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Education, Simulation Training Prepares Staff for Emergency Resternotomy

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More respondents report being prepared to be members of care team for emergency sternotomy after intervention

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 6, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Education and simulation training can improve staff comfort and familiarity with emergency resternotomy in the intensive care unit due to cardiac arrest after cardiac surgery, according to a study published online June 1 in Critical Care Nurse.

Athanasios Tsiouris, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and colleagues established and improved protocols for emergency resternotomy following suboptimal performance and outcome resulting from an emergency intensive care unit resternotomy. To improve staff comfort and familiarity with needed techniques and supplies, education and simulation training were used. To assess familiarity with implemented plans and algorithms, preintervention and postintervention surveys were administered. Forty-four participants completed the preintervention survey, and 41 completed the postintervention survey.

The researchers found that 95 percent of respondents agreed that they were prepared to be members of the team for an emergency intensive care unit sternotomy after the intervention compared with 52 percent before the intervention. Ninety-five percent strongly agreed or agreed that they could identify patients who might need emergency sternotomy after the intervention compared with 50 percent before. Improvement was seen in staff members’ understanding of team roles, activation, and use of the emergency sternotomy protocol.

“Cardiac arrest after cardiac surgery can be a chaotic event, even for experienced nurses and physicians. Preparing for this event is difficult given its rarity,” the authors write. “Our quality improvement project suggests that simulation training improves staff comfort with and understanding of these events.”

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