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Defibrillation safety: an examination of paramedic perceptions using eye-tracking technology
  1. Linda Ross,
  2. Brett Williams,
  3. Malcolm Boyle
  1. Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Linda Ross, Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice, Monash University—Peninsula Campus, P.O. Box 527, McMahons Road, Frankston, VIC 3199, Australia; linda.ross{at}


Objective The importance of access to early defibrillation for patients in cardiac arrest has been emphasised as a critical part of the chain of survival by resuscitation bodies internationally; as such defibrillation has become a key procedure for many out-of-hospital emergency healthcare providers. However, little research has been undertaken specifically addressing students’ safety during defibrillation procedures. The objective of this study was to examine visual and verbal safety checks prior to defibrillation utilising eye-tracking technology.

Methods This was an observational study of student safety during cardiac rhythm analysis, defibrillator charging and immediately prior to defibrillation during a resuscitation attempt using a medium fidelity mannequin. The participants completed two 10 min simulations each requiring three defibrillation attempts. The κ statistic was used to determine the agreement by the student of their perceived safety performance and that viewed in the video.

Results In both scenarios the student's level of agreement for their perceived defibrillation safety performance and what was observed in the video decreased from defibrillation one to three in both scenarios. However, there was agreement in their overall defibrillation safety performance for both scenarios.

Conclusions Student perceptions of their actions during defibrillation are not always an accurate representation of their actual actions.

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Electric Countershock
  • Safety
  • Resuscitation
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