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The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) released new guidelines on resuscitation in 2015. For the first time, the guidelines included a separate chapter on first aid for laypersons. We analysed the current major Danish national first aid books to identify potential inconsistencies between the current books and the new evidence-based first aid guidelines.
We identified first aid books from all the first aid courses offered by major Danish suppliers. Based on the new ERC first aid guidelines, we developed a checklist of 26 items within 16 different categories to assess the content; this checklist was adapted following the principle of mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive questioning. To assess the agreement between four raters, Fleiss’ kappa test was used. Items that did not reach an acceptable kappa score were excluded.
We evaluated 10 first aid books used for first aid courses and published between 2009 and 2015. The content of the books complied with the new in 38% of the answers.
In 12 of the 26 items, there was less than 50% consistency. These items include proximal pressure points and elevation of extremities for the control of bleeding, use of cervical collars, treatment for an open chest wound, burn dressing, dental avulsion, passive leg raising, administration of bronchodilators, adrenaline, and aspirin.
Danish course material showed significant inconsistencies with the new evidence-based first aid guidelines. The new knowledge from the evidence-based guidelines should be incorporated into revised and updated first aid course material.