Background: Early initiation of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the chances of successful resuscitation and survival. The importance of bystander CPR is attracting more interest, and there has been an increase in attendance at CPR training courses in Japan. However, there have been few reports regarding Japanese attitudes toward the performance of bystander CPR. The present study was performed to identify current Japanese attitudes toward bystander CPR compared to our previous study performed in 1998.
Methods and results: Between February and March 2006, participants were asked about their willingness to perform CPR in five varying scenarios, i.e., performing CPR on a stranger, a trauma patient, a child, an elderly person, and a relative, and CPR techniques consisting of chest compression plus mouth-to-mouth ventilation (CC plus MMV) versus chest compression only (CC only). A total of 4223 individuals (male 50%) completed the questionnaire, including high school students, teachers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), medical nurses, and medical students. About 70% of the subjects had experienced CPR training more than once. Only 10-30% of high school students, teachers, and health care providers reported willingness to perform CC plus MMV, especially on a stranger or trauma victim. In contrast, 70-100% of these subjects reported willingness to perform CC only, which was the same as in our previous study. The reasons for the unwillingness among laypeople to perform CC plus MMV were inadequate knowledge and/or doubt regarding whether they could perform the techniques effectively, while health care providers reported a fear contracting of a disease.
Conclusions: Most laypeople and health care providers are unlikely to perform CC plus MMV, especially on a stranger or trauma victim, but are more likely to perform CC only, as also found in our previous study in 1998. These findings suggest that MMV training should be de-emphasised and the awareness of CC alone should be emphasised because, for whatever reason, people do not want to perform MMV.