Virtual reality training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in schools

The UK average survival rate from out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is 8.6%, which is significantly lower than in comparable countries where survival rates can exceed 20%. A cardiac arrest victim is two to four times more likely to survive OHCA with bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Mandatory teaching of CPR in schools is an effective way, endorsed by the World Health Organization, to train the entire population and improve the bystander CPR rate. Despite this, as with other UK home nations, there is significant variation in provision of CPR training within schools in Wales. Virtual reality (VR) technology offers an accessible, immersive way to teach CPR skills to schoolchildren. Computer scientists at the University of Chester and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust developed Virtual Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (VCPR), which can be used to teach children CPR skills. There were three stages: identifying requirements and specifications; development of a prototype; and management—development of software, further funding and exploring opportunities for commercialisation.

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