Are pregnant pool owners trained in infant/child cardiopulmonary resucitation?

TitleAre pregnant pool owners trained in infant/child cardiopulmonary resucitation?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGirasek, DC
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers02-35

Context: Multiple studies have demonstrated that bystander CPR is critical to increasing the proportion of pediatric drowning victims who survive neurologically “intact.” This study was conducted in a state where drowning is the leading cause of death for 1-4 year olds. The majority of toddlers who drown in Florida drown in residential swimming pools. We wanted to know whether pregnant women with in-ground pools in their yards knew how to perform infant/child CPR, and what differentiated trained mothers-to-be from those who had not received such instruction.

Methods: Pregnant pool owners attending prenatal classes in high risk counties of south Florida were invited to take part in a “pool safety study.” After having provided informed consent, study volunteers were asked to complete a brief survey instrument.

Results: Sixty percent (n=69) of eligible women agreed to participate. Despite the fact that 100% of our subjects felt “parents with pools should learn how to do infant/child CPR,” 62% reported never having taken such a class. Of the 24 women who had taken infant/child CPR, a majority had been trained more than a year ago. This suggests that their skills would have undergone significant degradation. The potential barriers that we explored regarding CPR training--lack of time (7%) and low self-efficacy (12%)--were endorsed by only a small minority of respondents. On the contrary, a majority of subjects reported: worrying that their child could drown (84%), feeling that they could save their baby’s life if they were trained (94%), understanding that minutes counted when it came to rescuing drowning victims (81%), and knowing that the risk of “brain damage” could be reduced if CPR is initiated before the rescue crew arrives (87%). Only 26%, however, were aware of the severe brain damage that can result from pool submersions.

Implications: It is unclear why a higher proportion of expectant mothers with pools are not being trained in infant/child CPR. Qualitative studies should be conducted to explore their thought processes. In the meantime, primary drowning prevention should be emphasized. Hospitals in high risk areas may also want to experiment with incorporating infant/child CPR training into standard prenatal classes.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Session attendees will identify pregnant pool owners as a group in need of infant/child CPR training.
  2. Session attendees should incorporate needs assessment into attempts to market CPR to pregnant pool owners.
  3. Session attendees will emphasize primary drowning prevention while exploring how to motivate more parents with pools to receive infant/child CPR instruction.