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Respir Care. 2018 Apr;63(4):417-423. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05951. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Ventilator Boot Camp Improves the Knowledge and Skills Associated With Mechanical Ventilator Use During Interfacility Transport of Intubated Pediatric Patients.

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Department of Respiratory Care, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, Ohio.
Rush University, Respiratory Care Program, Chicago, Illinois, and with Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Division of Critical Care Medicine, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, Ohio.
Nursing Administration, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, Ohio.



The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Transport recommends the use of portable ventilators during the transport of patients with advanced airways. We sought to identify knowledge gaps and evaluate the effectiveness of a transport ventilator competency boot camp.


Electronic health records of children requiring ventilatory support during air and ground interfacility transport from January 1 through December 31, 2015, were reviewed to determine when manual ventilation was used in lieu of a portable ventilator, and simulations were constructed from commonly occurring scenarios. All registered respiratory therapists trained in air and ground critical-care transports participated. Demographic data were collected. We assessed performance on 3 facilitated simulated scenarios using a ventilator connected to a low-fidelity pediatric mannequin attached to breathing simulator. Scores were based on the participants' ability to correctly perform pre-use checks, select and optimize ventilator settings, set alarms, and complete safety checks. A 60-min interactive education intervention was conducted between the pre- and post-assessments. The pre-assessment, intervention, and post-assessment were conducted 6 weeks apart. De-identified assessments were scored, and results were shared after study completion. Descriptive statistics reported participant demographics. Paired t tests compared before and after assessments. Statistical significance was established at P < .05.


A total of 172 electronic health records were reviewed. Manual ventilation was used more frequently in toddlers requiring pressure control ventilation; noninvasive ventilation was rarely used. A total of 17 registered respiratory therapists participated; 18% were male, 41% had 6-9 years of tenure and 5 years of experience with our transport team. Completing ventilator pre-use check and engaging alarms provided the most opportunity for improvement. Improvements were greater with the use of noninvasive ventilation (P = .006) than pressure control ventilation (P = .10) and volume control ventilation use (P = .07).


Quality data were useful in identifying areas requiring knowledge and competency assessment. Re-assessment results validated the need to conduct education and competency assessment at defined intervals.


mechanical ventilation; pediatric; transport

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