New Technology Heightens Pediatric Code Blue Response Training at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Story Number: NNS121013-04Release Date: 10/13/2012 9:58:00 AM
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By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton's (NHB) Staff Education Training Department (SETD) implemented new simulation training technology during a "Code Blue" CPR drill with Pediatrics Department to further hone the first responder skills of staff doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen Oct. 11.

"For this pediatric event we used a state of the art mannequin for the first time at our facility. You can feel a pulse, listen to lungs sounds, talk to, and many other things with it," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Blake Hite, of NHB's SETD and drill organizer who arranged the new training tools to be implemented.

"This type of training is completely essential. We typically see well children here in Pediatrics. It's easy to become complacent. But we have to be able to recognize any situation and symptom in any child because kids can decompress quickly and require immediate intervention," said Lt. Lindsay McQuade, NHB Pediatric Clinic division officer.

According to Hite, holding training like this is a direct result of bringing many departments - from Pediatrics to Family Medicine to Emergency to Security and others - in the hospital together to effectively respond to a code. "This helps our ability to effectively respond to life threatening emergencies. This training keeps staff skills sharp. We do not see as many real Code Blues as in a larger facility, so it is imperative that we practice these skills in case a real situation arises. We hold the training once to twice a month in various places and at random times throughout the hospital," he said.

Utilizing the newer training tools, attests Hite, helps make the training much more realistic.

"Everyone involved will ultimately feel almost exactly like they would in a real situation. The high tech, portable equipment lets SETD simulate many different types of medical emergencies that provides essential teaching and training opportunities," Hite explained.

McQuade notes that using the new mannequin simulator to practice treating CPR for a child provides valuable reinforcement of implementing proper procedure for a pediatric-centric emergency.

"The technique is very different in providing CPR support to a child rather than to an adult. Any support with medication, giving shock (using the AED - Automated External Defibrillator), and compress is based on the child's weight and size and that is crucial to remember. The wrong dosage or pressure can be completely ineffective and possibly catastrophic. We need to be constantly aware that children are not littler versions of adults. Situations that cause a child to 'code,' have a cardiac or respiratory arrest, are usually different from an adult. Knowing those differences helps fix the issue so the child can recover quickly," said McQuade, adding that although most codes with pediatrics tend to be respiratory-based, there are numerous causes that can make any child's heartbeat and breathing stop, such as choking, drowning, electrical shock, excessive bleeding, head trauma or serious injury, lung disease, poisoning, and suffocation.

"Overall, this training went well. The big components required to save a child's life were all met. But we always strive for more than passing. We'll continue to focus on communication. We can memorize what to do, but when things are happening in real time it is much different. Communication - especially between departments in an emergency - is something that has to be practiced regularly," Hite said.

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