How to Choose the Right CPR Dummy or Manikin

ProTrainings How to Choose the Right CPR Dummy or Manikin

Knowing how to perform CPR and actually performing CPR are very different but equally important. That’s why we recommend a blend of online learning and hands-on practice for effective CPR training. And if your CPR training includes a hands-on component, you’ll need a CPR dummy or manikin for students to practice on. 

CPR manikins are an essential CPR training tool. However, the type of dummy or manikin you need often depends on the structure and requirements of your CPR training program. 

Here’s what you need to know about CPR manikins and how to choose the right CPR dummy or manikin for your CPR training. 

What’s the Difference Between a CPR Dummy & Manikin?

Before we get into the different types of dummies or manikins used for CPR, let’s clarify what those terms mean. Generally speaking, the terms “CPR dummy” and “CPR manikin” refer to the same thing: a tool used for hands-on CPR training to simulate the experience of administering CPR on a person. 

The main difference between the two is the language used. “Manikin” is the medical term, referring to a model of the human body that’s used for instructional purposes (such as training in CPR or human anatomy). “Dummy,” on the other hand, can refer to any model of the human body, whether it’s used for medical instruction or not. 

When Do You Need a CPR Manikin? 

A CPR dummy or manikin is designed to give tactile feedback that mimics the response of the human body to CPR and indicates whether the user is performing CPR correctly (for example, some models make a sound if the chest compressions are deep enough). As such, manikins are used primarily for hands-on CPR training and skills evaluations.

ProTrainings How to Choose the Right CPR Dummy or Manikin

Some state boards and regulatory agencies require a hands-on demonstration as part of an accepted CPR certification course and to renew a CPR certification. If your state board or other governing bodies don’t require a hands-on demonstration, you can still choose to require it for your own organization. 

In any case, if your CPR training includes a hands-on component, you need a CPR dummy or manikin to practice and demonstrate your skills on. 

What Types of Manikins Are There? 

CPR manikins have been used since the 1960s, when the very first CPR doll — named “Resusci-Annie” — was introduced by the toymaker Asmund Laerdal. Since then, the standard design for a CPR dummy has evolved to appear more realistic, be easier to clean, and give more advanced feedback. 

Today, CPR manikins come in many types and sizes, ranging from infant to adult. Further, to help eliminate discomfort that may prevent lay rescuers from administering CPR on strangers, more inclusive manikin models have been introduced, along with one-way barriers, which are placed between the victim’s mouth and the rescuer’s. 

A significant concern with CPR manikins, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been cleaning them between uses. This concern, in addition to the cost and difficulty of shipping a standard CPR dummy, led us to develop our patented SUMO manikin kit in 2014. 

The single-use manikit kit is much less bulky and expensive than a standard manikin but provides the necessary range of motion and feedback for proper CPR training and demonstrations. 

How Do You Choose the Right Manikin?

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting your CPR dummy or manikin. To choose the right one for your needs, ask yourself:

  • How many people are we training? When possible, it’s ideal for each student to use their own manikin. However, in large groups, a manikin-to-student ratio of 1:3 (one set of equipment for every three students) is generally recommended. 
  • Is the training in-person or remote? Larger manikins (such as full-body ones, for example) will need to be shipped and stored. If the training is remote, a smaller manikin or SUMO manikin kit will be much more convenient and less expensive. 
  • Is a hands-on skills evaluation required? If hands-on training isn’t required, purchasing a CPR dummy or manikin may not be necessary. However, we recommend requiring a hands-on component for your organization, even if your state or regulatory agency doesn’t require it. 
  • What’s our budget? CPR manikins vary in price depending on type, size, features, etc. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to go with a more cost-effective option. 
  • Will CPR training be required again in the future or on a recurring basis? If you only intend to use the CPR dummy once, the SUMO kit is a great, cost-effective choice. However, if you intend to use it more than once, you’ll likely want to purchase a model you can reuse. 

Ultimately, remember that the purpose of a CPR dummy or manikin is to facilitate effective CPR training and equip you and your staff to save lives in the event of an emergency. So you’ll want to choose one that helps you make your CPR training program more accessible and efficient for everyone involved. 

Do You Have the Right Training Resources?

A CPR dummy or manikin is a crucial tool for effective CPR training, but the type of manikin you need depends on your organization’s personnel, training needs, and future plans. It’s essential to choose the right equipment and resources — manikins included — so your staff can receive the best possible CPR training. 
Contact us today to learn more about how ProTrainings can help you make getting your staff CPR certified easier and more efficient.