Is the teaching of Immediate Life Support useful in the medium term for medical students?

¿Es útil la enseñanza del Soporte vital Inmediato a medio plazo Para los estudiantes de medicina?


Immediate Life Support training is under-represented in medical degrees and little information is available on the medium-term effectiveness of its teaching. Our aim was to analyse the forgetting curve in medical students who received specific training in the three main procedural competencies of Immediate Life Support.

Material and methods

A prospective 3-month longitudinal study was conducted on final year medical students at a Spanish university. The items assessed were grouped into three competencies: the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (nine items), instrumentalised airway management with a supraglottic device (five items) and the identification of basic arrhythmias responsible for cardiorespiratory arrest (four items). All measurements were assessed immediately after the training programme and at three months. McNemar's tests were used for statistical analyses.


The medical students recruited showed high rates of correct execution of the manoeuvres for all assessed items, both immediately after the programme and at three months. Over 90% of students performed all the manoeuvres correctly at three months, except for appropriate cardiac massage frequency (85.71%). No significant differences were appreciated between the two assessments.


The 3-month forgetting curve in Immediate Life Support was non-existent for medical students, suggesting that these programmes are effective in the medium term. This study provides further evidence on a discipline that is undertrained in medical degrees and that is scarcely studied in the current literature.

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