YouTube as a source of information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Resuscitation. 2011 Mar;82(3):332-4. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Dec 24.


Objective: Widespread knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical to improving survival in sudden cardiac death. We analyzed YouTube, an Internet video-site which is a growing source of healthcare information for source, content and quality of information about CPR.

Methods: YouTube was queried using keywords "CPR", "Cardiopulmonary resuscitation", "BLS" and "Basic life support". Videos in English demonstrating CPR technique were included. Videos were classified by upload source, content, structure of course, subject for CPR demonstration, etc. Videos were scored for 'accuracy of demonstration' of CPR steps on a scale of 0-8 and for 'viewability'.

Results: Of 800 videos screened 52 met the inclusion criteria with mean duration of 233 (±145)s and view count 37 (±77) per day. 48% (n = 25) videos were by individuals with unspecified credentials. No differences were noted in view count/day, 'accuracy of demonstration' and 'viewability' among videos based on source. No information was provided about scene safety assessment in 65% (n = 34) videos. Only 69% (n = 31/45) videos demonstrated the correct compression-ventilation ratio while 63.5% (n = 33), 34.6% (n = 18) and 40.4% (n = 21) gave information on location, rate and depth of chest compressions respectively. 19% (n = 10) videos incorrectly recommended checking for pulse.

Conclusion: Videos judged the best source for CPR information were not the ones most viewed. Information on this platform is unregulated, hence content by trusted sources should be posted to provide accurate and easily accessible information about CPR. YouTube may have a potential role in video-assisted learning of CPR and as source of information for CPR in emergencies.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation* / education
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet*