Article of interest - School children brief training to save foreign body airway obstruction
Santiago Martínez-Isasi, Aida Carballo-Fazanes, Cristina Jorge-Soto, Martín Otero-Agra, Felipe Fernández-Méndez, Roberto Barcala-Furelos, Verónica Izquierdo, María García-Martínez & Antonio Rodríguez-Núñez
European Journal of Pediatrics, 2023
New article of interest of the RICORS-SAMID network
Foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) is a relatively common emergency and a potential cause of sudden death both in children and older people; bystander immediate action will determine the victim’s outcome. Although many school children’s basic life support (BLS) training programs have been implemented in recent years, references to specific training on FBAO are lacking. Therefore, the aim was to assess FBAO-solving knowledge acquisition in 10–13-year-old school children. A quasi-experimental non-controlled simulation study was carried out on 564 ten-to-thirteen-year-old children from 5 schools in Galicia (Spain). Participants received a 60-min training led by their physical education teachers (5 min theory, 15 min demonstration by the teacher, and 30 min hands-on training) on how to help to solve an FBAO event. After the training session, the school children’s skills were assessed in a standardized adult’s progressive FBAO simulation scenario. The assessment was carried out by proficient researchers utilizing a comprehensive checklist specifically designed to address the variables involved in resolving a FBAO event according with current international guidelines. The assessment of school children’s acquired knowledge during the simulated mild FBAO revealed that 62.2% of participants successfully identified the event and promptly encouraged the simulated patient to cough actively. When the obstruction progressed, its severity was recognized by 86.2% and back blows were administered, followed by abdominal thrusts by 90.4%. When the simulated victim became unconscious, 77.1% of children identified the situation and immediately called the emergency medical service and 81.1% initiated chest compressions. No significant differences in performance were detected according to participants’ age.
Conclusion: A brief focused training contributes to prepare 10–13-year-old school children to perform the recommended FBAO steps in a standardized simulated patient. We consider that FBAO should be included in BLS training programs for school children.