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An application of the learning curve–cumulative summation test to evaluate training for endotracheal intubation in emergency medicine


Objective The learning curve–cumulative summation (LC-CUSUM) test allows for quantitative and individual assessments of the learning process. In this study, we evaluated the process of skill acquisition for performing endotracheal intubation (ETI) in three emergency medicine (EM) residents over a 2 year period in their first 2 years of their EM residency.

Methods We evaluated 342 ETI cases performed by three EM residents using the LC-CUSUM test according to their rate of success or failure of ETI. A 90% success rate (SR) was chosen to define adequate performance and an SR of 80% was considered inadequate. After the learning phase, the standard CUSUM test was applied to ensure that performance was maintained.

Results The mean number of ETI cases required to reach the predefined level of performance was 74.7 (95% CI 62.0 to 87.3). CUSUM tests confirmed that performance was maintained after the learning phase.

Conclusions By using the LC-CUSUM test, we were able to quantitatively monitor the acquisition of the skill of ETI by EM residents. The LC-CUSUM could be useful for monitoring the learning process for the training of airway management in the practice of EM.

  • Airway
  • Education

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