“When simple household items can help to save lives”

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” (Lao Tzu)

Wednesday, 07.09.2022

Reading time 5 mins

Hi, my name is Esther. I am a Social Anthropologist and Customer Experience Professional that loves to see great ideas grow and develop.

Esther Tobler, Project Leader
Until recently, I was dealing with furniture and the customer experience around buying furniture. – And then I met Reto, and he started to tell me excitedly how simple household items such as toilet paper or empty PET bottles can be used to save lives…

In 2021 alone, around 18 million people worldwide died due to cardiovascular problems. This represents 1/3 of all global deaths.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a key lifesaving measure for serious cardiovascular emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, or drowning. Wherever pre-hospital cardiac arrests occur, CPR substantially increases the chances of survival.

CPR is not “rocket science” — even for laypeople. With clear instructions and regular hands-on practice, anyone can learn CPR and make sure they know what to do in an emergency. Usually, commercially distributed CPR training manikins are used for CPR training. However, these are expensive, heavy, bulky, and require maintenance – no-one has them just sitting around at home. Additionally, in certain regions (e.g., low-income, remote regions) and situations (e.g., COVID restrictions, wars), first aid courses are not easily accessible. Therefore, alternative ways to learn CPR are becoming increasingly important. Such alternative ways include for example remote learning via direct or recorded online instructions, classes taught in the community and schools or peer-led teaching. Mostly they require the use of affordable manikins for the manual practice of chest compression. 

What if everyone could make their own CPR training manikin? With materials that are both very cheap and available everywhere?

Hello, my name is Reto. Since 2013, as Managing Director of the Swiss Lifesaving Society, I have been professionally involved in lifesaving and drowning prevention. Originally, I studied economics and NPO management.

Reto Abächerli, Project Sponsor
Contributing to the common good has always been important to me. In a workshop about the further development of the first aid sector within the Swiss Red Cross, I noticed a picture of a DIY CPR manikin. In the presentation this was only a side note. However, the thought did not leave me: “What if CPR training with such simple devices would be similar or at least as effective as with commercially available manikins?

Our vision is to boost first aid with the help of easy-to-use, easily accessible, and easy-to build Do-it-Yourself (DIY) CPR Manikins all over the world.
With mymanikins.info, we want to provide as many people as possible with access to basic training in CPR – particularly aiming at communities who have not yet had access to such training – to secure that they have the skills and the courage to help in an emergency.
DIY CPR Manikins might not be the right solution for every situation, but we see them as a valuable addition to commercially distributed CPR training manikins – used there where it makes sense.

Our concept is simple: We support people to connect, collaborate and share – we see ourselves as “matchmakers” between researchers, interested people or organizations involved in first aid- or health topics and users, and we hope to start a big DIY CPR Manikin family that will keep growing and expanding all over the world.

We strongly believe that together we are stronger. With this in mind, we are in the process of creating a system that supports ongoing validation and further development of DIY CPR manikins by connecting the needs of users and organizations with research. With this approach, we create lasting value.

All knowledge we collect, we will share for free with everyone who is interested under a creative commons license.

Hi, my name is Tina, and I am a researcher and teaching fellow at the University of Otago, as well as the scientific lead on this project. I am passionate about all things skill learning.

Tina van Duijn, Leader Researcher Network
With an international team of researchers, I am currently working on collecting all existing evidence on the use of DIY manikins for learning CPR skills. Our goal is to provide the project with the best possible recommendations for their use. We are also working on tackling the questions that are still to be answered, by conducting qualitative and quantitative research.
We hope that mymanikins.info has piqued your interest. This platform will provide you with regular updates from our project as well as an abundance of information around DIY CPR Manikins and how they are used in different situations around the globe.

Feel free to contribute – comment on our blogs or become an active member of our mymanikins-family. Please contact us if you are interested. We hope to meet you soon!

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