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Keywords:

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
  • emergency treatment;
  • paediatrics;
  • reference values

Objectives:  Inaccuracy and delay in decision making in paediatric resuscitation has been previously demonstrated and may result in preventable death. We assessed several domains of paediatric resuscitation knowledge amongst a sample of tertiary hospital paediatric doctors, developed a portable aide-memoire reference card containing reference normal values, including an algorithm for recognition and management of the seriously ill/arrested child, and assessed the ability of medical staff to use this card to obtain accurate information.

Methods:  A convenience sample of 46 members of the Royal Children's Hospital medical staff completed a questionnaire. Knowledge deficits identified were used to create a 9 × 6 cm, name tag sized, laminated card providing physiological parameters and information required for paediatric resuscitation. The card was then distributed to all medical staff. A sample of 18 doctors completed an identical questionnaire 4 months after introduction of the card. Pre- and post-card results were analysed across a range of knowledge domains.

Results:  Basic calculations were incorrect in over 40% of all pre-card responses. Seniority did not predict more correct answers. The post-card group obtained significantly more correct answers than the pre-card group.

Conclusion:  Medical staff wore, and were able to use the card to provide the correct values for paediatric resuscitation parameters. The use of a card significantly improved knowledge of the correct values for resuscitation data. This project has resulted in the card being issued to all medical and nursing staff and is now accessible via the Royal Children's Hospital internet at http://perseus.rch.unimelb.edu.au/genmed/resuscardontheweb.htm