European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 176, Issue 12, pp 1653–1662 | Cite as

A mixed methods evaluation of paediatric trainee preparedness to manage cardiopulmonary arrests

  • Órla Walsh
  • Sinéad Lydon
  • Paul O’ConnorEmail author
Original Article


Paediatric cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) survival rates are strongly linked to the training of the doctors responding to the event. This study sought to characterise the level of experience in managing CPAs among paediatric trainees and to investigate the nontechnical (NTS) required to effectively lead a paediatric CPA team. A mixed-methods research design was used. For the quantitative phase, a questionnaire was developed to assess training, confidence, and experiences related to CPA management. During the qualitative phase, 17 paediatric trainees participated in a series of critical incident technique (CIT) interviews to explore the NTS used during the management of paediatric CPAs. A total of 56 of 131 (37.1% response rate) trainees responded to the preparedness questionnaire. A total of 48.2% of respondents expressed low confidence in their skill as a team leader during the management of a CPA. The CIT interviews highlighted deficiencies in specific NTS (identifying options, prioritising, and identifying and utilising resources).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that there is a desire for more training in CPA management among paediatric trainees, in particular as a team leader, which includes a focus on key NTS.

What is Known

Levels of preparedness to be a paediatric cardiopulmonary arrests team member/leader are generally lower than desirable.

The importance of nontechnical skills to the effective performance of adult cardiopulmonary arrests teams has been identified.

What is New

Levels of preparedness to be a cardiopulmonary arrests team member were higher than reported in US studies.

There is a need for greater training in cardiopulmonary arrest management which includes a focus on key nontechnical skills to include identifying options, prioritising, identifying and utilising resources.


Resuscitation Paediatrics Nontechnical skills Preparedness 



Anaesthetists Non-Technical Skills


critical incident technique


cardiopulmonary arrest


nontechnical skills


Crew Resource Management.


Authors’ contributions

OW carried out the data collection, data analysis, wrote the draft of the manuscript and rewrote new drafts. POC contributed to the design of the project, data analysis, data interpretation, provided input into the content of the manuscript and contributed to the revisions of the manuscript. SL contributed to the data interpretation, provided input into the content of the manuscript and contributed to the revisions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Órla Walsh declares that she has no conflict of interest. Sinéad Lydon declares that she has no conflict of interest. Paul O’Connor declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Temple Street, Children’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Discipline of General Practice, Distillery RoadNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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