Viral Quackery

Video-sharing Web site not the best place to catch up on CPR techniques, according to study

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) may be the best place to watch a squirrel water ski or would-be American Idols warble their way through Lady Gaga tunes, but it's is not the best place to catch up on CPR tips.

More than half of some 52 videos teaching CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) were uploaded by individuals with no apparent medical credentials, according to a study from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Many of the videos gave accurate information regarding CPR techniques, however, Dr. Karthik Murugiah told Reuters Health.

Many videos proved inconsistent, incorrect or not thorough in their demonstrations. About two-thirds of the videos either incorrectly described the rate of CPR chest compressions or failed to address the detail. The ideal rate is at least 100 compressions per minute, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), which is ironically the same beats-per-minute as the Bee Gees' 1977 aptly titled hit, "Stayin' Alive."

Each compression in CPR should be about two inches (5 centimeters) deep, or about one and one-half inches in infants while allowing the chest to return to its normal position between thrusts.

YouTube also turned up a dearth of videos demonstrating the CPR "hands only" technique that allows bystanders to skip the traditional mouth-to-mouth technique. This tecnhnique has been approved and recommended by the American Heart Association.

Although there is accurate information available on YouTube, Murugiah said it's difficult for the lay person to wade through and pick out the the correct content.

For a more accurate assessment of CPR techniques, those interested should take a look at the AHA's YouTube page:

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 14, 2011
Last Updated:
January 19, 2011