Objective: This article describes a theoretical and practical assessment of the emergency management skills of South Australian paediatric trainees. The aim was to identify strengths and weaknesses so as to optimally orientate future training in this area, and to provide a baseline that could be used to assess effectiveness of future interventions.
Methodology: Thirty-four paediatric trainee medical officers responsible for after hours emergency care in Adelaide were asked to anonymously complete a 24 question theory assessment based on recognized emergency management training programmes, and to perform a mock clinical resuscitation. Response rate was 90% for the theoretical section and 69% for the practical.
Results: The average trainee was found to be deficient in one quarter to one third of the theoretical precepts, and required an average of 2 min to establish effective bag-valve-mask ventilation with an infant manikin.
Conclusions: There is a range of theoretical and practical resuscitation deficits that may currently hinder effective emergency management by paediatric trainees.