The Difference Between BLS Manikins and CPR Manikins

There are many different kinds of CPR manikins out there. It can require previous experience to figure out which manikins will fit your training needs. We know the cost of a set of manikins can really add up and it’s important to buy the right ones the first time!

In general, most people who teach CPR, are teaching people who need certification. While some people take CPR training just because they want to learn, it is more often that people are taking the training because of a requirement. Furthermore, when people are required to have CPR training they are usually looking for a particular certification. Students often need either an OSHA approved CPR & First Aid course or a healthcare provider level Basic Life Support (BLS) class.

Both Healthcare Professional CPR course and OSHA approved CPR courses require specific manikins to meet training standards. A course taught without the proper equipment invalidates any certifications given and puts liability on the instructor.

Let us help you figure out what to look for in CPR manikins and how to make sure to buy the right set the first time!

What is a BLS Manikin?

Two thumb CPR Compression Method

You can’t use just any CPR manikin for Basic Life Support (BLS) training. While the American Heart Association sells educational kits called ‘CPR Anytime’ these manikins and training materials are not to be used for BLS level courses. These kits are ideal for new parents or people that just want to learn CPR in the convenience of their home. However, healthcare professionals are required to have BLS training every two years that includes hands on practice.

Furthermore, in the material list for BLS training with the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and Health Safety Institute manikins used in BLS courses must have feedback monitors. These feedback monitors measure the depth of compressions and track the rate of compressions. When CPR is being practiced correctly the student should know via visual indicators on or attached to their manikin.

BLS Manikins vs CPR Manikins

A BLS manikin will typically have:

  • a chest feedback device
  • fillable lungs
  • a head that properly demonstrates opening the airway

These features apply to both adult, child, and infant manikins.

How much do BLS manikins cost?

PP-AM-400M-MSDS Prestan Professional Adult CPR Training Manikin

Manikins for BLS courses are usually made of higher quality materials than other CPR manikins that are not designed for significant use. High quality manikins range from about $130-$1,600 per torso.

If you are buying more than one, you can often get bulk pricing deals. Additionally, CPR Supply Source offers financing to help you offset the startup costs if you are just getting started in business.

What features/technology do BLS manikins have?

Manikins for BLS courses have several features that offer a realistic feel for the prospective students. Having manikins that closely resemble real to life victims can make all the difference in building up a persons confidence to respond in an emergency.

One notable feature is a realistic head-tilt. A BLS manikin with a realistic head tilt teaches the student to practice opening up the airways. Without being able to practice this skill on a manikin, many forget in real life scenarios.

Additionally, when delivering breaths to a manikin, BLS manikins will have fillable lungs allowing students learn to look for chest-rise. It’s often that people over inflate when delivering breaths and this manikin feature allows students to better gauge the volume of breath that they provide.

Finally, the most important feature on a BLS manikin is a feedback device to ensure the students are practicing delivering effective compressions.

BLS Manikins on the Market

Laerdal Little Anne

Laerdal Little Anne QCPR

  • Retail: $1,025
  • Features: Feedback monitor & App.
  • Available as a single manikin or in a 4-pack.
  • Impression: Great manikin, used commonly by hospitals. Heavier and not ideal for transporting.

CPR Prompt Plus Powered by Heartisense

  • Retail: $204.99
  • Features: Realistic anatomical markings, Foam torso, Feedback via App
  • Available as a single manikin.
  • Impression: Durable manikin
  • Notes: Be careful to use corresponding AED trainers as some AED training pads will degrade foam torso.

World Point CPR Taylor

  • Retail: $189.99
  • Features: 3-in-1 training manikin that has ‘male, ‘female,’ and ‘child’ skin.
  • Available as a single manikin or in a 4-pack.
  • Impression: This is the newest manikin on the market. It features diversity inclusion by having female and male skins as well as being offered in two skin tones. Manikin has a very lifelike density and feel.

Prestan Professional

  • Retail: $172
  • Features: Lightweight manikin with feedback built in shoulder.
  • Available as a single manikin or in a 4-pack.
  • Impression: Durable manikins with user friendly design. A clicking device is in the manikins chest that makes students aware of proper chest compression depth.

Brayden Pro

  • Retail: $1,262
  • Features: Manikin features light system that shows blood circulation through torso.
  • Available as a single manikin or in a 4-pack.
  • Impression: These manikins are a real crowd pleaser and students love them. However, they are expensive and difficult to transport due to their size and weight.

Which BLS Manikin is the Best?

Let’s get right down to it. Which BLS manikin is the best? If you asked 1,000 CPR instructors you’re unlikely to find a clear answer. While some manikins excel in many areas of their design, there are downfalls to any product. We would not say that the ‘best’ BLS manikin has come to market yet. However, in this unique industry, there are many people with vested industry in developing CPR manikins that effectively help students learn CPR and be prepared to perform CPR in real life.

If you are focused on making training affordable and accessible, the Prestan Professional is a tried and true manikin that is easy for both CPR instructors and students to use. It has a both an anatomically correct and aesthetically pleasing design. We have talked with many people who have had the same manikins since the first Prestan manikins came out in 2004. Although they are the least expensive BLS manikin on the market, that is in no way indicative of their performance. These manikins have earned the place as the industry’s standard.

For hospitals or healthcare facilities looking to have a set of manikins to keep in house, usually Laerdal Little Anne manikins are the top choice. However, their price tag is not typically affordable for most CPR instructors not working in a healthcare facility.

Where to Purchase Manikins

To find your manikins and any other training supplies you will need to best serve your students visit Vitali Training Supplies. Products are delivered directly to you with fast shipping and great service.

Other great resources for instructors of all levels of experience can be found on our YouTube. Lastly, be sure to register on Class Eagle’s Instructor Directory to help connect with students needing training in your area.

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