Training in CPR and AEDs FAQS

Q.) Who can train people in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and what qualifications should that have?
A.) When it comes to training people on how to deliver CPR and the use of AED’s, in the UK there aren’t any legal provisions preventing or allowing people to do so. The trainers and the users of AEDs however, do have obligations under common law to ensure the use of a defibrillator is used in an emergency and is not used to cause harm.

There are many documents which can be referred to for further information about training people in CPR and using AED’s but it is important to remember that courts always look favourably on those giving aid in the event of an emergency and should someone suffer a cardiac arrest, CPR and a defibrillator should be used immediately.

Q.) If I want training in CPR and the use of AEDs where should I go?
A.) CPR training can be delivered by a number of organisations which can be organised personally or often, workplaces offer first aid courses. Courses country wide are ran by volunteer organisations, charities, resuscitation officers and some ambulance trusts. It is advised that these courses should follow the resuscitation council (UK) guidelines as an outline for accurate and safe training.

Q.) How should training be delivered?
A.) Training can be delivered in a number of ways when teaching people how to deliver CPR and to use an AED, the most common way is through a trainer where practical methods are put to use using manikins so that people get hands on experience delivering emergency care. This method also allows for the instructors to answer any other health and safety questions that learners may have, making it an effective educational way to teach.

DVD’s however, are also another common method when it comes to teaching first aid as it eliminates the need for an inhouse trainer meaning people can be taught the importance of CPR and AEDs and how to use them from work or at home etc. It is important to note that any DVD training must highlight hands-on practice so that learners are still shown how to react to an emergency.

Q.) How long should it take people to train in CPR and the use of an AED?
A.) There are a number of different factors that contribute to the length of time it takes to train someone to deliver CPR and how to use an AED and this varies across courses. Factors to consider are the equipment available, the ratio of instructors to participants, the characteristics of those learning e.g children and the amount of practical, hands-on training that is going to be taught.

All of these things must be taken into consideration when determining how long it would take to train someone meaning it could take a different amount of time with every new group of people trained. The most important thing to note is that all participants learn the important steps, skills required and what to do if someone does suffer from a cardiac arrest.

Q.) How often should people be retrained?
A.) People should be retrained once a year as a guidance and more if possible with resuscitation skills being refreshed regularly. Ensuring participants are retrained often keeps live saving, important skills are the forefront of the mind meaning that if an emergency were to happen, they will be able to remember the rescue steps much more quickly, increasing the survival rate for the victim.

Q.) What certification will the instructors provide?
A.) Training organisations often provide participants with a certificate to highlight that you have passed a first aid course or been in attendance to one. They should identify which course the participant took part in and what skills they demonstrated should as learning how to deliver CPR and how to use an AED as well as a recommendation as to when retraining should occur.

Q.) What is the ideal ratio of instructors to participants for CPR and AED training?
A.) The ratio of instructors to participants can vary depending on the method of training and the number of available instructors at the time and there isn’t enough evidence to suggest an appropriate number that all CPR and AED training courses must have a certain number of participants per instructor but, of course, the more people taking part in any course means the trainer has less time with each person.

Having hands on training courses can be great when combined with DVD’s as they really highlight the importance and steps that should be used when delivering such first aid which can then be backed up by physically delivering CPR to a manikin in a training course.

Q.) What is the ideal ratio of participants to manikins and training AEDs?
A.) Unfortunately, resources can often limit how many training manikins are available per AED. Ideally, each participant would have their own manikin to practice emergency steps on but, this often is not the case. When manikins and training AEDs need to be shared between a number of people it is important that the training course is longer so that each person has an adequate amount of time learning how to use the equipment and how to deliver CPR.

Q.) Is there are government legislation or recommendation that employers should have AEDs?
A.) There are not currently any legal requirements indicating that workplaces should have AEDs however, having one nearby at work whether you are in an office, factory or supermarket could make the difference between life and death for anyone in the vicinity such as colleagues, customers or passersby. The more defibrillators installed in public environments means that more effective emergency care can be delivered, so although it is not a legal requirement to have a defibrillator in the workplace, it is of course recommended.