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Terrorism and natural catastrophes have made disaster preparedness a critical issue. Despite the documented vulnerabilities of children during and following disasters, gaps remain in health care systems regarding pediatric disaster preparedness. This research study examined changes in knowledge acquisition of pediatric disaster preparedness among medical and non-medical personnel at a children’s hospital who completed an online training course of five modules: planning, triage, age-specific care, disaster management, and hospital emergency code response.
A multi-disciplinary team within the Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California USA) developed an online training course. Available archival course data from July 2009 to August 2012 were analyzed through linear growth curve multi-level modeling, with module total score as the outcome (0 to 100 points), attempt as the Level 1 variable (any module could be repeated), role in the hospital (medical or non-medical) as the Level 2 variable, and attempt by role as the cross-level effect.
A total of 44,115 module attempts by 5,773 course participants (3,686 medical personnel and 2,087 non-medical personnel) were analyzed. The average module total score upon first attempt across all participants ranged from 60.28 to 80.11 points, and participants significantly varied in how they initially scored. On average in the planning, triage, and age-specific care modules: total scores significantly increased per attempt across all participants (average rate of change ranged from 0.59 to 1.84 points) and medical personnel had higher total scores initially and through additional attempts (average difference ranged from 13.25 to 16.24 points). Cross-level effects were significant in the disaster management and hospital emergency code response modules: on average, total scores were initially lower among non-medical personnel compared to medical personnel, but non-medical personnel increased their total scores per attempt by 3.77 points in the disaster management module and 6.40 points in the hospital emergency code response module, while medical personnel did not improve their total scores through additional attempts.
Medical and non-medical hospital personnel alike can acquire knowledge of pediatric disaster preparedness. Key content can be reinforced or improved through successive training in an online course.
PhamPK, BeharSM, BergBM, UppermanJS, NagerAL. Pediatric Online Disaster Preparedness Training for Medical and Non-Medical Personnel: A Multi-Level Modeling AnalysisPrehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(4):349–354.
A simple, portable capillary refill time (CRT) simulator is not commercially available. This device would be useful in mass-casualty simulations with multiple volunteers or mannequins depicting a variety of clinical findings and CRTs. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a prototype CRT simulator in a disaster simulation context.
A CRT prototype simulator was developed by embedding a pressure-sensitive piezo crystal, and a single red light-emitting diode (LED) light was embedded, within a flesh-toned resin. The LED light was programmed to turn white proportionate to the pressure applied, and gradually to return to red on release. The time to color return was adjustable with an external dial. The prototype was tested for feasibility among two cohorts: emergency medicine physicians in a tabletop exercise and second year medical students within an actual disaster triage drill. The realism of the simulator was compared to video-based CRT, and participants used a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) ranging from “completely artificial” to “as if on a real patient.” The VAS evaluated both the visual realism and the functional (eg, tactile) realism. Accuracy of CRT was evaluated only by the physician cohort. Data were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric statistics, and mean Cohen’s Kappas were used to describe inter-rater reliability.
The CRT simulator was generally well received by the participants. The simulator was perceived to have slightly higher functional realism (P=.06, P=.01) but lower visual realism (P=.002, P=.11) than the video-based CRT. Emergency medicine physicians had higher accuracy on portrayed CRT on the simulator than the videos (92.6% versus 71.1%; P<.001). Inter-rater reliability was higher for the simulator (0.78 versus 0.27; P<.001).
A simple, LED-based CRT simulator was well received in both settings. Prior to widespread use for disaster triage training, validation on participants’ ability to accurately triage disaster victims using CRT simulators and video-based CRT simulations should be performed.
ChangTP, SantillanesG, Claudius I, PhamPK, KovedJ, CheyneJ, Gausche-HillM, KajiAH, SrinivasanS, DonofrioJJ, BirC. Use of a Novel, Portable, LED-Based Capillary Refill Time Simulator within a Disaster Triage Context. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):451–456.
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