Indian Journal of Anaesthesia

: 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 297--300

Training and Confidence Level of Junior Anaesthetists in CPR- Experience in A Developing Country

Desalu Ibironke1, O Oyedepo Olanrewaju2, J Olatosi Olutola3,  
1 Senior Lecturer, Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine University of Lagos, Nigeria
2 Consultant, Department of Anaesthesia, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Nigeria
3 Lecturer, Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine University of Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Desalu Ibironke
Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos,P.M.B 12003, Lagos


Training in resuscitation is done worldwide by a dedicated council who is responsible for training and frequent recertification. Nigeria has no Resuscitation council and training is the responsibility of individual health institutions. There is no mandatory law on resuscitation training or recertification. This study sought to investigate how much training in CPR occurs, how effective this training is and how confident our anaesthetic trainees are in implementing present guidelines. A detailed questionnaire was anonymously filled by trainee anaesthetists who attended a revision course prior to postgraduate examinations. They answered questions on their length of training in anaesthesia, CPR training re­ceived, confidence in implementing existing guidelines and suggestions for improvement. Thirty -six trainees responded. Mean length of anaesthetic training was 3.55 ±2.39 years. 55.6% of trainees had received some CPR training. 75% of this was conducted by their anaesthetic department. Eleven trainees (30.6%) were confident in their ability to perform CPR according to 2005 guidelines, twelve (33.3%) had ever defibrillated a patient and only ten (27.8%) were confident in their ability to interpret ECG There is low confidence among junior anaesthetists in Nigeria in performance of CPR, poor knowledge of ECG interpretation of cardiac arrest rhythm and little practice in defibrillation. The establishment of a Resuscitation council would ensure adequate and frequent training which would improve knowledge, boost confidence and result in better patient care.

How to cite this article:
Ibironke D, Olanrewaju O O, Olutola J O. Training and Confidence Level of Junior Anaesthetists in CPR- Experience in A Developing Country.Indian J Anaesth 2008;52:297-300

How to cite this URL:
Ibironke D, Olanrewaju O O, Olutola J O. Training and Confidence Level of Junior Anaesthetists in CPR- Experience in A Developing Country. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2008 [cited 2020 Apr 7 ];52:297-300
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Training in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) worldwide is predominantly carried out by a resuscita­tion council. Anaesthetists are in the forefront of car­diac arrest teams and adequate knowledge and skills make them confident and competent in their ability to manage patients in cardiac arrest. The West African sub-region is faced with the problem of inadequate train­ing due to financial constraints and a dearth of teaching personnel[1]. Nigeria has no Resuscitation council and training in resuscitation is not mandatory. An earlier study from Lagos the economic centre of Nigeria demon­strated that anaesthetists were not applying proper guideline in the management of patients in cardiac ar­rest [2] . This paper sought to investigate how much teach­ing of CPR occurs and how confident our trainees are in implementing CPR guidelines.


This study was conducted one year after the re­lease of the 2005 Resuscitation guidelines. A structured questionnaire was issued to trainee anaesthetists from teaching hospitals all over Nigeria who attended a revi­sion course as part of their pre-requisite before the Parts 1 and 2 postgraduate examinations. The trainees vol­untarily filled in the questionnaire anonymously. Most of the questions were yes/no based. Questions involv­ing suggestions for improvement were left as open ended responses.

The grade of the respondents and the length of anaesthetic training were documented. The trainees filled the questionnaire in 3 main parts -

Questions relating to CPR training received.Questions relating to confidence in ability to per­form CPR.Questions relating to suggestions for improvement.Data collected was analysed with Statistical Pack­age for Social Studies (SPSS® 10.1 Inc. Chicago, Il­linois). Numerical data was expressed as mean ± stan­dard deviation (SD). All categorical data were ex­pressed as frequency tables. A P value of 2 . One of the reasons proffered was inadequate training which is likely to have led to this lack of confidence observed within the anaesthetic trainee cadre.

We have demonstrated that indeed training in re­suscitation in Nigeria is inadequate. Barely 50% of respondents had received formal training which was given almost 2 years prior to our study and the length of training was short. As we have no Resuscitation coun­cil of our own, most training is left to individual anaes­thetic departments. It is recommended that training should be conducted by facilitators with skills in train­ing and resuscitation and experience in the learner's primary occupational roles [3] . The consensus is that training should be repeated frequently as knowledge and skills deteriorate with time. Hands-on practice with simulators is known to improve perceived ability to prioritise tasks and gain confidence [4] but these computer­aided technology is expensive. With the added burden of financial constraints, training materials are not readily available thus a fair percentage of training in our study involved demonstrations only.

Although majority of trainee anaesthetists (72%) were confident in their ability to perform CPR, further questioning as to their ability to perform CPR accord­ing to current guidelines was very low and only one trainee could list 5 correct guideline changes. This poor level of awareness can be traced to the irregular and non standardization of training in our environment. .In Europe, it is recommended that residents are given regu­lar mandatory hands-on ALS training frequently, pref­erably using European oriented guidelines [5] . Some re­searchers have demonstrated that anaesthetists who had attended ACLS training obtained better scores than those who had not during resuscitation simulation ex­ercise [6] yet others have shown that neither the seniority of anaesthetists nor their post graduate qualifications correlated with their performance level during CPR [7] .A deteriorating knowledge of CPR with increasing se­niority has been reported as junior doctors are more likely to commit the guidelines to heart because of ex­aminations, while consultants are poor at maintaining and re-certifying their advanced resuscitation skills [8],[9] .Though all our respondents were trainees preparing for postgraduate examinations, those with longer training in anaesthesia exhibited more confidence in performing CPR.

Competence in the management of CPR requires a broad range of skills, from diagnosis of cardiopulmo­nary arrest, knowledge of ECG interpretation and the use of electrical defibrillator.

From this study we found that the knowledge of interpretation of ECG among trainee anaesthetists was generally poor and few trainees had ever defibrillated a patient or were confident in their ability to do so. These combined deficiencies would lead to a delay in diagno­sis and prompt defibrillation if required. As early defibrillation is the single most important determinant of survival from cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibril­lation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) this deficiency would adversely influence patient out­come .A report by Desalu et al [2] carried out in the same environment showed that none of the cardiac arrest vic­tims who were defibrillated survived. One reason for their non-survival was attributed to difficulty in rhythm recognition due to poor knowledge on ECG interpre­tation resulting in delay in defibrillation. This deficiency should encourage the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) which do not require knowledge in ECG interpretation while steps are taken to ensure adequate training in rhythm recognition. Proficiency in the use of AED has been documented to have improved after only one hour condensed training programme [10] .Confidence in airway management among resident anaesthetists was high as expected.

In conclusion our study revealed low confidence among anaesthesia trainees in Nigeria in performance of CPR, poor knowledge of ECG interpretation of car­diac arrest rhythms and little practice in defibrillation. This has stemmed from inadequate resuscitation train­ing. The Resuscitation council being proposed should urgently be put into place and the assistance of other well established programmes should be sought espe­cially in the area of training materials and facilitators. Other developing countries have established training links with established programmes with good results [11] Training in CPR should be made mandatory for all medical and nursing personnel to improve their knowl­edge and confidence and most importantly, patient out­come.


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