April 16, 2017 4 min read

Those involved in CPR training need to become very familiar with manikins. These are not ordinary dolls but special dummies for simulation purposes. Numerous manufacturers of CPR training dummies compete in the market. Each product is different from the other in terms of features, pricing and durability.

Main Difference

There are basic CPR manikins that give students an idea and feel of performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Instructors teach students how to use this tool and help them become experts in delivering compressions on the chest. This should be in accordance with prescribed rates and depths. Trainees must be able to apply said skills during real-life scenarios.

All these cannot be achieved without the CPR dummy. Basic products are more affordable especially for users with limited budget. Owning more manikins give the trainer the chance to teach more students and bigger classes within a shorter duration. There is faster set-up. Clickers for compression strength, lifelike head tilt, and chest rise mainly for rescue breathing.

Advanced CPR manikins are equipped of course with better features. These manikins have live monitors or feedback mechanisms for CPR that point out chest compressions with correct depth and rate. Another feature enables positive reinforcement and provides the student with additional confidence. Advanced manikins are made with human-life skin which provides more authenticity to the emergency situation.

However, this simulation equipment is more expensive compared to basic CPR manikins although instructors of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation say the price justifies outcomes. Other sophisticated attributes are full bodies, computer interface, intubation (insertion of tubes in windpipes), and airway management. These were designed particularly for the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and providers of Advanced Life Support (ALS). 

Basic and advanced CPR manikins come in adult, child, infant, and adult/child models. Some are manufactured based on ages like six months, three years, six years, and more. Certain manikins have different skin colors. The question now is how to select the ideal CPR manikin. Choices are made according to requirements, features and spending budget.


The aspect of basic CPR manikins and advanced CPR manikins is influenced by Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ALS) training courses.  

Healthcare providers have been trained in the rudiments of BLS. In Basic Life Support, the initial stage is to make patients stable. Emergency responders have to stabilize the individual until a medical practitioner can attend to the patient until he or she has been brought to a hospital for further treatment.

There is no need for medicines, medical equipment and invasive methodologies in BLS. The basic approach requires CPR or opening the person’s air passage using the head tilt procedure. BLS tutorials are meant for emergency personnel, nurses, physicians, medical assistants, clinic staff, and dentists. The training requires 3.5 hours of completion and includes the following topics:

  1. CPR administration for infants, children and adults.
  2. Support for conscious persons as well as unconscious victims of choking. These can have different ages.
  3. Use of Automated External Defibrillators or AED for emergencies.
  4. Importance of breathing bags, barriers, valve masks, and CPR.
  5. Cardiopulmonary and special resuscitation emergencies.

Students or trainees are given the Basic Life Support Certificate after completion of this class or training. Such certification confirms successful completion and remains active for a maximum of two years.

The Advanced Cardiac Life Support is not just about advanced CPR manikins. This program calls for modern procedures and techniques such as conducting IV access to patients; reading and interpreting electrocardiograms or records of heart activity; and, administering medicines during emergency conditions.

Students in ACLS sessions learn the following topics:

  1. Recognition or identification of respiratory illnesses and cardiac arrest (heart attacks).
  2. Value of Effective Airway Management
  3. Pharmacologic terminologies and definitions in ACLS.
  4. Management of Strokes and Acute Coronary Syndromes
  5. Learning how to become leaders and team members in an emergency response and resuscitation team.

High-Level Course

This higher-level training is appropriate for medical practitioners who are tasked to respond to emergencies involving patients with heart attacks. The Basic Life Support Training is a prerequisite for ACLS. The latter takes 12 hours for completion. Basic CPR manikins and advanced CPR manikins are used for these programs. Medical institutions like hospitals and EMR facilities require both BLS and ACLS training. All doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are obliged to finish BLS.

On the other hand, ACLS is mandatory for healthcare practitioners who need to deal with patients during serious medical conditions.  Students must learn the use of all kinds of equipment like basic CPR manikins and advanced CPR manikins. There are many training centers (online and traditional) that offer both basic and advanced training modules. The reputable ones adhere to guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA) and mandate that emergency responders should take advanced life saving skills.

Most if not all these facilities hire world-class trainers for BLS and ACLS programs including veteran paramedics, firemen, medical experts, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The EMT is considered a full-fledged clinician who can respond promptly to emergencies on medical problems, traumatic injury, accidents, and shock.

Classes are interactive. These are a combination of classroom instructions and practicum based on an interactive learning program. State of the art methods are adopted using the most advanced technologies in emergency response. All students are taught the most contemporary concepts to equip them for these complicated tasks. They can always ask trainers to expound on topics and other learning.

You can expect these institutions and educators to use both basic CPR manikins and advanced CPR manikins. Hospital owners and emergency facilities must go through the numerous CPR manikins sold in the market along with their features and prices.

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