Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training and Risk of Infection

Robert L. Prosser Jr, MD
JAMA. 1990;263(22):3025. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440220047025.
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To the Editor.—  The American Heart Association has failed to address the key issue related to infection and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the supplemental guidelines published in the November 17 issue of The Journal.1If good cardiopulmonary resuscitation training can be done without risk, there is no moral or ethical justification for exposing trainees to any risk. Adequate ventilation practice can be given during cardiopulmonary resuscitation courses using a bag-valve-mask apparatus. Practice and testing of this ventilation skill during cardiopulmonary resuscitation training combined with instruction about other more risky ventilation methods (mouth-to-mouth and mouth-to-mask) would provide a risk-free teaching situation.The students I teach would be willing to take the minuscule risk of contracting a serious infection to save a life. They are unwilling to take this risk to practice on a mannequin.The guidelines state that "requests for individual mannequins should be honored, within reason." Since there is no


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