Comparing the utility of a standard pediatric resuscitation cart with a pediatric resuscitation cart based on the Broselow tape: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial involving simulated resuscitation scenarios

Pediatrics. 2005 Sep;116(3):e326-33. doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-0320. Epub 2005 Aug 1.


Background: Access to resuscitation equipment is a critical component in delivering optimal care in pediatric arrest situations. Historically, children's hospitals and clinics have used a standard pediatric resuscitation cart ("standard cart") in which drawers are organized by intervention (eg, intubation module, intravenous module), requiring multiple drawers to be opened during a code. Many emergency departments, however, use a pediatric resuscitation cart based on the Broselow tape ("Broselow cart") in which each drawer is color coded and organized by patient length and weight ranges; each drawer contains all necessary equipment for resuscitation of a patient in that specific length/weight range. A literature review has revealed no studies examining the utility of either cart.

Objectives: To compare which resuscitation cart organization (standard versus Broselow) allows for faster access to equipment, more accurate selection of appropriately sized equipment, and better user satisfaction. Methodology. We performed a prospective, randomized, controlled, crossover trial in which 21 pediatric health care providers were assigned the role of obtaining the appropriate equipment during 2 standardized, simulated codes alternately using either a standard or Broselow cart. Time to and accuracy of the selection of appropriate medical equipment along with posttesting satisfaction were measured. All simulations were performed in the Center for Advanced Pediatric Education at Stanford University Medical Center (Stanford, CA), a training facility designed to replicate the real medical environment with the technology to allow for videotaping of scenarios.

Results: Of the 21 subjects, 62% found the Broselow cart "easy" or "very easy" to use versus 33% for the standard cart. Of the 21 subjects, 67% preferred the Broselow cart, 10% preferred the standard cart, and 23% indicated no preference. Intubation supplies and nasogastric tubes were found significantly faster when using the Broselow cart (mean time: 29.1 and 20 seconds, respectively) versus the standard cart (mean time: 38.7 and 38.2 seconds, respectively). Correct equipment was provided a statistically significant 99% of the time with the Broselow cart versus 83% of the time with the standard cart. Ten percent of the subjects had prior experience with the Broselow cart versus 62% having experience with the standard cart.

Conclusions: Despite less prior experience with the Broselow cart, subjects in this study found it easier to use and preferred it over the standard cart. In addition, subjects located intubation equipment and nasogastric tubes significantly faster when using the Broselow cart, and correct equipment was provided significantly more often with the Broselow cart. These data suggest that sites caring for pediatric patients should consider modeling their resuscitation carts after the Broselow cart to enhance provider confidence and patient safety.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Equipment and Supplies, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / instrumentation*