CPR & Bystander Rescue Research

Bystander Rescue Research

Most people in trouble in the water don’t drown, but some rescuers do. From 1980 to 2016, 93 people drowned in New Zealand while attempting to rescue others, 51 of those at beaches. In most cases the original victim survived and those who drowned were family members.

In 2013 WaterSafe Auckland completed research with 415 festival goers and found that despite most (62%) estimating their swimming distance competency at less than 100m, predominantly in a pool (85%), almost half (47%) indicated that their first response to a drowning victim would be to jump in and perform a rescue. More males than females (55% vs. 40%) responded they would jump in, and more females than males reported they would seek the help of lifeguards (65% vs. 54%).

Moran, K., & Stanley, T. (2013). Readiness to Rescue: Bystander Perceptions of Their Capacity to Respond in a Drowning Emergency. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 7(4), 290-300.

In response to this information Drowning Prevention Auckland developed educational tools around The 4Rs of Bystander Rescue:

Recognise – signs of distress
Respond – provide flotation
Rescue – from land is the safest
Revive – provide care to the rescued person

Education around bystander rescue and the 4Rs of Bystander Rescue brochure have been shown to be an effective intervention to improve safety around bystander rescues, as shown in the two publications below.

Moran, K., Webber, J., & Stanley, T. (2017). The 4Rs of Aquatic Rescue: educating the public about safety and risks of bystander rescue. International journal of injury control and safety promotion, 24(3), 396-405. DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2016.1224904.

Moran, K., Webber, J., & Stanley, T. (2018). Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), Risk of Drowning, and Water Safety Perceptions of Adult Caregivers/Parents. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 11(1).

CPR – Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitaion

The International Life Saving Federation has issued a statement reinforcing the immediate provision of ventilation as the first and most important treatment of the drowning victim. Prompt initiation of rescue breathing increases the victim’s chance of survival.

Medical Position Statement – MPS-15 2008 Compression-Only CPR.pdf

Further research on CPR around knowledge and perceptions of CPR completed by DPA is listed below:

Webber, J., Moran, K., & Cumin, D. (2018). Paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation: Knowledge and perceptions of surf lifeguards. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. https://rdcu.be/1VXw

Moran, K., Stanley, T., & Rutherford, A. (2012). Toddler drowning prevention: Teaching parents about child CPR in conjunction with their child’s in-water lessons. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 6(4), 6.

Moran K, Stanley, T. (2011). Toddler parent training, understanding, and perceptions of CPR. Resuscitation, 82(5):572-576.