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Could You Save This Manikin?

Participants in a new research study are not only advancing science - they are learning a skill that could save their life or the life of a loved one.
Could You Save This Manikin?

Devora Chavez demonstrates compression-only CPR

November 3, 2010

Participants in a new research study are not only advancing science—they are learning a skill that could save their life or the life of a loved one. As part of a study conducted by NWCPHP researchers, Chinese-speaking participants receive basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training.

The purpose of the study is to investigate ways in which 911 dispatchers can most effectively communicate with Limited English Proficient (LEP) callers. As a group, LEP callers are less likely than non-LEP callers to perform dispatcher-assisted CPR.

Since every second counts during an emergency, researchers are exploring ways that dispatcher instructions can be made more understandable to LEP callers. Callers to 911 in King County, Washington, where the study is being conducted, have access to interpreters, but it takes a minute or two to be connected with the language service. If callers can begin to give CPR before the interpreter gets on the line, it may save lives.

Participants follow the instructions of an off-duty 911 dispatcher and give CPR to a special manikin that records data about the CPR being given. After the simulation is done, researchers review the steps of compression-only CPR and then give the participants more opportunity to practice. According to Devora Chavez, one of the study’s project coordinators, “A lot of people in the communities we are working with believe that CPR is only something that trained medical professionals can do. Also, if there are no Good Samaritan laws in their home country, participants think that if someone they are trying to help dies, they will get in trouble.” Researchers stress that everyone can do compression-only CPR.

Chavez said that they make sure participants know about the protections and resources available to people who want to help during a medical emergency. Researchers encourage all study participants know a few tips that could make a big difference when calling 911, “We tell them that it is important to know their address in English as well as a key word like “doctor,” “ambulance,” or “sick,” Chavez said.

To-date, researchers, in collaboration with the Chinese Information Service Center, have worked with participants who belong to the LEP Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking communities in King County. Study of other language communities will take place as the project continues. The study also includes simulations with native English speakers to ensure that the policy changes indicated by the study do not adversely affect 911 callers who are fluent in English. Findings from the study will be tested in call centers in Spring 2011.

Click here for more information about this project.

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