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Background: Ischemia is the leading cause of death worldwide and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) caused by coronary heart disease is responsible for more than 60% of deaths. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) increases the probability of survival of a person with cardiac arrest. Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the factors which influence the attitudes of nursing staff towards initiating CPR and in using an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on an out of hospital victim of cardiac arrest. Material and Methods: Between May and September of 2010, 310 nurses from both urban and rural Greek hospitals, were asked about their knowledge regarding CPR and the use of an AED and their willingness to perform CPR and to operate an AED in the out-of-hospital setting. Information was gathered through a questionnaire that was based on one of a previous study. Data collection lasted 5 months. Data analysis was performed with the statistical package SPSS ver. 17. Results: The mean age of study participants was 35±7.85 years; 81% were female and 19% were male. Regarding the educational level of participants, 2.9% had completed secondary technological education, 23% had graduated from an additional 2- year program, 67.6% were graduates from Higher Technological Education Institute and 3.6% from University. Further, 2.6% held a master‘s degree and 0.3% a doctoral degree. 71.4% of the participants had a basic life support and AED training. Only 37.8% of the nurses reported that they would use the AED. The reasons for unwillingness to perform CPR were the lack of systematic training in the AED device and the lack of legal coverage of the state. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the number of working years and the amount of CPR training (r = 0.139, p-value = 0.019). Conclusions: The main factor that affects the attitude of nurses in initiating CPR is their lack of systematic training. In contrast, personal experience of nurses has a positive outcome since it reinforces their capability of initiating CPR. Further studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of CPR training on survival.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, automatic external defibrillator, nurse attitudes, cardiac arrest