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Signa Vitae

A Journal In Intensive Care And Emergency Medicine

Tag: basic life support (Page 1 of 2)

Assessment of basic life support skills among medical doctors and technicians in Belgrade emergency medical services


Objective. Our aim was to assess BLS (basic life support) skills among medical doctors (MDs) and medical technicians (MTs) who work at Belgrade Emergency Medical Services (BEMS).

Methods. A prospective study was conducted between 28 September and 9 December, 2016. MDs (Group 1) and MTs (Group 2) attended an accredited course in BLS at BEMS. At the end of the course the participants were given a written test consisting of 20 questions (pass rate 65%). The results were analyzed for each group i.e. profession (Group 1 and Group 2) according to the number of accurate and inaccurate answers to each question. In the end, a number of participants from each group, who answered all 20 questions correctly, were identified. The results obtained, by test analysis, demonstrated the participants’ acquired BLS skills.

Results. The study involved 100 participants (50 in each group). All participants from Group 1 correctly answered questions number 1, 2, 3, 10, 13, 17 and 20. In Group 1 only two participants had three incorrect answers in the test. The largest number of incorrect answers was related to question number 16. Thirty-four participants in this group answered all questions correctly. All participants from Group 2 gave correct answers to questions number 2, 5, 9, 10 and 13. In Group 2, one participant had six incorrect answers and one participant had 5 incorrect answers. The largest number of incorrect answers was related to questions number 3 and 20. Nineteen participants from Group 2 answered all questions correctly. The rate of correct answers between Group 1 and Group 2 was 19.66 : 18.91 (0.75 difference).

Conclusion. The research showed a satisfactory level of knowledge in both groups. However, there is a statistically significant difference in the knowledge of MDs after the BLS course. The results obtained justify the ambitions that all healthcare professionals, regardless of their qualifications, should be trained in applying BLS, both at work and as eyewitnesses.

Key words: basic life support, knowledge/skills, doctors, medical technicians, emergency service

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Medical students perform basic life support skills in a simulated scenario better using a 4-stage teaching approach compared to conventional training


Introduction. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is influenced by the quality of basic life support (BLS). The primary objective of our study was to compare efficiency in the acquisition of BLS skills using conventional training and the 4-stage approach as a teaching method for BLS training.

Methods. In a prospective, randomised, 2-parallel group study, 266 first year medical students were randomised to either conventional training or the 4-stage approach using 2000 and 2005 ERC (European Resuscitation Council) guidelines. The students were tested immediately after receiving training. Three ERC-certified instructors assessed BLS skills using video recordings.

Results. The students who were taught according to the 4-stage approach using 2000 guidelines preformed significantly better in the following steps: calls for help (p<0.01), opens the airway (p<0.01), places hands for chest compression correctly (p<0.01) and performs chest compressions correctly (p<0.01), while using 2005 guidelines, only chest compression hand position improved significantly in the 4-stage teaching group (p<0.01).

Conclusions. The 4-stage approach improved the efficiency of several steps of the BLS algorithm and the ability to follow the algorithm in the correct sequence using 2000 ERC guidelines, while in students using the 2005 ERC guidelines only chest compression hand position improved significantly. Students who were taught according to 2000 ERC guidelines had significantly better hand position than students who were taught according to 2005 guidelines, independent of teaching method used.

Key words: basic life support, education, medical students, teaching method

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Middle latency auditory evoked potential index for prediction of post-resuscitation survival in elderly populations with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest


Background. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is associated with a high mortality rate in the elderly. Although most reports have investigated among elderly patients with OHCA until 1990s, non-invasive monitorings cannot presently predicted cerebral resuscitation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Findings of a previous study suggest that monitoring of middle latency auditory evoked potentials (MLAEP) during CPR could provide an indicator of effective post-resuscitation survival.

Objectives. We speculated that the MLAEP index (MLAEPi), measured in an emergency room, can predict post-resuscitation survival among elderly patients with OHCA.

Methods. This prospective study included 31 elderly patients aged ≥65 years with OHCA who received basic life support (BLS) and did not achieve restoration of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) until arrival at the emergency center between December 2010 and December 2011. All patients were administered advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) in the emergency room. Initial MLAEPi was measured using an MLAEP monitor (aepEX plus®, Audiomex, UK) during the first cycle of ACLS. Prediction of the post-resuscitation survival was investigated.

