Background: The main changes to the European Resuscitation Guidelines in 2005 were relate to the tidal volume of artificial breaths, the position and depth of chest compressions, and th number of resuscitation cycles. To find out if these guidelines were widely known, we assessed the knowledge and skills of physicians and nurses working in a paediatric hospital.
Methods: During practical sessions, the skills of 118 employees (64 physicians and 54 nurses) were assessed when performing resuscitation on adult, child and infant AMBU manikins. Additionally, all participants completed self-assessment questionnaires.
Results: The main fault was the inadequate checking of the airway in adults. Only 53.6% of physicians and 71.9% of nurses could properly open the airway, and 85.7% of physicians and 50.0% of nurses correctly placed their heads above the victim's face when observing chest movements. Nearly 45% of nurses, and 100% of physicians delivered the correct tidal volume to adults, however it was frequently associated with marked gastric distension, in both adults and infants. The participants usually positioned their hands or fingers correctly on the manikin's chest, but delivered slow and shallow compressions. Almost 50% of participants graded their skills as inadequate.
Conclusion: Despite continuous education, the resuscitation skills of physicians and nurses from a paediatric hospital were far from satisfactory. The results indicate an urgent need for regular training.