Abstract 15062: Elderly Laypersons Are Reluctant to Initiate Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Introduction: More than half of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are witnessed, however bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rates remain low. There is significant association between willingness to initiate CPR and CPR training. Studies have shown that attitudes towards and willingness to perform CPR vary widely between different populations. The majority of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private homes and an elderly layperson are the most likely bystander. Little is known about the factors that affect the willingness of elderly laypersons to perform CPR.
Aim: To examine the willingness and potential barriers towards initiating CPR among elderly laypersons.
Methods: A questionnaire consisting of open answer, categorical and Likert-type questions was developed and distributed to Danish laypersons above the age of 65.
Results: Response rate was 82% of which 99 responses were eligible for analysis. The median age was 72 years. If witnessing a cardiac arrest the majority (85%) would be willing to call the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). 36% would do no more than calling the EMS, 35% would provide rescue breath, 36% would give chest compressions, and 35% would use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Only 15% would be willing to do all the mentioned actions. Lack of knowledge was the most frequently stated reason for the unwillingness to perform rescue breath, chest compressions and use an AED. The fear of doing harm were the second most frequent stated reason whereas poor physical condition, lack of mental capacity and fear of touching a collapsed victim only to a lesser extent concerned the respondents.
Conclusions: Except from calling the EMS, willingness to perform CPR among elderly laypersons is low. Lack of knowledge and fear of doing harm are the main reasons. Strategies to increase CPR knowledge and training among elderly are warranted.
Author Disclosures: L.Q. Krogh: None. M.A. Nebsbjerg: None. S.E. Rasmussen: None. K. Bjørnshave: None. K. Krogh: None. J.A. Povlsen: None. B. Løfgren: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.