Objective: Dissemination of paediatric basic life support skills, while recommended, is not done routinely for pregnant women and their partners within the maternity services. This study evaluates an e-learning programme coupled with the use of a novel infant pillow mannequin to determine whether a low-cost intervention with potential for widespread application could enable training in the event of an infant choking and the provision of basic life support.
Design: A prospective cohort study with an uncontrolled pre- and post-test design was used following institutional ethical approval.
Setting: A four week cycle of antenatal education classes in a regional Maternity Hospital in Ireland
Participants: A purposive sample of pregnant women and their partners attending the antenatal education classes.
Measurements: (1) confidence in knowing what to do in the event of an infant choking, (2) confidence in performing infant CPR, (3) ability to perform the requisite skills, and (4) the perceived acceptability of the infant pillow mannequin as a means of practise.
Findings: Twenty-four individuals completed a pre- and post-programme questionnaire. The e-learning programme along with practise on the pillow mannequin significantly affected confidence (p<.001) in the actions to take in the event of an infant choking and in performing infant CPR. Forty-four participants used the pillow mannequin for practice and volunteered to have their skills assessed. Over 90% demonstrated correct positioning of the infant in the event of choking, correctly identified the correct ratio of chest compressions to breaths, and conducted chest compressions to the required depth. Three distinct categories of comment were identified: usefulness of the programme; simplicity of the programme/pillow mannequin; accessibility for practise at home.
Conclusion and implications for practice: A self-instructional e-learning programme coupled with an infant pillow mannequin enables parents to learn the procedure in the event of an infant choking and to demonstrate basic life support. This low-cost intervention has the potential for widespread application within developed and developing countries.