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Blindfolded Training Improves Pediatric Resuscitation Outcomes

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Feb 2019
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Image: A new study claims that blindfolded resuscitation training improves team leader’s skills (Photo courtesy of Alamy).
Image: A new study claims that blindfolded resuscitation training improves team leader’s skills (Photo courtesy of Alamy).
Pediatric team leaders improve their performance during resuscitation training if they wear a blindfold, claims a new study.

Researchers at Children's Hospital of Geneva (Switzerland) and Children's Hospital of Richmond (VA, USA) conducted a study involving 12 teams, each composed of a pediatric emergency fellow, a pediatric resident, and two pediatric emergency nurses. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of using blindfolds to further improve leadership skills in pediatric simulation-based resuscitation training. The teams were randomly assigned to a blindfold group (BG) or to a control group (CG).

All groups participated in one session of five simulation-based resuscitation scenarios. Three evaluators assessed leadership skills, and the team leaders filled questionnaires assessing self-reported changes in stress and their satisfaction about skills. The results showed that pediatric team leaders who wore a blindfold improved their leadership skills ratings by 11% over the course of three resuscitation scenarios, versus just 5% for non-blindfolded leaders. The study was published on February 14, 2019, in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

“At least part of the effect of blindfolding on leadership skills could be due to an improvement in communication by the team as a whole. Having a blindfolded leader requires other team members to verbalize all the important data and explicitly acknowledge instructions,” said lead author Michael Buyck, MD, of Geneva University Children's Hospital. “Teams who trained with a blindfolded leader became more likely than controls to respond to instructions with audible confirmation of receipt and completion of the task.”

“Blindfolding the leader during pediatric resuscitation simulation sessions might improve leadership skills training. Blindfolding might also improve leadership skills by helping the leader to avoid distraction by irrelevant details or participation in procedures, such as chest compressions,” concluded Dr. Buyck. “Doctors rely heavily on simulation training to prepare for rare emergencies, so even a modest improvement like this might help save lives.”

Pediatric cardiac arrests are rare events in the out-of-hospital (8 events per 100,000 person year) and in-hospital pediatric population (20 events per 100,000 person year). These low incidences do not provide sufficient exposure to allow pediatric teams to master these situations.

Related Links:
Children's Hospital of Geneva
Children's Hospital of Richmond

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