The use of virtual reality to teach CPR to children. Born in Italy and available in English, Kids Save Lives is a project to train the school population.
Cardiac arrest is a major health problem in Europe and around the world. Every year over 400,000 people in Europe and 60,000 in Italy are affected by cardiac arrest. In 70% of cases, cardiac arrest is witnessed by non-health professionals who can start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) maneuvers. If witnesses of cardiac arrest start CPR before the ambulance arrives, the victim’s chances of survival increase two to three times compared to cases in which CPR is not started.
A potential solution to make training sustainable
The European Resuscitation Council guidelines published in 2021 recommend annual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for all school-aged children. CPR-trained children should be encouraged to train their family members and friends as well. CPR training should also be offered in higher education institutions, especially for students of education and health professions. CPR training of children should be mandatory by law everywhere, inside and outside Europe.
The”Kids Save Lives: learning how to save a life” project promoted by Azienda USL di Bologna with the support of t he Fondazione del Monte di Bologna and Ravenna has as its main objective to raise awareness and train the school population, to promote appropriate behavior in the management of cardiorespiratory emergencies and promote first aid activities through the organization of training sessions.
The main objective of the project is to create a culture of solidarity in students in order to stimulate the ability to intervene in the event of cardiac arrest and not be afraid to do so, the ability to use a semi-automatic defibrillator and not be afraid to do so.
The further objective of the project also includes the use of innovative apps developed for training in virtual reality, in synergy with the “DAE RespondER” app, for the recruitment of occasional rescuers in the event of cardiac arrest. The DAE RespondER app was developed by the 118 of Bologna on behalf of the Emilia-Romagna Region and has been active since 2017. The “Kids Save Lives” project will use, for the first time in Italy, the “A Breathtaking Picnic VR” app for primary schools and the “School of CPR VR” app for secondary schools, which were created specifically for the project and are available in Italian and English.
Student training will use traditional CPR training tools combined with innovative tools(smartphone applications, interactive videos, and virtual reality experiences). The project involves the implementation and validation of an innovative way of raising awareness, inform and train through the use of serious games, interactive apps (A Breathtaking Picnic VR) and virtual reality technologies (School of CPR VR). The self-learning station will use short game sessions in primary school with the “A Breathtaking Picnic” app and its VR version, developed as part of the project. The self-learning station in the secondary school will use short game sessions with the “School of CPR VR” app in virtual reality to raise awareness, inform and train the school population on the maneuvers to be performed in case of cardiorespiratory emergencies in adults and children.
New law on the management of arrest in Italy
On 4 August 2021, after a long parliamentary process, the new “system” law for the management of cardiac arrest in Italy was published in the Official Gazette (https://bit.ly/3rlQtXF). An important focus was dedicated to training in schools of all types and levels with initiatives dedicated to students and teaching, administrative, technical, and auxiliary staff.
The “Kids save lives: learning how to save a life” project fully responds to the objectives recommended by the new law with an innovative and inclusive approach.
The resources available
The “Kids Save Lives: learning how to save a life” project has unified all the available and useful resources for school training in a single school web page in synergy with social activities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Read more about the project: