The American Heart Association’s core Heartsaver courses, for those with little or no medical training, include Heartsaver First Aid, Heartsaver CPR AED and Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED. These video-based, Instructor-led courses teach participants critical skills needed to respond to and manage an emergency in the first few minutes until emergency medical services (EMS) takes over. Depending on the course, participants learn how to recognize, respond to and treat a variety of first aid emergencies, and perform CPR and use an AED in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.
The decision to eliminate the stand-alone Heartsaver CPR Course was based on science in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC, which indicates that the chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest is greater when high-quality CPR includes use of an AED. Science also shows that, with AEDs becoming more and more widely available in public and workplace settings, there is an increased need to educate all students on how to use an AED. Based on the science, all AHA adult and child CPR courses now will include AED instruction.
These courses are for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs a course completion card in first aid and/or CPR AED to meet job, regulatory or other requirements.
Heartsaver courses teach skills using the AHA’s research-proven Practice-While-Watching technique, which allows Instructors to observe students, provide feedback and guide students’ acquisition of skills. These courses include skills practice and testing to ensure students demonstrate competency performing skills and have mastered knowledge of cognitive information.
While the AHA does not mandate completion of a written test for Heartsaver courses, an optional written test is available for Instructors to administer to students whose employers require completion of a written test.
The following are the approximate completion times for each course. Times are based on a recommended ratio of 6 students to 2 manikins to 1 Instructor. Using a different ratio of students to manikins to Instructors will result in increased course completion times.
- Heartsaver First Aid: approximately 2 – 3 hours
- Heartsaver CPR AED: approximately 3 – 4 hours
- Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED: approximately 5 – 7 hours