Health Watch — Heart Disease: Learning CPR

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about research into heart disease, which is the leading cause of death. If you have a heart attack, your survival chances increase if a bystander knows CPR. Now research at UT Southwestern Medical Center has shown that learning CPR could be quicker and easier — and more effective.

Traditional CPR classes usually take half a day — with lectures, videos and some practice on a dummy. The UT Southwestern study found that people who had a 30-minute class in which they watched an instructional video while practicing on a mini-dummy not only learned as well as those taking the full class, but they were more likely to do CPR effectively months later. Dr. Paul Pepe, chief of emergency medicine at UT Southwestern, says this should make teaching CPR more efficient and get more people trained.

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November 2007

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