Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2019

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Mary Zerlan DNP, CRNA

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Michelle Ertel DNAP, CRNA

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Lisa Green PhD, RN


Crisis Checklists, Cognitive Aids, Simulation-Based Education


Background: Operating room crises require prompt, efficient action to avoid detrimental outcomes. Research shows that crisis checklists or other cognitive aids assist anesthesia providers in taking prompt action while improving efficiency by decreasing treatment steps missed during critical events.

Objectives: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of incorporating cardiac arrest and malignant hyperthermia crisis checklists into the operating room using high-fidelity simulation-based education.

Methods: Researchers implemented the Stanford Emergency Manual Cognitive Aids for cardiac arrest and malignant hyperthermia to anesthesia staff at a community hospital in southern Illinois with 18 participants. Implementation consisted of an education session followed by crisis event simulation in two operating rooms with high-fidelity models and monitoring equipment. A post-simulation survey was completed by participants regarding their perceptions of crisis checklists and their future value.

Results: All respondents (N=16) reported increased preparedness to manage or assist a patient having a perioperative cardiac arrest and malignant hyperthermia crisis event after implementation of the crisis checklists. All respondents suggest implementing the crisis checklists into their daily practice.

Conclusions: The respondents’ positive responses display the implementation of operating room crisis checklists’ value and how they assist anesthesia providers in high-stress situations.

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