Harsha Kumar H. N. completed his MBBS in 2001 from Government Medical College, Karnataka State and Pursued MD (Community Medicine) from Manipal University, India. He is currently Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine at Kasturba Medical College. He has about 32 research publications in reputed journals. He is a resource person for training in Research Methodology and Biostatistics. He has authored and obtained Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Projects. He teaches preventive medicine, conducts outreach health clinics in rural areas and is in charge of research in Non-Communicable diseases. He is in-charge of implementing public health programs in Mangalore City.


Background: Basic Life Support is an important part of emergency medical care. This study is done among medical undergraduate students to know their knowledge and perceptions about BLS, as they are going to face such situations in future as doctors.
Materials & methods: A questionnaire-based study is conducted among 377 medical undergraduate students. The questionnaire included following parts: 1. Basic Characteristics of study participants, 2. Knowledge about BLS/CPR, 3. Perceptions about BLS/CPR. The Components of knowledge and perception based questions were scored. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 12. Results are expressed as proportions in appropriate tables and graphs. Student’s Independent ‘t’ test was used to compare means between students who had undergone previous training if any and those who had no such training.
Results: Out of 377 students, majority (84.6%) had heard of BLS/CPR. Some of them (30.6%) could give the correct order of performing CPR as per AHA guidelines 2010. Few (18.9%) had undergone prior training in BLS, whereas only 17.7% had been in a situation which needed BLS/CPR. Nearly half (50.2%) were not confident of performing BLS/CPR. Comparison of the students revealed that students who had training had higher mean scores for ‘response to a situation needing BLS/CPR’ and ‘signs of successful resuscitation’, though there was little difference in their knowledge of ‘indications for BLS/CPR’. Overall perception was not favorable.
Conclusions: The knowledge was inadequate. Training improved their knowledge but not the perception. They were neither comfortable nor confident to handle a situation which needed BLS/CPR.