Introduction While suboptimal bag ventilation has been well documented during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), we often do not consider how operator knowledge of ventilation guidelines may contribute to this outcome. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate third year Monash University undergraduate paramedic students' knowledge of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) ventilation guidelines and basic respiratory physiology.
Methods A cross-sectional study was used to elicit responses about ventilation rate, tidal volume and knowledge of lower oesophageal sphincter pressure in normal and cardiac arrest states for third year undergraduate paramedic students at Monash University. Ethics approval was granted. Results There were 30 (41%) third year students who participated. Only 8 (27%) of the students who participated could identify the correct ventilation rate for an intubated patient in a cardiac arrest situation, with only 3 (10%) of students identifying the correct tidal volume. Overall, 27 (90%) of students had a poor knowledge of ventilation guidelines while 29 (97%) students were unable to recall basic lower oesophageal sphincter pressure values.
Conclusion A greater emphasis on education of current ventilation guidelines, as well as the underpinning knowledge surrounding the guidelines, is needed to ensure students attain appropriate ventilation during CPR.
Mal Boyle ADipBus (GenAdmin), BInfoTech, MClinEpi, PhD
Mal is a senior lecturer at Monash University - Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice teaching primarily evidence-based paramedic practice to undergraduate students. Primary research interests include prehospital trauma management and linking of ambulance datasets to other health related datasets and subsequent analysis. Mal is still a practicing Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Paramedic in rural Victoria.
Ziad Nehme, BEmergHealth(Paramedic)
Ziad Nehme is currently completing the Honours degree of the Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) at the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice (DCEHPP) at Monash University. Ziad gained entry into the BEH course in 2004 as one of twelve students to pilot the introduction of a pre-employment paramedic educational program at Monash University. Ziad has focused his attention on the efficacy of manual ventilation by prehospital care providers, and the prehospital diagnosis and management of silent acute coronary syndromes. In addition to his studies, he works full-time as an ambulance paramedic for Metropolitan Ambulance Service in Victoria.
In 2007, Ziad was awarded the Australian Prehospital Emergency Health Research Forum Best Paper Award at the ACAP Asia-Pacific International conference. Ziad co-authored the prize winning paper, "So you think you can ventilate using the self-inflating bag? Think again" with Malcolm Boyle, who is a Senior Lecturer at DCEHPP. Ziad presented his paper to an international audience in March 2008 at the 'EMS Today' Conference in Baltimore, USA.
Boyle, Malcolm and Nehme, Ziad
"A pilot study to determine whether undergraduate paramedics are able to retain basic resuscitation and respiratory physiology knowledge,"
Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care:
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://ro.ecu.edu.au/jephc/vol8/iss2/4