• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Awareness of Basic Life Support among Egyptian Medical Students; a Cross-Sectional Study

Esraa Ghanem, Muhammad Elgazar, Khaled Oweda, Hussien Tarek, Fathy Assaf, Mostafa Wanees, Ahmed Elgebaly, Abdelrahman Ibrahim Abushouk




Introduction: It is important for all medical and paramedical staff to be aware of basic life support (BLS) maneuvers. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the level of BLS awareness among Egyptian medical students.

Methods: The level of BLS knowledge was assessed using a validated questionnaire and the results were analyzed using an answer key, prepared from the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) manual. We used the Student's t-test to analyze the association between awareness level and year of study, previous BLS training and practical experience.

Results: A total of 823 medical students with the mean age of 20.3 ± 2.7 years, from Al-Azhar medical schools completed the questionnaire (463 and 360 in academic and clinical years, respectively). About 72% and 84% of students failed to recognize the proper point of chest compression in adults and infants, respectively. Moreover, the majority (80%) did not know how to give rescue breathing in infants. Only 18% of students correctly identified early signs of shock and only 22% knew how to help patients with myocardial infarction. Being in clinical years, previous BLS training or practical experience were significantly associated with higher BLS knowledge scores (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The level of BLS awareness among Egyptian medical students is generally poor. Introduction of regular BLS courses into the undergraduate curriculum is a must to increase the level of BLS knowledge among Egyptian future physicians.


Awareness; Basic Life Support; Medical Education; Students


Bogle BM, Ning H, Mehrotra S, Goldberger JJ, Lloyd-jones DM. Lifetime Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death in the Community. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2016;5(7):e002398.

Pundalika D, Narayan R, Biradar S V, Reddy MT, Bk S. Assessment of knowledge and attitude about basic life support among dental interns and postgraduate students in Bangalore city , India. World Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2015;6(2):118–22.

Kurdi MI. Coronary artery disease in Africa and the Middle East. Therapy and Clinical Risk Management. 2012;8:65–72.

Tipa RO, Bobirnac G. Importance of basic life support training for first and second year medical students -a personal statement-. Journal of Medicine and Life. 2010;3(4):465–7.

Qassim A. Basic life support knowledge of healthcare students and professionals in the Qassim University. International Journal of Health Sciences. 2014;8(2).

Chandrasekaran S, Kumar S, Bhat SA, Shabbir PM, Chandrasekaran VP. Awareness of basic life support among medical , dental , nursing students and doctors. Indian Journal of Anesthesia. 2010;54(2):121–6.

Zaheer H, Haque Z. Students ’ Corner Awareness about BLS ( CPR ) among medical students: status and requirements. JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 2009;59(1):57–9.

Meissner TM, Kloppe C, Hanefeld C. Basic life support skills of high school students before and after cardiopulmonary resuscitation training : a longitudinal investigation. Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine. 2012;20(1):31.

Elm E Von, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, Gøtzsche PC, Vandenbroucke JP, et al. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology ( STROBE ) Statement : Guidelines for reporting observational studies *. International Journal of Surgery. Elsevier Ltd; 2014;12(12):1495–9.

Valenzuela TD, Roe DJ, Cretin S, Spaite DW, Larsen MP. Estimating Effectiveness of Cardiac Arrest Interventions. Circulation. 1997 Nov;96(10):3308 LP – 3313.

Assembiy S, Physicians EM, Auble TE, Menegazzi JJ, Paris PM. Effect of Out-of-Hospital Defibrillation by Basic Life Support Providers on Cardiac Arrest Mortality : A Metaanalysis. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 1995;25(5):642–8.

Weaver WD, Hill D, Fahrenbruch CE, Copass MK, Martin JS, Cobb LA, et al. Use of the Automatic External Defibrillator in the Management of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. New England Journal of Medicine. Massachusetts Medical Society; 1988 Sep;319(11):661–6.

Buck-barrett I, Squire I. The use of basic life support skills by hospital staff ; what skills should be taught ? Resuscitation. 2004;60(1):39–44.

Andreas P, Kramer-johansen J. Improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation quality to ensure survival. Current Opinion in Critical Care. 2008;14(3):299–304.

Toner P, Connolly M, Laverty L, Mcgrath P, Connolly D, Mccluskey DR. Teaching basic life support to school children using medical students and teachers in a “ peer-training ” model —– Results of the “ ABC for life ” programme. Resuscitation. 2007;75(1):169–75.

Holmberg M, Holmberg S, Herlitz J, Ga B. Survival after cardiac arrest outside hospital in Sweden. Resuscitation. 1998;36(1):29–36.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/emergency.v6i1.20951


  • There are currently no refbacks.