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How frequently should paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills be taught?
  1. Melissa Mulholland1,
  2. Seana Molloy1,
  3. Patricia Coulter2,
  4. Dara O'Donoghue3,4,
  5. Thomas Bourke5,6,
  6. Andrew Thompson1
  1. 1Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  3. 3Department of Child Health, Centre for Medical Education, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  4. 4Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  5. 5Centre for Medical Education, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  6. 6Paediatrics, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Melissa Mulholland, Clinical Education and Simulation Fellow, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK; mmulholland34{at}

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Clinical bottom line

  • Annual training is not sufficient to ensure providers can deliver guideline compliant CPR (Grade B).

  • More frequent training improves CPR skill performance (Grade B).

  • Participation decreases with more frequent training (Grade C).


As a newly appointed Education and Simulation Fellow in a tertiary paediatric hospital, I am interested in using simulation to provide paediatric resuscitation training to staff. I wondered how frequently staff should undergo resuscitation training to ensure optimum retention of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

Structured clinical question

Should responders to paediatric arrests (population) receive resuscitation training (intervention) more frequently than national guidelines recommend (comparator) to ensure optimum retention of CPR skills (outcome)?

Search strategy and outcome

We searched PubMed using the terms: ‘(frequency OR frequent OR interval OR timing) AND (training OR train OR education OR programme) AND (resuscitation OR CPR OR cardiopulmonary resuscitation OR basic life support training OR chest compression) AND (skills retention OR retain)’. Searches were conducted in September 2020.

PubMed yielded 159 results. Studies involving laypeople were excluded. We did not exclude studies that assessed CPR skills on adult manikins given the need for paediatric providers to respond to adolescent emergencies. Thirty-one papers were identified for abstract review and eleven papers underwent …

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  • Contributors AT, TB and DOD designed the question. MM conducted the literature search. All authors reviewed the evidence and contributed to the writing and review of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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