Interventions for nurses caring for a child who has an unexpected acute life threatening event (ALTE) in hospital

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Introduction: Caring for a child who has an unexpected ALTE in hospital can be stressful. An ALTE may include a cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest or call for immediate assistance. An international survey of practice was conducted to identify any existing interventions to inform a PhD program of work aimed at reducing the stress from these events through preparation and support.
Purpose: The purpose of the survey was threefold:
(1) Describe ‘normal’ practice when it comes to preparing staff or providing psychological support after caring for a child who has had an ALTE.
(2) Determine if there are any interventions to prepare clinical staff for potential psychological effects of caring for a child who has an ALTE.
(3) Determine if there are any interventions to provide support for clinical staff after caring for a child who has an ALTE.
Material - Methods: An 18 item semi structured questionnaire was designed for the study to allow respondent to describe practices within their institution and outline their opinions and professional experiences. Clinicians from selected children’s and adult hospitals in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America were contacted by telephone. Following consent they were given the option to complete the survey via
the telephone, by post or online.
Results: Of the 61 hospitals approached 44 (72%) clinicians responded. Eighteen (41%) respondents identified interventions in place to prepare nurses for an ALTE ranging from (but not limited to) ad hoc discussions during life support training through to structured simulation training. Thirty-six (82%) respondents identified that they had interventions in place to support nurses after an ALTE ranging from (but not limited to) debriefing through to structured case reviews.
Conclusions: Interventions varied across institutions, with no outcome or evaluation data for the interventions published to date.

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberOP16
Pages (from-to)103
Number of pages1
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue numberSuppl.463
Early online date30 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Event3rd Excellence in Paediatrics Conference and 1st PNAE Congress on Paediatric Nursing - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 30 Nov 20113 Dec 2011

Bibliographic note

PNAE Oral and Poster Presentations Special Issue: Abstracts from the third Excellence in Paediatrics Conference, 30 November - 3 December 2011 and the first PNAE Congress on Paediatric Nursing, 1-2 December 2011, Istanbul, Turkey

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