Teaching hospital physicians' skills and knowledge of resuscitation algorithms are deficient

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2002 Oct;46(9):1150-4. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-6576.2002.460915.x.


Background: The resuscitation skills of 78 on-call physicians in a tertiary referral center were evaluated in a simulated sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Methods: The study subjects consisted of physicians whose on-call duty included handling emergency situations. First they were drawn without warning to a simulated witnessed cardiac arrest (ventricular fibrillation (VF)). They were provided with two nurses and all the equipment and medicine needed to treat SCA. Second, they were asked to write the current treatment protocols for basic life support (BLS) and VF.

Results: The median time to defibrillation was 2.38 min, and only 31% of the physicians were able to use the defibrillator correctly. Thirty per cent treated asystole according to the guidelines of the time. Twenty-four per cent were able to return the spontaneous circulation and the median time to ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) was 5.75 min Only 25% of the physicians wrote the guideline for treatment of VF and basic life support correctly or nearly correctly.

Conclusion: Regular resuscitation education should be compulsory to all physicians responsible for on-call duties in hospitals. Hospitals should have at least one employee part-time responsible for this duty.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Electric Countershock
  • Finland
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Hospitals, Teaching*
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy