Background: To evaluate treatment of ventricular fibrillation (VF) occurring during anaesthesia and the use of a full-scale simulator, 80 anaesthetists in teams of two were attending a training session in the simulator Sophus.
Methods: The sessions were recorded on videotape and reviewed with the anaesthetists afterwards. Time of treatment and the sequence were registered.
Results: Onset time for VF was the starting point. Most of the subjects changed respiratory settings. Four teams did not change inspiratory oxygen and 17 teams did not turn off the vaporiser. Cardiac compression was initiated by all teams. DC-defibrillation was not used by two teams, with 38 of 40 teams defibrillating once, 37 twice and 29 teams three times. Adrenaline was administered by 30 of 40 teams.
Conclusion: There was very little consistency among the teams regarding treatment for VF according to accepted algorithms. An anaesthesia simulator could be a tool for training and it is a safe way of demonstrating for the anaesthetist that certain treatment algorithms and behaviour during critical incidents are the most effective.