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American Heart Association 2011 CPR Retention: PT, OD students and Public Safety

Grant Winners

  • Debra F. Stern, DBA, MSM, PT – College of Pharmacy
  • Leah Nof, PhD, MS, PT – College of Health Care Sciences
  • Kevin Nugent, REMT-P – College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Eva Duchnowski, OD – College of Optometry


  • Rick Davis, PA-C, EdD – College of Health Care Sciences
  • Anthony Silvagni, DO, PharmD – College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • David S. Loshin, OD, PhD – College of Optometry


Award Winners

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required for Nova Southeastern University(NSU) health professions students and public safety personnel. The American Heart Association (AHA) published new guidelines for CPR in January 2011 both for professionals and lay public. While former CPR standards had been known to saves lives for cardiac and/or respiratory arrest, retention was shown to deteriorate over time amongst all trained populations. Methodology: This study will look at cognitive retention by retesting knowledge with the AHA written examination and cognitive/psychomotor retention by replication of scenario based cases and performance of CPR as in initial training. The psychomotor component will be recorded, with recordings analyzed by an AHA certified regional trainer for accuracy. Rationale: The rationale for this study is to determine the degree of retention at ~ six months after completing initial CPR training using the 2011 guidelines, in a representative NSU student and lay sample; Physical Therapy (PT), Doctor of Optometry (OD), and Public Safety personnel. This study may indicate better retention than previous studies indicate on the pre 2011 guidelines, similar decline at six months, or worse. Analysis: All CPR class participants are required to pass the initial written exam with no more than 3 wrong. The retest group will be descriptively analyzed as a cohort as either a pass or fail based on 3 wrong. The initial psychomotor component is passed by observation and "practical testing" by a certified CPR trainer. In the study, the recordings will be reviewed by a certified trainer to determine pass or fail. Significance: Establish degree of CPR retention based on the revised 2011 AHA criteria. As recertification is currently required at two year intervals, there may be indication that periodic refreshers or more frequent training is required; especially for health professional students that may be likely to initiate or perform CPR.

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