Computer-controlled simulation is now opening up new educational applications that show considerable promise in emergency paediatrics.
The study objectives were to evaluate high-fidelity medical simulation as an assessment tool for paediatricians’ and medical students’ ability to manage severe cardiopulmonary distress.
500 trainees received a baseline evaluation followed by an 8-h training session that involved an introductory lecture, skills management with mannequin simulator, clinical scenarios for the training of the advanced paediatric life support algorithm and instructor-facilitated debriefings.
After finishing the course, they were retested and completed a numerical scale survey (n = 463) of their perceptions about the course (1, poor; 2, fair; 3, good and 4, excellent).
Performance improved significantly after simulator training (85.4% vs 62.4%, p<0.001); 70% of participants scored less than 65% in the baseline evaluation, whereas only 25% scored less than 65% in the retest.
The course was considered excellent by 56% of the participants and good by 29%.
The traditional process of clinical education in emergency paediatrics relies on learning and practising diagnostic, therapeutic and procedural skills on real patients.
The main focus of the study was to address the use of medical simulation in prevention and specifically the assessment, recognition and stabilisation of paediatric victims at risk of severe cardiopulmonary distress.