Aim: To determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Resuscitation Council UK Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Immediate Life Support (ILS) course numbers and outcomes. Methods: We conducted a before-after study using course data from the Resuscitation Council UK Learning Management System between January 2018 and December 2021, using 23 March 2020 as the cut-off between pre- and post-pandemic periods. Demographics and outcomes were analysed using chi-squared tests and regression models. Results: There were 90,265 ALS participants (51,464 pre-; 38,801 post-) and 368,140 ILS participants (225,628 pre-; 142,512 post-). There was a sharp decline in participants on ALS/ILS courses due to COVID-19. ALS participant numbers rebounded to exceed pre-pandemic levels, whereas ILS numbers recovered to a lesser degree with increased uptake of e-learning versions. Mean ALS course participants reduced from 20.0 to 14.8 post-pandemic (P < 0.001). Post-pandemic there were small but statistically significant decreases in ALS Cardiac Arrest Simulation Test pass rates (from 82.1 % to 80.1 % (OR = 0.90, 95 % CI = 0.86–0.94, P < 0.001)), ALS MCQ score (from 86.6 % to 86.0 % (mean difference = -0.35, 95 % CI −0.44 to −0.26, P < 0.001)), and overall ALS course results (from 95.2 %to 94.7 %, OR = 0.92, CI = 0.85–0.99, P = 0.023). ILS course outcomes were similar post-pandemic (from 99.4 % to 99.4 %, P = 0.037). Conclusion: COVID-19 caused a sharp decline in the number of participants on ALS/ILS courses and an accelerated uptake of e-learning versions, with the average ALS course size reducing significantly. The small reduction in performance on ALS courses requires further research to clarify the contributing factors.
- Advanced life support
- Immediate life support