Comparison of the errors in basic life support performance after training using the 2000 and 2005 ERC guidelines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


The importance of immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation after cardiac arrest is established. The 2005 European Resuscitation Council (ERC) guidelines were altered to try to improve survival after cardiac arrest. This observational study compares the errors in basic life support (BLS) performance after training using the 2000 or 2005 guidelines. First-year healthcare students at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, were taught adult BLS in a standardised 8-h course: an historical group with previous ERC guidelines (Old), the other with 2005 ERC guidelines (New). 2537 (Old 1773; New 764) students were trained and assessed in BLS. There was no difference in overall error rate between Old and New (5.53% vs. 6.70% (p>0.05)) or adherence to the sequence of the respective BLS algorithm. The New group ("hands in centre of the chest") had significantly more erroneous hand positions compared to the Old group (5.23% vs. 1.64%, p<0.001). The 2005 ERC guidelines do not significantly improve correct BLS performance. Removal of hand placement measurement results in a significant increase in hand position errors. The clinical benefit of an increased number of compressions impaired by worsened hand positioning is unknown and requires further study.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-8
Number of pages3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/education, Clinical Competence, Delivery of Health Care, Educational Measurement, England, Guideline Adherence, Heart Massage, Humans, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Students, Teaching, Universities, Young Adult