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J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1990 Jan;24(1):51-4.

An advanced resuscitation training course for preregistration house officers.

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  • 1Cardiology Department, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London.


Preregistration house officers need to be able to manage the first 5-10 minutes of a cardiac arrest. A course has been designed based on the recommendations of the Resuscitation Council UK 1984 and the format of the American Heart Association advanced cardiac life support course. Fifty-nine newly qualified doctors from the same medical school class were studied in two consecutive groups: Group 1 (n = 31) were commencing their first post and Group 2 (n = 28), whose first preregistration post had been at other hospitals without practical resuscitation training, were commencing their second post. They were pretested and taught in three 2-hour sessions. Five months later they were tested to measure retention of knowledge and skills. Before training there was no difference in knowledge between the two groups but Group 1 were more skilled. The knowledge and skills of both groups immediately after training were significantly improved and at 5 months skills were subject to modest decay only. Experience of managing cardiac arrests was not a substitute for formal practical training.

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