Maintaining and Cleaning CPR Manikins


How to Maintain and Clean Your CPR Manikins

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR, instructors have the power to give students knowledge on the technical performance of a life-saving skill set. CPR manikins are a critical part of CPR training courses as this equipment helps expose students to a realistic situation they might encounter with a victim. However, a vital aspect often overlooked is cleaning and maintaining manikins. 


Why Cleaning and Maintaining a CPR Manikin is Important 

The hygiene and functionality of the CPR manikin are part of a CPR instructor’s commitment to delivering high-quality, safe, and impactful training. Proper maintenance and cleaning of their manikins can help ensure the longevity and performance of this equipment and address hygiene concerns, which is crucial for preventing the spread of infections among trainees. 

With multiple individuals coming into contact with manikins, cleaning between individual uses helps prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens among trainees. Along with germs and bacteria, dust and debris can accumulate in the joints, airways, and on the sensors of the CPR manikin, which could eventually lead to malfunction and wear over time. Cleaning and maintaining these parts preserves the manikin’s durability and accurate performance during training sessions. 

Understanding the Parts of a CPR Manikin

Some instructors who are new at training or own a CPR manikin may need to learn the many different parts of the manikin. Addressing each component of a CPR manikin properly requires unique care.

The main pieces of a CPR manikin that require cleaning include:

Chest and Torso

This area allows students to practice chest compressions and understand the resistance and depth required for proper chest compression. Many hands touch the surface of the chest and torso, leading to wear and tear down the road.

Face, airway, and lung system

The face, airway, and lung system resemble a respiratory system, enabling trainees to practice proper head positioning during ventilation and rescue breathing. The respiratory CPR manikin parts are one of the most crucial components to clean as bodily fluids from mouth to mouth (even when using lung bags) can contaminate the manikin and spread to other students if not properly cleaned. Components, like the lung system, can also collect dust over time, making cleaning essential for preventing debris buildup.

Feedback mechanisms

Some manikins have feedback mechanisms, such as the PRESTAN Ultralite Replacement CPR Feedback Cable Assembly, which tracks compression depth using a piece called a piston to ensure trainees attain the optimal depth and rate. Feedback mechanism pieces may accumulate contaminants differently as they are typically made with a different type of material and need to be removed and wiped down. 

*Note: Any additional accessories, such as removable clothing, should also be cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene. 

The chest and torso might gather dust, the airway system can harbor pathogens, and the feedback sensor may require a more delicate cleaning as these are smaller, more intricately designed parts. Understanding each part’s role should help instructors and manikin owners precisely target their cleaning efforts to guarantee a hygienic and CPR-effective training experience.

CPR Manikin Cleaning 

To prevent the spread of any additional germs during cleaning, we recommend washing hands thoroughly and wearing nitrile gloves if available. Once prepped for washing, remove all of the manikin parts that need to be cleaned and separate them into cleaning sections: surface, airway lung system, and feedback system

Mild disinfectant wipes are great for surface cleaning and areas with high contact, such as the chest and mouth area. When cleaning the airway lung system, don’t forget to remove the chest piece and any other piece to reach the airway that needs to be cleaned. Using one-time-use face shields or lung bags when teaching students how to perform rescue breaths can help prevent bacterial moisture from being trapped inside.

Cleaning Material 

If the material becomes dirty or stained from travel, such as with dirt marks, paint scratches, etc., washing with a mixture of soap and warm, clean water and a foam eraser such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or a Scotch-Brite Easy Erasing Pad may be used. 

If the area you are cleaning becomes extremely dirty, using soapy water and hot water along with the common household cleaners such as the following may be used:

  • Formula 409
  • Windex 
  • Vim 
  • Non-bleach disinfecting wipes: Clorox or Lysol

Cleaners containing wax, oil, or citrus (d-Limonene) are not recommended.

Use the above cleaning products cautiously with a minimum amount of abrasion to ensure the life of the skin. We recommend following your CPR manikin’s manufacturer guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hands-on training cleaning guide for the best outcome.

Drying and reassembly

After all of the parts of CPR manikins are disinfected, let every component thoroughly dry before reassembly. If pieces are not properly dried, they can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Microbial growths not only compromise the integrity of the manikin but also pose future health risks to users. 

Once the parts are thoroughly dry, be sure each part is correctly attached to the body of the manikin. Proper cleaning techniques, including the drying process, can help prolong the lifespan of CPR manikins.

Maintenance tips 

Along with cleansing CPR manikins, CPR manikin maintenance checks are recommended. The following guidelines can be used for conducting routine maintenance checks: 

  • Check for wear and tear on your manikin: Regular visual inspections will help track what needs to be cleaned or replaced. We recommend replacing damaged or worn-out parts as soon as possible for the best outcome.
  • Cleaning Consistency: Clean between each student, paying attention to high-contact areas.

Storage: Suitable storage for CPR manikins can help prevent damage and protection from dust and moisture. Many manikins come with a carrying case that can be used for storage.

There is no doubt that regular proper cleaning can extend the life of the CPR manikin, and a well-maintained manikin reflects the professionalism of the instructor and training program. 

Regular upkeep and the proper cleaning process on your CPR manikins can contribute to a positive training environment, boosting trainees’ confidence in their instructor’s expertise and the training content being taught. 

Remember always to check the instructions your manufacturer gave for your specific manikin. Have questions about CPR manikins? Contact AEDSuperstore today.


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