Cognitive aid for neonatal resuscitation: A prospective single-blinded randomized controlled trial

The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Canada.
BJA British Journal of Anaesthesia (Impact Factor: 4.85). 08/2009; 103(4):570-5. DOI: 10.1093/bja/aep221
Source: PubMed


Retention of skills and knowledge after neonatal resuscitation courses (NRP) is known to be problematic. The use of cognitive aids is mandatory in industries such as aviation, to avoid dependence on memory when decision-making in critical situations. We aimed to prospectively investigate the effect of a cognitive aid on the performance of simulated neonatal resuscitation.
Thirty-two anaesthesia residents were recruited. The intervention group had a poster detailing the NRP algorithm and the control group did not. Video recordings of each of the performances were analysed using a previously validated checklist by a peer, an expert anaesthetist, and an expert neonatologist.
The median (IQR) checklist score in the control group [18.2 (15.0-20.5)] was not significantly different from that in the intervention group [20.3 (18.3-21.3)] (P=0.08). When evaluated by the neonatologist, none of the subjects correctly performed all life-saving interventions necessary to pass the checklist. A minority of the intervention group used the cognitive aid frequently.
Retention of skills after NRP training is poor. The infrequent use of the cognitive aid may be the reason that it did not improve performance. Further research is required to investigate whether cognitive aids can be useful if their use is incorporated into the NRP training.

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