Top Things to Know: 2020 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, Part 6: Resuscitation Education Science

Published: October 21, 2020

  1. Effective education is an essential contributor to improved survival outcomes from cardiac arrest.
  2. Use of a deliberate practice and mastery learning model during resuscitation training improves skill acquisition and retention for many critical tasks.
  3. The addition of booster training to resuscitation courses is associated with improved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skill retention over time and improved neonatal outcomes.
  4. Implementation of a spaced-learning approach for resuscitation training improves clinical performance and technical skills compared with massed learning.
  5. The use of CPR feedback devices during resuscitation training promotes CPR skill acquisition and retention.
  6. Teamwork and leadership training, high-fidelity manikins, in situ training, gamified learning, and virtual reality represent opportunities to enhance resuscitation training and may improve learning outcomes.
  7. Self-directed CPR training represents a reasonable alternative to instructor-led CPR training for lay rescuers.
  8. Middle school– and high school–age children should be taught how to perform high-quality CPR because this helps build the future cadre of trained community-based lay rescuers.
  9. To increase bystander CPR rates, CPR training should be tailored to low–socioeconomic status neighborhoods and specific racial and ethnic communities, where there is currently a paucity of training opportunities.
  10. Future resuscitation education research should include outcomes of clinical relevance, establish links between performance outcomes in training and patient outcomes, describe cost-effectiveness of interventions, and explore how instructional design can be tailored to specific skills.

View the summary for 2020 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC


Cheng A, Magid DJ, Auerbach M, Bhanji F, Bigham BL, Blewer AL, Dainty KN, Diederich E, Lin Y, Leary M, Mahgoub M, Mancini ME, Navarro K, Donoghue A. Part 6: resuscitation education science: 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Circulation. 2020;142(suppl 2):S551–S579. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000903