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Abstract

While the importance of lifeguards in providing immediate and effective basic life support (BLS) in drowning has been well reported, not a lot is known about how lifeguards perceive the relative value of CPR as a lifeguard skill, their training in it, and the likelihood of resuscitation being successful. A self-complete questionnaire was completed by 252 volunteer surf lifeguards at 16 surf beaches in the Greater Auckland,NZ region. Results show that most lifeguards (65%) had received training in the 3 months before the survey, 83% were willing to perform CPR, few (9%) had used CPR in an emergency, and many had a realistic expectation of the likelihood of CPR being successful. Recall of CPR compression rates (86%) was very good but initial steps at an emergency scene were less accurately recalled. Ways to address the misconceptions reported in the survey through enhanced training programs are discussed.

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