DETROIT (WWJ) –  CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an invaluable lifesaving technique.

The procedure is so important to know, that many states, including Michigan, require Hands-Only CPR training in order to graduate high school. But can younger students learn it?

New research shows there’s no need to wait until children are in 12th grade to learn CPR.

A new study presented at an American Heart Association conference in California showed that students in sixth grade can learn and perform CPR effectively.

Researchers assessed the ability of 160 sixth-graders (average age 12) to perform Hands-Only CPR for adults, using music and a video game to help the students attain the correct compression rate.

The students were divided into three groups. One group (the control) watched the American Heart Association’s video CPR in Schools Training Kit to learn how to perform 100 to 120 compressions per minute (CPM) on the adult CPR manikins. The second group watched the video and listened to music with a tempo matching the goal compression rate. The third group watched the video and played a video game to reinforce the goal compression rate. Each child then tested their new skills on the manikins.

Across the groups, most students remembered to call 911, performed CPR in the correct location and provided high-quality compressions. However, attainment of goal compression rate for effective CPR was higher among the music and video game groups than the control group.

Based on these findings, researchers suggest that tempo-reinforcing tools like music and video games may help children attain goal compression rate to perform effective Hands-Only CPR.


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