Use of simulation to improve management of perioperative anaphylaxis: a narrative review

Helen Kolawole, Anne Berit Guttormsen, David L. Hepner, Mogens Kroigaard, Stuart Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation-based education is often highlighted as a method to prepare health personnel to handle clinical emergencies through repeated training and the design of supports. As one of the most common clinical emergencies in anaesthesia, anaphylaxis is often included in simulation scenarios at both graduate and postgraduate levels. Case reviews of anaphylaxis management continue to identify deficiencies in clinical responses. We evaluated the evidence to support the use of simulation to address these deficiencies. We undertook a comprehensive review of the MEDLINE and Embase databases with MESH terms ‘Anaphylaxis’ ‘Anaesthesia’ ‘Simulation training’ and variations of these terms. Articles were also searched from reference lists in the identified papers. A total of 39 articles on perioperative anaphylaxis simulation were identified, with most focusing on the clinical skills of individuals. However, anaphylaxis scenarios are also being used in assessment of teams and in the evaluation of broader system performance. Many countries mandate simulation training and competency assessment at graduate and postgraduate levels: despite this, none of the articles linked simulation training or assessment with improved patient management or outcomes. We found evidence that in situ simulation and use of cognitive aids lead to improved teamwork and task performace. Quantitative and qualitative evidence for simulation-based perioperative training is limited. Future studies should investigate whether simulation training in perioperative anaphylaxis, particularly in situ simulation, translates into improved patient management and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e104e - e109
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • anaesthesia
  • anaphylaxis
  • perioperative
  • perioperative outcomes
  • simulation training

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