Out of hospital cardiac arrest: experience of a bystander CPR training program in Karachi, Pakistan

Uzma Rahim Khan, Umerdad Khudadad, Noor Baig, Fareed Ahmed, Ahmed Raheem, Butool Hisam, Nadeem Ullah Khan, Marcus Ong Eng Hock, Junaid Abdul Razzak

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Nearly 90% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients are witnessed, yet only 2.3% received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in Pakistan. This study aimed to determine retention of knowledge and skills of Hands-Only CPR among community participants in early recognition of OHCA and initiation of CPR in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: Pre and post-tests were conducted among CPR training participants from diverse non-health-related backgrounds from July 2018 to October 2019. Participants were tested for knowledge and skills of CPR before training (pre-test), immediately after training (post-test), and 6 months after training (re-test). All the participants received CPR training through video and scenario-based demonstration using manikins. Post-training CPR skills of the participants were assessed using a pre-defined performance checklist. The facilitator read out numerous case scenarios to the participants, such as drowning, poisoning, and road traffic injuries, etc., and then asked them to perform the critical steps of CPR identified in the scenario on manikins. The primary outcome was the mean difference in the knowledge score and skills of the participants related to the recognition of OHCA and initiation of CPR. Results: The pre and post-tests were completed by 652 participants, whereas the retention test after 6 months was completed by 322 participants. The mean knowledge score related to the recognition of OHCA, and initiation of CPR improved significantly (p < 0.001) from pre-test [47.8/100, Standard Deviation (SD) ±13.4] to post-test (70.2/100, SD ±12.1). Mean CPR knowledge after 6 months (retention) reduced slightly from (70.2/100, ±12.1) to (66.5/100, ±10.8). CPR skill retention for various components (check for scene safety, check for response, check for breathing and correct placement of the heel of hands) deteriorated significantly (p < 0.001) from 77.9% in the post-test to 72.8% in re-test. Participants performed slightly better on achieving an adequate rate of chest compressions from 73.1% in post-test to 76.7% in re-test (p 0.27). Conclusion: Community members with non-health backgrounds can learn and retain CPR skills, allowing them to be effective bystander CPR providers in OHCA situations. We recommend mass population training in Pakistan for CPR to increase survival from OHCA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Bystander
  • CPR
  • Out of the hospital cardiac arrest
  • Pakistan
  • Retention
  • Training


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