Anesthesiologists' Training and Knowledge of Basic Life Support

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Anesthesiologists' training and knowledge in one aspect of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Basic Life Support, was evaluated by an anonymous mailed questionnaire. Two hundred forty-six of 780 (32 per cent) surveyed responded. A random group of non-respondents was questioned by telephone; 18 of 78 non-respondents contacted completed the questionnaire. After comparison, the respondent and nonrespondent groups were combined as representative of the total population surveyed. Seventy-two per cent of the surveyed anesthesiologists had CPR training during their residency; however, prior to 1960 only 33 per cent had this training, while after 1960 85 per cent were trained. Sixty-two per cent stated they had read the American Heart Association (AHA) Standards, while only 26 per cent had taken an AHA CPR course. Scores on four of six knowledge questions were less than 50 per cent correct. American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)-certified anesthesiologists scored 54 per cent correct, whereas those not ABA-certified scored 42 per cent (P<.002). Those who had read the AHA Standards scored 57 per cent correct, compared with 40 per cent for those who had not read the Standards (P<.001). Those who had taken an AHA CPR course scored 62 per cent correct, whereas those who had not scored 46 per cent (P<.001). Since most anesthesiologists do not have training and knowledge of current accepted CPR sequences, there is need for CPR training during anesthesia residency and post-residency CPR continuing education.

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