A survey of anesthesiologists' knowledge of American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support Resuscitation Guidelines

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Aim of study: Determine anesthesiologists' knowledge of the 2005 American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) recommendations. Methods: After obtaining institutional review board approval, a survey was sent in February 2007 to members of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia via a web-based survey tool, and re-sent to nonresponders five times over the following 7 months. Results: Overall response rate was 51% (389/768 members). Eighty-five percent of respondents had pediatric anesthesia fellowships, 71% provided anesthesia primarily to children, 71% had been in practice >10 years, 29% had PALS or APLS training during the previous year, and 37% had a patient requiring chest compressions in the previous year. Overall, 89% of respondents knew the correct initial dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) for asystole, 44% knew subsequent management for asystole if initial epinephrine dose was ineffective, 49% knew defibrillation sequence to treat pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT), and 73% knew the medication sequence to treat pulseless VT. Only those respondents who reported to be in practice for >10 years scored significantly (p < 0.0001) better on all resuscitation treatment questions. Respondents who had PALS or APLS training in the previous year or previous 2 years scored significantly better on the defibrillation sequence for pulseless VT (p = 0.001 and p = 0.045, respectively), and the medication sequence for pulseless VT (p = 0.0005 and p = 0.011, respectively) when compared with those who had no previous training. Conclusion: Deficiencies exist in the knowledge of current AHA PALS guidelines among anesthesiologists. Formal resuscitation training programs should be considered in ongoing continuing medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Advanced life support (ALS)
  • American Heart Association
  • Anaesthesia
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Intraosseus
  • Paediatric resuscitation
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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