Results. Eight patients who achieved ROSC were admitted to our hospital and 23 did not achieve ROSC in the emergency room. Initial MLAEPi was significantly higher in patients with than without ROSC (median, 33 vs. 26, p = 0.02). Three survivors, among patients with ROSC, were discharged from our hospital (survivors) and 5 died during hospitalization (non-survivors). Initial MLAEPi was significantly higher in survivors than in non-survivors (median, 35 vs. 28, p = 0.03) or patients without ROSC (median, 35 vs. 26, p < 0.01).

Conclusions. MLAEPi satisfactorily denotes cerebral function and predicts post-resuscitation survival in elderly populations.

Key words: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, age, monitoring, critical care

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Rescuer fatigue does not correlate to energy expenditure during simulated basic life support


It is known that providing basic life support (BLS) may be limited by the physical capabilities of rescuers. The other factor that may affect BLS quality is its energy expenditure. Therefore, we decided to compare the energy expenditure of standard BLS with a compression-ventilation ratio of 30:2 (S-BLS) and compression-only BLS (CO-BLS) and assess the sensation of fatigue and perceived exertion associated with these activities.

Methods. We conducted a simulation study on 10 healthy volunteers using a resuscitation manikin. Participants were randomly assigned to start with CO-BLS or with S-BLS, in accordance with recent guidelines. Later, every individual provided the other type of BLS. BLS was terminated in the event of exhaustion, impossibility to retain high-quality BLS or after 30 minutes of BLS. Energy expenditure was expressed as relative oxygen consumption (VO2/kg) and area under the curve of all VO2/kg measurements during each BLS procedure indexed to one minute (AUCVO2/kg min). All participants completed a survey to assess perceived intensity of exertion by Borg, and sensation of general fatigue by visual analogue scale.

Results. Maximal VO2/kg (23.16±3.94 vs. 20.17±2.14 ml/kg/min, p=0.049) and AUCVO2/kg min (18.90±3.13 vs. 15.91±2.07 ml/min3; p=0.021) during S-BLS were significantly higher compared to CO-BLS. Conversely, a more intense rate of perceived exertion (16.6±2.0 vs. 13.8±1.2, p=0.001) and sensation of general fatigue (86.5±10.8 vs. 75.0±14.3, p=0.058) were associated with CO-BLS. Neither sensation of general fatigue, nor perceived exertion correlated with energy expenditure.

Conclusions. Energy expenditure of S-BLS was higher than of CO-BLS in our study, while sensation of fatigue and perceived exertion reflected the opposite association.

Key words: basic life support, energy expenditure, general fatigue

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Does basic life support training simplification foster retention of life saving maneuvers?


Objectives. Simplification of Basic Life Support was proposed with the introduction of Chest-Compression only Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CC-CPR) as an alternative to Standard CPR (S-CPR). This study aimed to compare retention of knowledge, in the general public, of both CPR techniques (CC-CPR vs. S-CPR).

Design, setting and participants. Multicentric prospective comparative cohort study. A training program was conducted among 906 individuals who were assigned to CC-CPR or to S-CPR group. They were evaluated before training (T0), after training (T1) and six months later (T2) on 17 CPR assessment criteria, they were evaluated twice at each time period and one global CPR performance score.

Results. Initial knowledge was low. At T1, all CPR performance criteria improved significantly. Results were similar in both groups except for the rate of trainees calling for help and the time to turn on the automated external defibrillator and to deliver the first shock. At T2, the knowledge level was lower than at T1. Finally, CPR performance score was lower in both groups at T2 compared to T1 but statistically higher than at T0. CPR performance score was higher in the CC-CPR group than in the S-CPR group at T2 (p=0.041).

Conclusions. Performance score was significantly higher in the CC-CPR group. CC-CPR training seems to result in better retention and a faster reaction in the setting of an out of hospital cardiac arrest. Moreover, the retention of knowledge among a trained population fades partially with time. Regular CPR training should therefore be proposed to avoid the loss of benefit with time.

Key words: cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, chest compression, mouth-to-mouth ventilation, training, retention

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