Preparing teams for low-frequency emergencies in Norwegian hospitals

T Wisborg, T H Rønning, V B Beck, G Brattebø
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2003, 47 (10): 1248-50

BACKGROUND: Medical emergencies and major trauma require optimal team function. Leadership, co-operation and communication are the most essential issues. Due to low caseloads such emergencies occur rarely in most Norwegian hospitals. Team training of personnel between real emergencies is expected to improve performance in comparable settings. Most hospitals have cardiac arrest teams, but it is known that the training of such multiprofessional teams varies widely. We wanted to know if this also was the case for trauma teams and resuscitation teams for newborns.

METHODS: A telephone survey of training practices in all the Norwegian hospitals with acute cover was conducted in 2002. Information was obtained on whether trauma teams and neonatal resuscitation teams had participated in practical multiprofessional training during the previous 6 or 12 months.

RESULTS: Information was obtained from all 50 hospitals. Of the acute care hospitals, 30% had trained their trauma teams during the previous 6 months, and an additional 18% when considering the previous year, while 38% of neonatal wards had multiprofessional training during the previous 6 months, and additionally 13% had had training during the previous year. Additionally four neonatal wards had had regular training of nurses only. More than 80% of all respondents judged regular team training to be achievable, and none considered this training impossible.

CONCLUSION: Only half the Norwegian acute care hospitals reported at least yearly training of trauma and neonatal resuscitation teams. Regular team training represents an underused potential to improve handling of low-frequency emergencies.

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