Are YouTube videos accurate and reliable on basic life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation?

Emerg Med Australas. 2014 Oct;26(5):474-7. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12274. Epub 2014 Aug 28.


Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate reliability and accuracy of the information on YouTube videos related to CPR and BLS in accord with 2010 CPR guidelines.

Methods: YouTube was queried using four search terms 'CPR', 'cardiopulmonary resuscitation', 'BLS' and 'basic life support' between 2011 and 2013. Sources that uploaded the videos, the record time, the number of viewers in the study period, inclusion of human or manikins were recorded. The videos were rated if they displayed the correct order of resuscitative efforts in full accord with 2010 CPR guidelines or not.

Results: Two hundred and nine videos meeting the inclusion criteria after the search in YouTube with four search terms ('CPR', 'cardiopulmonary resuscitation', 'BLS' and 'basic life support') comprised the study sample subjected to the analysis. Median score of the videos is 5 (IQR: 3.5-6). Only 11.5% (n = 24) of the videos were found to be compatible with 2010 CPR guidelines with regard to sequence of interventions. Videos uploaded by 'Guideline bodies' had significantly higher rates of download when compared with the videos uploaded by other sources. Sources of the videos and date of upload (year) were not shown to have any significant effect on the scores received (P = 0.615 and 0.513, respectively). The videos' number of downloads did not differ according to the videos compatible with the guidelines (P = 0.832). The videos downloaded more than 10,000 times had a higher score than the others (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: The majority of You-Tube video clips purporting to be about CPR are not relevant educational material. Of those that are focused on teaching CPR, only a small minority optimally meet the 2010 Resucitation Guidelines.

Keywords: Internet; YouTube; basic life support; resuscitation.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Consumer Health Information / methods
  • Consumer Health Information / standards*
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care*
  • Social Media / standards*
  • Video Recording / standards*