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Clinical experience and skills of physicians in hospital cardiac arrest teams in Denmark: a nationwide study

Authors Lauridsen KG, Schmidt AS, Caap P, Aagaard R, Løfgren B

Received 8 October 2016

Accepted for publication 16 December 2016

Published 7 March 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 37—41


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape

Kasper G Lauridsen,1–3 Anders S Schmidt,1–3 Philip Caap,3,4 Rasmus Aagaard,2,3,5 Bo Løfgren1,3,4

1Department of Internal Medicine, 2Clinical Research Unit, Regional Hospital of Randers, Randers, 3Research Center for Emergency Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, 4Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, 5Department of Anesthesiology, Randers Regional Hospital, Denmark

Background: The quality of in-hospital resuscitation is poor and may be affected by the clinical experience and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. This study aimed to investigate the clinical experience, self-perceived skills, CPR training and knowledge of the guidelines on when to abandon resuscitation among physicians of cardiac arrest teams.
Methods: We performed a nationwide cross-sectional study in Denmark. Telephone interviews were conducted with physicians in the cardiac arrest teams in public somatic hospitals using a structured questionnaire.
Results: In total, 93 physicians (53% male) from 45 hospitals participated in the study. Median age was 34 (interquartile range: 30–39) years. Respondents were medical students working as locum physicians (5%), physicians in training (79%) and consultants (16%), and the median postgraduate clinical experience was 48 (19–87) months. Most respondents (92%) felt confident in treating a cardiac arrest, while fewer respondents felt confident in performing intubation (41%) and focused cardiac ultrasound (39%) during cardiac arrest. Median time since last CPR training was 4 (2–10) months, and 48% had attended a European Resuscitation Council (ERC) Advanced Life Support course. The majority (84%) felt confident in terminating resuscitation; however, only 9% were able to state the ERC guidelines on when to abandon resuscitation.
Conclusion: Physicians of Danish cardiac arrest teams are often inexperienced and do not feel competent performing important clinical skills during resuscitation. Less than half have attended an ERC Advanced Life Support course, and only very few physicians know the ERC guidelines on when to abandon resuscitation.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, graduate medical education, resuscitation orders

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