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'Mock' drills boost child resuscitation skills in 'failing' adult emergency rooms
Date:11/19/2007

Following up on a study that found widespread failures in simulated child resuscitation among emergency room staff, a research team from the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center and Duke University Medical Center reports that it doesnt take much more than a mock trauma drill to diagnose the shortcomings and brief refreshers to get ER workers performance sharp again. Their report appears in the November issue of Pediatric Emergency Care.

The investigators note that both studies involved adult ERs in community hospitals and adult trauma centers rather than pediatric ER teams who specialize in child resuscitation. Of the 20 million children injured in the United States each year, only 20 percent end up in specialized pediatric ERs or pediatric trauma centers.

The lesson learned is that improvements in ER trauma resuscitation and other critical care given to children can be seen after brief performance tests and refresher programs, the researchers say.

The bad news is that failures are widespread, but the good news is that fairly simple refreshers based on quick analysis of what isnt working could be really helpful, says lead investigator Elizabeth Hunt, M.D., M.P.H., a critical-care specialist at Hopkins Childrens. Its encouraging to see that in most cases, merely raising a red flag and telling the staff heres what you did wrong and heres how it should be done, helped them see their own shortcomings and do better the next time.

In their report, the research team recalled its 2005 study, which found that one-third of North Carolinas 106 ERs failed in crucial areas while stabilizing a critically injured child during a mock emergency drill. The team then returned to 18 of the 35 ERs, armed with an analysis of what went wrong and refreshed the staffs knowledge on 44 tasks, including ones specific to child resuscitation, such as weight-based dosing of drug treatments, blood sugar assessments and placement of IVs through the bone, a cri
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Contact: Katerina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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