Children as young as 9 years old can and should learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Austrian researchers say.
In a study of 147 students who received six hours of life-support training, 86 percent of the children performed CPR correctly at a follow-up session four months after the training, according to the report published online in the journal Critical Care.
“The usefulness of CPR training in schools has been questioned, since young students may not have the physical and cognitive skills needed to perform such complex tasks correctly,” Dr. Fritz Sterz, of the Medical University of Vienna, said in a news release from the journal’s publisher.
“We found that, in fact, students as young as 9 years are able to successfully and effectively learn basic life-support skills. As in adults, physical strength may limit depth of chest compressions and ventilation volumes, but skill retention is good,” he added.
In the training program, the children were taught CPR,