medical students in their fourth year of medicine. The first group (group A) was taught the old guidelines with the old curriculum in the year 2005 and was re-assessed in 2006, and the second group (group B) was taught the new guidelines with the new curriculum in the year 2006 and was re-assessed in 2007.

Results Significantly more students in group B assessed signs of life, located the compression area correctly and performed good quality chest compressions compared with the group taught the old guidelines with the old curriculum.

Conclusions The most important BLS skill, good quality chest compressions, was retained by significantly more students who were taught the new resuscitation guidelines according to the new curriculum.

  • Clinical assessment
  • education
  • guidelines
  • paramedics
  • resuscitation
  • teaching

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Dean of the Medical School of the University of Crete, Profesor O Zoras.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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