Gannon University Receives SAEM Grant

Carnegie_logoPosted: January 27, 2015

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to Gannon University, which will help fund a project aimed at improving the survival rate of patients in cardiac arrest. The proposal, titled "Comparison of Visual Centers of Attention Between Experienced and Novice Providers during a Simulated Cardiac Arrest," will study how teams of medical professionals work together during cardiac arrest resuscitation.

Jestin Carlson, M.D., the principal investigator for the project and adjunct lecturer at Gannon University, as well as the resident research director at Saint Vincent Hospital, and his co-principal investigator, Adam Frisch, MD, MS, assistant professor of emergency medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical College, will study how novice and more experienced care providers see and react to situations that arise during a resuscitation.

"If you're experienced, you incorporate what you've seen and act on it," Dr. Carlson said. "If you're not experienced, you don't know what to focus on, so we ultimately want to teach novice providers how to develop those skills to make them more effective in a clinical setting."

The ideal place to do this-indeed, the only place to do this, Dr. Carlson pointed out, is in a simulated setting. This study will use Gannon University's Patient Simulation Center. The center is the area's largest, with 15 medium- and high-fidelity patient simulators in a 5,800 square-foot facility that incorporates IV training stations, a computer lab and classroom seating for 40 students.

The center allows students from various health science disciplines to work together, as they would in a real-world clinical setting-precisely the kind of environment Dr. Carlson needs for his study. He said that a multi-disciplinary team of providers is necessary to effectively resuscitate a patient: one putting in the IV, another administering medications, and yet another ready to perform CPR.

Dr. Carlson, working with Gannon nursing professor Valerie Baker will simulate cardiac arrests using the simulation center's lifelike mannikins, and record the reactions of provider teams for later analysis.

Carlson said that the long-term goal of this project is to educate providers and save the lives of patients.

"I'd like to impact the education process for health care providers--not just nurses and doctors, but the [entire] team," Dr. Carlson said. "The overall survival rate for patients who suffer a cardiac arrest outside a clinical setting is about seven percent, but even small benefits can impact a large number of people."