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Evaluation and Impact of the "Advanced Pediatric Life Support" Course in the Care of Pediatric Emergencies in Spain

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Abstract

Introduction

The Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) course was introduced in the training of professionals who care for pediatric emergencies in Spain in 2005.

Objective

To analyze the impact of the APLS course in the current clinical practice in Spanish PEDs.

Methods

The directors of APLS courses were asked about information regarding the courses given to date, especially on the results of the satisfaction survey completed by students at the end of the course. Furthermore, in December 2014, a survey was conducted through Google Drive, specifically asking APLS students about the usefulness of the APLS course in their current clinical practice.

Results

In the last 10 years since the APLS course was introduced in Spain, there have been 40 courses in 6 different venues. They involved a total of 1520 students, of whom 958 (63.0%) felt that the course was very useful for daily clinical practice. The survey was sent to 1,200 students and answered by 402 (33.5%). The respondent group most represented was pediatricians, 223 (55.5%), of whom 61 (27.3%) were pediatric emergency physicians, followed by pediatric residents, 122 (30.3%). One hundred three (25.6%) respondents had more than 10 years of professional practice and 291 (72.4%) had completed the course in the preceding four years. Three hundred forty-one of the respondents (84.9%: 95% confidence interval [CI], 81.9–87.9) said that they always use the pediatric assessment triangle (PAT) and 131 (32.6%: 95% CI, 28–37.1) reported that their organization has introduced this tool into their protocols. Two hundred twenty-three (55.5%: 95% CI, 50.6–60.3) believed that management of critically ill patients has improved, 328 (81.6%: 95% CI, 77.8–85.3) said that the PAT and the systematic approach, ABCDE, help to establish a diagnosis, and 315 (78.4%: 95% CI, 74.3–82.4) reported that the overall number of treatments has increased but that these treatments are beneficial for patients. Hospital professionals (191; 47.5%) include the PAT in their protocols more frequently than pre-hospital professionals (68.5% vs 55.4%; p <0.01) and consider PAT useful in the management of patients (60.2% vs 51.1%; p <0.05). Neither the time elapsed since the completion of the course, nor category and years of professional experience had any influence on the views expressed about the impact of the APLS course in clinical practice.

Conclusions

Most health professionals who have received the APLS course, especially those working in the hospital setting, think that the application of the systematic methods learned, the PAT and ABCDE, has a major impact on clinical practice.

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