The nationwide impact of COVID-19 on life support courses. A retrospective evaluation by Resuscitation Council UK

C J Thorne, P K Kimani, S Hampshire, I Hamilton-Bower, S Begum-Ali, A Benson-Clarke, K Couper, J Yeung, G D Perkins, J Soar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Resuscitation Council UK Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Immediate Life Support (ILS) course numbers and outcomes.

METHODS: We conducted a before-after study using course data from the Resuscitation Council UK Learning Management System between January 2018 and December 2021, using 23 March 2020 as the cut-off between pre- and post-pandemic periods. Demographics and outcomes were analysed using chi-squared tests and regression models.

RESULTS: There were 90,265 ALS participants (51,464 pre-; 38,801 post-) and 368,140 ILS participants (225,628 pre-; 142,512 post-). There was a sharp decline in participants on ALS/ILS courses due to COVID-19. ALS participant numbers rebounded to exceed pre-pandemic levels, whereas ILS numbers recovered to a lesser degree with increased uptake of e-learning versions. Mean ALS course participants reduced from 20.0 to 14.8 post-pandemic (P < 0.001).Post-pandemic there were small but statistically significant decreases in ALS Cardiac Arrest Simulation Test pass rates (from 82.1 % to 80.1 % (OR = 0.90, 95 % CI = 0.86-0.94, P < 0.001)), ALS MCQ score (from 86.6 % to 86.0 % (mean difference = -0.35, 95 % CI -0.44 to -0.26, P < 0.001)), and overall ALS course results (from 95.2 %to 94.7 %, OR = 0.92, CI = 0.85-0.99, P = 0.023). ILS course outcomes were similar post-pandemic (from 99.4 % to 99.4 %, P = 0.037).

CONCLUSION: COVID-19 caused a sharp decline in the number of participants on ALS/ILS courses and an accelerated uptake of e-learning versions, with the average ALS course size reducing significantly. The small reduction in performance on ALS courses requires further research to clarify the contributing factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100366
JournalResuscitation plus
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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© 2023 The Author(s).


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