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High-Fidelity Medical Simulation as an Assessment Tool for Pediatric Residents' Airway Management Skills

Overly, Frank L. MD*†‡; Sudikoff, Stephanie N. MD†‡; Shapiro, Marc J. MD*‡

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e31802c61d5
Original Articles

Objectives: To evaluate high-fidelity medical simulation as an assessment tool for pediatric residents' ability to manage an acute airway.

Methods: We performed a prospective, observational study in which 16 pediatric residents were consented and then brought to the medical simulation center. They were placed in 2 different computer-driven scenarios and asked to manage the cases. The first scenario was a 3-month-old infant with bronchiolitis and severe respiratory distress and was programmed to develop respiratory failure. The second case was a 16-year-old adolescent with alcohol intoxication and respiratory depression and was programmed for emesis and aspiration. Both cases included a nurse, parent, and intern. We recorded performance of predetermined critical actions and any harmful actions.

Results: There were 47 attempts at intubation with 27 successes (56%). Appropriate preoxygenation was performed in 15 (47%) of 32 cases. Appropriate rapid sequence induction was administered in 21 (66%) of 32 cases. Cricoid pressure was applied in 20 (63%) of 32 cases. End-tidal carbon dioxide detector was used in 11 (34%) of 32 cases. A nasogastric tube was placed in 14 (44%) of 32 cases. Harmful actions included rapid sequence induction administered before intubation equipment setup, bag-valve mask not connected to oxygen, inappropriate endotracheal tube size, pulling cuffed endotracheal tube out while inflated, and placing the laryngoscope blade on backwards.

Conclusions: Our data identified many areas of concern with resident skills in managing an airway. This project suggests that high-fidelity medical simulation can assess a resident's ability to manage an airway as well as a program's effectiveness in teaching the skills necessary to manage an acute pediatric airway.

Departments of *Emergency Medicine and †Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital and ‡Brown Medical School, Providence, RI.

Preliminary results were presented at Pediatric Academic Society Annual Meeting 2005 and International Meeting for Medical Simulation 2005.

Supported by Lifespan Risk Services.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Frank L. Overly, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital Medical Simulation Center, Suite 106, Coro 1, One Hoppin Place, Providence, RI 02903. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.