Background and purpose: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major health problem both in Europe and worldwide. In order to improve the survival chances for SCA victims an initiative was started in 2006 by medical students of the Maastricht University. This initiative is named Taskforce QRS (Qualitative Resuscitation by Students). Aims are to accomplish more awareness for SCA and the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to train CPR in secondary schools, to raise the number of volunteers in the Resuscitation Network System (RNS) and to increase the CPR skills of medical professionals.
Materials and methods: CPR-training is provided to secondary school students and students of Maastricht University. To improve CPR-skills of doctors, medical students receive CPR training, many of them being trained as CPR-instructors, and an elective course “Resuscitation Medicine” is organized. To raise governmental support administrators are trained, including mayors, aldermen and members of the Provincial Council and Central Government. All participants are encouraged to join the RNS. To increase awareness a yearly CPR-relay is held where secondary school students, medical students, professionals and RNS-volunteers practice ten hours non-stop CPR.
Results: Up to now 150 medical students are trained as CPR-instructor under the auspices of the Dutch Resuscitation Council. A total of about 5000 secondary school students were trained and 1500 medical students and 1000 Health Sciences students of Maastricht University. The course “Resuscitation Medicine” is running since 5 years and a total of 300 medical students have successfully participated. The CPR-Relay has been held since 8 years.
Conclusion: These activities, especially when receiving widespread continuation, will lead to increased awareness of the SCA problem and more CPR-skills within the community, among decision makers and medical professionals and hopefully to improved outcomes in SCA.
Publication: Resuscitation 2014, ERC Symposium on Guidelines: Abstract Presentations