Use of Simulation to Improve Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Performance and Code Team Communication for Pediatric Residents

Publication ID Published Volume
10555 March 16, 2017 13

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Introduction: Cardiorespiratory events are infrequent in pediatric teaching hospitals but can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Clear communication within the response team prevents delays in action and allows all team members to contribute to providing optimum management. This resource was developed to simulate high-acuity and low-frequency events for pediatric residents. The scenario options are recurrent supraventricular tachycardia, prolonged QT syndrome, myocarditis, and respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis. Methods: The simulation is best performed in a simulation center with audio- and video-recording capabilities but could also be performed in situ in the pediatric intensive care unit or emergency room. Necessary personnel include a simulation technician and two instructors. A code cart, mock medications, and defibrillator with hands-free pads appropriate for the mannequin are necessary supplies. Critical actions include initial survey and intervention, rhythm recognition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use of defibrillator, and administration of anti-arrhythmic medications when needed. At the conclusion of the scenario, a formal debriefing with learners using structured feedback is performed. Results: These cases have been used with groups of pediatric or emergency medicine residents approximately 16 times over the past 3 years. Learners have reported that participation increased their confidence and comfort with management of cardiorespiratory events and that communication technique practice improved their teamwork and sign-out skills. Rhythm recognition and CPR performance scores during the simulation scenarios improved, with subjective improvement during actual cardiorespiratory events. Discussion: This resource advances learner knowledge of Pediatric Advanced Life Support algorithms and teamwork communication and identifies learner knowledge and management deficits.


Couloures KG, Allen C. Use of simulation to improve cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance and code team communication for pediatric residents. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2017;13:10555.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify and begin treatment for a patient with cardiorespiratory compromise.
  2. Initiate appropriate monitoring techniques.
  3. Recognize cardiac arrhythmias and provide management applying the Pediatric Advanced Life Support algorithms.
  4. Demonstrate proper use of the defibrillator to perform cardioversion and defibrillation.
  5. Integrate closed-loop communication skills and early role assignment as ways to improve teamwork during resuscitation events.
  6. Utilize SBAR (situation, background, assessment, and response) techniques to provide effective transitions of care.


  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Education, Simulation, High Fidelity Simulation Training, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Closed-Loop Communication, Teach-Back Communication, Handover, Patient Handoff

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

Presented as an abstract at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting; May 4-7, 2013; Washington, DC.


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