Simulation exercise to improve retention of cardiopulmonary resuscitation priorities for in-hospital cardiac arrests: A randomized controlled trial

Resuscitation. 2015 Jan;86:6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.10.021. Epub 2014 Nov 11.


Background: Traditional American Heart Association (AHA) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) curriculum focuses on teams of two performing quality chest compressions with rescuers on their knees but does not include training specific to In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (IHCA), i.e. patient in hospital bed with large resuscitation teams and sophisticated technology available.

Design: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with the primary goal of evaluating the effectiveness and ideal frequency of in-situ training on time elapsed from call for help to; (1) initiation of chest compressions and (2) successful defibrillation in IHCA.

Methods: Non-intensive care unit nurses were randomized into four groups: standard AHA training (C) and three groups that participated in 15 min in-situ IHCA training sessions every two (2M), three (3M) or six months (6M). Curriculum included specific choreography for teams to achieve immediate chest compressions, high chest compression fractions and rapid defibrillation while incorporating use of a backboard, stepstool.

Results: More frequent training was associated with decreased median (IQR) seconds to: starting compressions: [C: 33(25-40) vs. 6M: 21(15-26) vs. 3M: 14(10-20) vs. 2M: 13(9-20); p < 0.001]; and defibrillation: [C: 157(140-254) vs. 6M: 138(107-158) vs. 3M: 115(101-119) vs. 2M: 109(98-129); p < 0.001]. A composite outcome of key priorities, compressions within 20s, defibrillation within 180 s and use of a backboard, revealed improvement with more frequent training sessions: [C:5%(1/18) vs. 6M: 23%(4/17) vs. 3M: 56%(9/16) vs. 2M: 73%(11/15); p < 0.001].

Conclusion: Results revealed short in-situ training sessions conducted every 3 months are effective in improving timely initiation of chest compressions and defibrillation in IHCA.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation priorities; In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests; In-situ simulation training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Improvement
  • Simulation Training*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • United States
  • Young Adult