[A survey of basic resuscitation knowledge among medical personnel of a paediatric hospital]

Małgorzata Grześkowiak, Alicja Bartkowska-Sniatkowska, Jowita Rosada-Kurasińska, Karolina Puklińska
Anestezjologia Intensywna Terapia 2009, 41 (3): 155-8

BACKGROUND: The European Resuscitation Council (ERC) algorithms for cardiopulmonary resuscitation have undergone many changes, the latest version being published in 2005.To establish the level of general knowledge of resuscitation algorithms, we audited physicians and nurses in a tertiary paediatric hospital.

METHODS: The audit was performed among 64 physicians and 54 nurses. They were allocated to the following subgroups: surgeons, paediatricians, surgical nurses, and non-surgical nurses. A written open examination was conducted, containing response questions on basic resuscitation of adults, children and infants. The participants also completed a questionnaire concerning their knowledge of current guidelines and their activity in continuing education.

RESULTS: The vast majority of those audited were not familiar with the 2005 ERC guidelines. Most of the physicians and nurses were not able to differentiate between an adult and a child.They did not know the recommended number of artificial breaths to be delivered to a patient with preserved cardiac function, or the number of resuscitation cycles (delivered by one or two rescuers). They could not describe the open airway manoeuvres and volumes of artificial breaths. Depending on subgroups, only 14.3-84.6% of participants knew how to deliver chest compressions to adults, 21.4-80.8% knew how to deliver them to children, and 19.2-75.4% knew how to deliver them to infants. 17.8-23.1% of nurses and 28.6-47.4% of physicians had completed basic life support courses. 0-14.3% of nurses and few physicians declared a familiarity with the 2005 guidelines, but only 35% of them were aware of the latest modifications.

CONCLUSION: The medical staff of a paediatric hospital was not adequately trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and their knowledge about current recommendations was minimal. The authors suggest that life support courses should be mandatory for all physicians and nurses.

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