A hands-only CPR training kiosk. Source: The American Heart AssociationA hands-only CPR training kiosk. Source: The American Heart AssociationFollowing the installation of the first-of-its-kind kiosk in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport back in 2013, hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training kiosks have been cropping up in more public places, leading a team of researchers to wonder about their effectiveness when stacked against traditional hands-only CPR training methods.

The study, which included 738 participants, examined three different methods for training participants in hands-only CPR: a training session held in a classroom and led by an instructor; a video-only training session; and a training held at a kiosk with a mannequin to aid the session.

"For a person with little or no medical training, Hands-Only CPR training kiosks can teach life-saving skills in just minutes," said Debra G. Heard, Ph.D., a consultant with the American Heart Association and lead study author. "These kiosks have the potential to lower barriers to training, increase the likelihood a bystander would perform CPR and positively impact the likelihood of survival from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital."

A number of factors — including lack of training and resistance to administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation due to personal health concerns — contribute to low rates of bystander CPR, resulting in less than half of those who suffer from cardiac arrest receiving CPR beyond the walls of a hospital or other medical setting.

As such, researchers believe that hands-only kiosks overcome those barriers by offering accessible life-saving training in public places with an alternative to mouth-to-mouth.

During the study, researchers determined that the four-minute kiosk sessions were as effective at training participants in hands-only CPR as those attending an instructor-led 30-minute session. Both methods surpassed the results of the video-only training sessions.

“Public health professionals should advocate for regular classroom or kiosk training and re-training," Dr. Heard said.

The hands-only CPR kiosks now appear in 16 airports and 14 other public venues around the U.S.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com