A cardiac arrest in a child has a devastating effect on the child, their family and their healthcare workers. Fortunately, paediatric cardiac arrest is uncommon but if not treated promptly and adequately it results in death or severe brain damage.
Providing quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one of the most important factors in improving outcome after cardiac arrest in children. High quality CPR improves the amount of blood flowing to the brain and heart during cardiac arrest. There is a direct link between increased blood flow and increased survival after cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, current methods for assessing the quality of CPR performed are limited to measurements of how well students adhere to the CPR guidelines. There is a recognised need for a means of measuring blood flow to the vital organs (brain and heart) during CPR to better directly assess the quality of the treatment being delivered.
In this research program, we plan to utilize the technology available in the new breed of high-fidelity human simulators to develop a model that accurately measures the blood flow to vital organs during CPR performed on a simulated infant. This model will allow us to more accurately compare the usefulness of various CPR teaching methods and help to determine the best methods for teaching life-saving CPR skills to health professionals and members of the general public.