Simulated pediatric trauma team management: assessment of an educational intervention

Elizabeth A Hunt, Margaret Heine, Susan M Hohenhaus, Xuemei Luo, Karen S Frush
Pediatric Emergency Care 2007, 23 (11): 796-804

OBJECTIVES: Trauma is the leading cause of death in children. The quality of initial medical care received by injured children contributes to outcomes. Our objective was to assess effectiveness of an educational intervention on performance of emergency department (ED) teams during simulated pediatric trauma resuscitations.

METHODS: A prospective, preinterventional and postinterventional study was performed on a random, convenience sample of 17% of EDs in North Carolina. An unannounced simulated pediatric trauma resuscitation was conducted at each site, followed by an educational intervention and a second visit 6 months later. The key outcome measure was team performance on a clinical assessment tool previously described that included 44 resuscitation tasks deemed critical to appropriate management of pediatric trauma resuscitation.

RESULTS: All 18 sites consented and completed the study. Interrater reliability was excellent, weighted kappa = 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.76-0.84). After the educational intervention, the mean (+/- SD) number of the 44 tasks passed by each ED team increased from 17.7 +/- 4.3 to 26.6 +/- 5.8 (P < 0.001). At the individual task level, the scores on 37 (84%) of the 44 tasks improved, of which 11 (25%) of the 44 tasks improved significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that an on-site educational intervention was effective in improving the performance of ED teams during simulated pediatric trauma resuscitations. Postintervention performance was more consistent with the Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support guidelines. Further studies are needed to determine if improved performance in a simulated scenario leads to improved performance and better clinical outcomes of critically injured children.

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