The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that high school students receive training in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Basic Life Support (PBLS) as part of their health education program.
The skills taught, such as recognition of symptoms, establishment of an airway, and rescue breathing, will help prepare students to deal with individuals who need their assistance due to aspiration or cardiorespiratory emergencies. Individual efforts using only BLS/PBLS skills can be effective in rescuing patients in these circumstances.1-3 Prompt initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after early recognition of a cardiac arrest has limited success alone. This education must be supported by a community emergency response system. Immediate CPR coupled with access to the community emergency response team maximizes the impact of school education programs.4,5
School-based programs have been successful in training students to have BLS skills.6,7 The Academy does not expect that BLS/PBLS training will prepare students for all emergencies, nor does it intend that students should be made to believe they are solely responsible for rescuing victims or for the survival of individuals with life-threatening events in their school or community. Younger students should be reassured that their responsibility is limited during emergency events, particularly when adults are available. In addition to the potential benefits of BLS/PBLS, a realistic perspective of resuscitation abilities as only a link in the "chain of survival" should be provided. The limitations of BLS/PBLS and of all emergency services on the eventual outcome of cardiac arrests also should be explained.8 Students should be given information about avoiding the acquisition of transmissible diseases during CPR.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics