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Simulation training improves ability to manage medical emergencies
  1. Miriam Ruesseler1,
  2. Michael Weinlich2,
  3. Michael P Müller3,
  4. Christian Byhahn4,
  5. Ingo Marzi1,
  6. Felix Walcher1
  1. 1Department of Trauma Surgery, J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany
  2. 2Med Con Team, CEO, Reutlingen, Germany
  3. 3Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
  4. 4Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Miriam Ruesseler, Department of Trauma Surgery, J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt 60590, Germany; miri{at}


Objective In the case of an emergency, fast and structured patient management is crucial for a patient's outcome. Every physician and graduate medical student should possess basic knowledge of emergency care and the skills to manage common emergencies. This study determines the effect of a simulation-based curriculum in emergency medicine on students' abilities to manage emergency situations.

Methods A controlled, blinded educational trial of 44 final-year medical students was carried out at Frankfurt Medical School; 22 students completed the former curriculum as the control group and 22 the new curriculum as the intervention group. The intervention consists of simulation-based training with theoretical and simulation-based training sessions in realistic encounters based on the Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and adapted Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training. Further common emergencies were integrated corresponding to the course objectives. All students faced a performance-based assessment in a 10 station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) using checklist rating within a maximum of 4 months after completion of the intervention.

Results The intervention group performed significantly better at all of the 10 OSCE stations in the checklist rating (p<0.0001 to p=0.016).

Conclusions The simulation-based intervention offers a positively evaluated possibility to enhance students' skills in recognising and handling emergencies. Additional studies are required to measure the long-term retention of the acquired skills, as well as the effect of training in healthcare professionals.

  • Clinical assessment
  • education
  • effectiveness
  • resuscitation, training

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.