Introduction: Emergency pediatric problems which need immediate intervention from health professionals are not infrequent. Usually, the first person who deals with these potential fatal incidents and has to act instantly is the nurse.
Aim: It was to investigate the knowledge of nurses working in pediatric departments on the treatment of a child’s life threatening condition.
Materials and methods: One hundred and two nurses from all the three pediatric hospital in Attica were enrolled in the study. They filled in a questionnaire covering the whole range of knowledge and skills in the field of basic life support in children. Α highest total score meant more correct answers (range 0-1). ANOVA and t-test were the statistical methods applied.
Results: The highest total score was observed in the question regarding the severe ill child (0.94±0.11), while the lowest in the question dealing with intraosseous infusion (0.59±0.18). Previous participation in special educational seminars did not differentiate the answers. Nurses working in ICU had statistically significantly more correct answers in comparison with the clinic team (p<0.05). Nurses with less than five years of longevity differed statistically significantly from the those with 6-10, 11-15 and 16-10 years of longevity having a lower total score (p<0.05).
Conclusions: There is a considerable lack of knowledge in the treatment of life threatening conditions in children. It is necessary to institutionalize educational programs in basic life support as part of the continuing education of nurses.
Key words: Basic Life Support, Child, Nurse, Knowledge