To determine the best approaches for increasing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training opportunities for public high school students, we conducted a statewide survey of all 310 public high schools in Washington State. The findings describe CPR student training currently provided by high schools, barriers to providing, and strategies to increase CPR training of high school students. The response rate was 89% (276 schools) from a combination of mail and telephone surveys; 35% (n=97) reported that they did not provide any CPR student training. Of the 132 schools that provided CPR student training, 23% trained less than 10% of their students, and 39% trained more than 90% of their students. The majority of public high schools, 70%, did not have any teacher trained to teach CPR or had only one teacher with such training. Yet 80% of schools felt that CPR training is best provided in school settings. Schools perceived the greatest benefit of CPR training as providing students with the skill to save a life (43%). The most frequently identified barriers were logistical: limited time to teach the curriculum (24%), lack of funds (16%), and instructor scheduling difficulties (17%). Less than 5% of respondents voiced any opposition to CPR training, and that opposition was for logistical reasons. To increase CPR training, the single best strategies suggested were: increase funding, provide time in the curriculum, have more certified instructors, and make CPR student training a requirement. (copyright) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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