Virtual CPR training top picks
When it comes to improving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival, CPR training works. Take Denmark’s program to teach CPR in schools; within five years, bystander interventions had more than doubled, and survival rates tripled.
This case study directly correlates community CPR training with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival. For decades, public health authorities and heart health experts have been imploring more of us to become CPR aware.
One thing COVID lockdowns have highlighted is that CPR coaching is easy to find – and there are plenty of virtual options.
Here are some of our favourites, accessible wherever and wherever you are.
(Note – please forgive the distinct Australian skew of some of these options. While you may not share our home country, many of the organisations and options listed here offer similar courses around the world – and a little digging may unearth some fresh perspectives. If you find a good one, let us know!)
CPR Friendly – Not long ago, we interviewed the hilarious founders of cprfriendly.org, Don and Hutch. They started this free community service after Don’s quick thinking saved Hutch from his own out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. This experience led them to the insight that our communities need more CPR-trained people – but that committing to long and expensive training is a barrier to making that happen. Today, they’re committed to making people like you and me CPR aware, through online resources ranging from 5-second vids to 45-minute webinars.
Lifesaver.org.uk – If you like your coaching combined with cinematic experiences, this one’s for you. UK-based Lifesaver has produced four interactive film dramas that require the viewer to make decisions under time pressure – and experience the impact of what happens next, for good or ill.
American AED CPR Association – while this free course may not have the flair of some other online programs, it delivers excellent coaching on skills to prepare for helping someone survive a sudden cardiac arrest.
First Aid Web – another US-based service, this time provided by the US National Health and Safety Foundation. First Aid Web offers two free courses, one dedicated to CPR and the other to more general first aid skills.
Heart Smart – developed by our partners, DefibsPlus in collaboration with Monash University, Heart Smart integrates video and instructional content in a user-friendly and visually appealing four-module program. While you need to register to access the coaching, it is provided free-of-charge.
First Aid For Free – Another free-upon-registration program is First Aid For Free, offering modules on general first aid skills as well as CPR and AED use. While you’re offered a certificate of completion at the end, this is not a substitute for hands-on, accredited training.
RELATED ARTICLE: Mastering known risks of sudden cardiac arrest
We’re aware of a range of fee-based virtual courses ranging from a small fee leading to a certificate of completion, to higher-cost programs providing your own practice manikin and defibrillator pads.
Here’s a selection of examples from our home country of Australia. A quick internet search should uncover similar offerings wherever you are.
TCP Training – Australian company, TCP offers CPR training on its own, or basic life support training that includes CPR and AED use. A lot of TCP’s offerings are specific to certain industries and workplaces, and are based on jurisdictional regulations. If you’re interested in this sort of training but are in another part of the world, searching for “occupational CPR accreditation in my area” should get you started.
Red Cross – in Australia, Red Cross offers a virtual classroom via online conferencing. This course comes with a price tag (AU$99) but for that, they’ll send you a manikin and defibrillator pads that you can keep and practice with after the virtual training course has finished. As we’re heard from Dr Katherine Faull, this opportunity to practice regularly after training is vital to developing new skills.
St John – similar to Red Cross Australia, St John Australia offers a virtual training experience, complete with manikin. A range of less-pricey CPR and AED awareness course are also on offer, for people who don’t need accreditation but still want to learn how to use an AED and perform CPR.