A survey of anesthesiologists' knowledge of American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support Resuscitation Guidelines

Eugenie S. Heitmiller, Kristen L. Nelson, Elizabeth A. Hunt, Jamie M. Schwartz, Myron Yaster, Donald H. Shaffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Aim of study: Determine anesthesiologists' knowledge of the 2005 American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) recommendations. Methods: After obtaining institutional review board approval, a survey was sent in February 2007 to members of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia via a web-based survey tool, and re-sent to nonresponders five times over the following 7 months. Results: Overall response rate was 51% (389/768 members). Eighty-five percent of respondents had pediatric anesthesia fellowships, 71% provided anesthesia primarily to children, 71% had been in practice >10 years, 29% had PALS or APLS training during the previous year, and 37% had a patient requiring chest compressions in the previous year. Overall, 89% of respondents knew the correct initial dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) for asystole, 44% knew subsequent management for asystole if initial epinephrine dose was ineffective, 49% knew defibrillation sequence to treat pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT), and 73% knew the medication sequence to treat pulseless VT. Only those respondents who reported to be in practice for >10 years scored significantly (p < 0.0001) better on all resuscitation treatment questions. Respondents who had PALS or APLS training in the previous year or previous 2 years scored significantly better on the defibrillation sequence for pulseless VT (p = 0.001 and p = 0.045, respectively), and the medication sequence for pulseless VT (p = 0.0005 and p = 0.011, respectively) when compared with those who had no previous training. Conclusion: Deficiencies exist in the knowledge of current AHA PALS guidelines among anesthesiologists. Formal resuscitation training programs should be considered in ongoing continuing medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Advanced life support (ALS)
  • American Heart Association
  • Anaesthesia
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Intraosseus
  • Paediatric resuscitation
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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