Retention and use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills in parents of infants at risk for cardiopulmonary arrest.

K. Dracup, L. V. Doering, D. K. Moser, L. Evangelista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Policies of most neonatal intensive care units include teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to parents or other caretakers prior to infant hospital discharge. However, little is known about CPR skills retention in this population or the outcome of parents' use of CPR. This is a study to measure CPR skills 6 months following CPR training to identify characteristics predicting successful performance and to determine if parents used CPR. A sample of 100 parents or related caretakers of infants at risk for an out-of-hospital respiratory or cardiac arrest 6 months following CPR training were asked to demonstrate CPR on an infant mannequin and 94 agreed to participate. Although they were excluded from the study if they had a CPR course within the past 2 years, 37% had taken CPR sometime in the past. Only one third of participants (n = 31, 33%) were able to perform satisfactory CPR. Those who demonstrated satisfactory CPR skills were more likely to have had previous CPR training and to have experienced higher levels of social support at the time of training than those who achieved unsatisfactory CPR performance ratings (p < .05). A logistic regression analysis revealed previous CPR training, social support, and level of anxiety at time of CPR training to be the most important predictors of CPR skills retention. Seven parents reported using CPR to resuscitate their infant who had suffered a respiratory arrest. All seven were successful. CPR skills decay is significant for caregivers of infants at high risk for cardiopulmonary arrest. Parents should be encouraged to review the steps of CPR frequently and to attend refresher classes. A significant proportion of parents of infants hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit are called upon to use CPR and are able to use it appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225; quiz 226-227
JournalPediatric nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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