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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

ROJAS, Luis et al. Basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation: knowledge, practical skills and effectiveness of maneuvers of general physicians. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.1, pp.73-77. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872012000100010.

Background: General physicians should be adequately trained to deliver effective resuscitation during ventricular fibrillation (VF). Aim: To assess the degree of knowledge, skills and practical effectiveness in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of Chilean general physicians. Materials and Methods: Forty eight general physicians starting Anesthesiology or Internal Medicine residency programs were evaluated. They answered a modified American Heart Association Basic Life Support Course written test and individually participated in a witnessed VF cardiac arrest simulated scenario. Execution of resuscitation tasks in the correct order, the quality of the maneuvers and the use of defibrillator were registered. Results: All participants acknowledged the importance of uninterrupted CPR and early defibrillation. Seventy five percent knew the correct frequency of chest compressions, but only 6.25% knew all the effective chest compression characteristics. Ninety eight percent knew the recommended number of breaths per cycle. In practice, 58% performed effective ventilations, 33% performed uninterrupted compressions, 14% did them with adequate frequency and only 8% performed chest compressions adequately. Forty four percent requested a defibrillator within 30 seconds and 31% delivered the first defibrillation within 30 seconds of defibrillator arrival. Airway, breathing, circulation and defibrillation sequence was correctly performed by 12% of participants and 80% acknowledged that their medical training was inadequate or insufficient for managing a cardiac arrest. Conclusions: Despite an elevated degree of knowledge about key aspects of CPR, this group of Chilean physicians displayed suboptimal practical skills while performing CPR in a simulated scenario, specially delivering effective chest compressions and promptly asking for and using the defibrillator.

Keywords : Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Electric countershock; Ventricular fibrillation.

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