Testing Confounders in Brain Death Determination: A New Simulation Model

Sara Hocker, Donna Schumacher, Jayawant Mandrekar, Eelco F M Wijdicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Given the rarity of brain death in clinical practice, trainees may complete their training without ever performing a brain death exam. Little is known about the performance of trainees in the evaluation of brain death. The accuracy of brain death determination can be audited and improved through simulation models. Methods: A simulated brain death scenario was designed to incorporate numerous potential confounders. We utilized a SimMan 3G mannequin, registered nurse, simulation technician, and a facilitator. Critical care and neurology trainees were evaluated using a 24-point checklist based on the AAN guidelines. Trainees rated their confidence (5 point scale with 1 = novice, 3 = competent, and 5 = fully confident) in the evaluation of brain death and apnea testing before and after completing the scenario. Following the simulation, trainees participated in debriefing sessions involving a review of the checklist and playback of simulation videos. Results: Forty-one trainees completed the simulation. Trainees successfully completed 352/492 (71.5 %) tasks pertaining to the evaluation of prerequisites and 262/369 (71.0 %) tasks pertaining to the clinical examination. Trainee confidence in the evaluation of brain death (2.12 ± 0.74 vs 3.29 ± 0.62, p = 0.0001) and apnea testing (2.10 ± 0.74 vs 3.59 ± 0.77, p = 0.001) significantly improved. Conclusions: We successfully tested a new simulation model which emphasized training in crucial pitfalls. More than one in four trainees performed poorly in the evaluation of prerequisites and the clinical examination. Few trainees considered the possibility of drug or alcohol ingestion. Simulation training improved clinical performance and trainee confidence in the evaluation of brain death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalNeurocritical Care
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Brain death
  • Curricular milestones
  • Error in medicine
  • Medical education
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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