Background: It has been shown that a computer-based audible feedback system can improve acquisition and retention of basic life support (BLS) skills. This system is being developed to work in association with an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Aim: To determine if such a feedback system is likely to improve the quality of CPR performed by trained nurses whilst using an AED.
Method: Thirty-six general nurses performed 3 min of BLS on a manikin connected to a laptop computer running an experimental software program. After initial testing they were randomly allocated to control or 'feedback' groups. Both groups then performed a further 3 min of BLS, but those in the feedback group received audible corrective instructions from the computer when errors of technique were detected.
Results: The group receiving feedback were significantly better than the control group at performing inflations (P=0.004) and achieving the correct depth of chest compression (P<0.0005).
Conclusions: The results suggest that if the feedback system were to be incorporated into an AED, it could lead to better performance of CPR during a resuscitation attempt.