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Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow Awarded Research Grant for Bereavement Principles Project

Dec. 15, 2020

Congratulations to Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellow Annabel Cramer, M.D. — working with Dell Med faculty Kate Remick, M.D., and Matt Wilkinson, M.D., MPH — who received the INSPIRE Novice Research Award for $10,000 from the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, and Education.

In the U.S., approximately 16,000 pediatric patients experience cardiac arrest each year. Over the last 30 years, survival from pediatric cardiac arrest has remained stagnant, with best estimates suggesting about 5% to 10% of kids survive overall. Cramer's project, “Uptake and Retention of Bereavement Principles Among a Diverse Cohort of EMS Providers Using the Compassionate Options for Pediatric EMS (COPE) Curriculum: A Simulation-Based Approach” will be invaluable to providing data on this important subject.

Emergency medical services personnel receive little training regarding how to cope with and communicate with others about bereavement. Studies have shown that while EMS professionals self-report strong communication skills and demonstrated compassion for patients and their families, parents and other family members report opportunities for improvement. Thus, there is a disconnect between EMS perceptions of helpfulness and family member perceptions of coolness or criticalness especially when the cause of death is ambiguous.

With this project, Cramer hopes to demonstrate the effectiveness of a simulation-driven approach to the COPE bereavement training across a diverse group of EMS providers and geographic locations. Additionally, their team will measure the impact of this training on short- and long-term skills retention. Given the rapid shift in pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest management across the United States, this research effort will help to meet the critical needs of a growing practice in pre-hospital emergency care.