Resus Drills

Resus Drills

“It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.”
— Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege

Emergency Reflex Action Drills (ERADs)

“Emergency Reflex Action Drills (ERADs, pronounced ē – rads) are specifically designed action sequences intended to execute clinical interventions with minimal cognitive load in the setting of marked time pressure. These drills are tailored to respond to particular situations. They are carefully developed with thought, intention, and analysis of the available literature to consider the risks and benefits. In essence, the “thinking” is done in advance, so that during a true emergency the programmed cognitive and action sequence can be applied.” – Emergency Reflex Action Drills: Designing the Human System (EMCrit)

Based on this ERADs concept, Dr Ffion Davies (with support from Dr Carl Leith van Heyningen, Dr Sarah Edwards and Jake Fudge) has created 6 Resus Drills for use in the Emergency Department.


  • Resus Drills are for situations which happen quickly, are not common, and need a time-critical response.

  • They need practice – so when the time comes, you’ve already had the dress rehearsal.

  • This is not a ‘simulation’.

  • Drills are traditionally for practising teamwork and speed.

  • Each scenario will run for 5 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of feedback and reflection. The same scenario is then run again for another 5 minutes.

  • Each Resus Drill is designed to run no longer that 15 minutes in total.


Learning, NOT assessment: the drill is for practice and for learning. We’re concentrating on how fast you can think, and how well you work as a team.

Safe zone: learning and mistakes are shared here, not any further.

5-min reflection rules: please be constructive in the debrief. We’re all here to learn. These are deliberately tough scenarios. That’s the whole point of a drill.

Pretend it is real: we’ll try to make the drill realistic, but this is not meant to be a high-fidelity simulation. Even though it’s not real, we need you to help us by acting as you would in real life in your normal role. We will try to run it in real time.

Take-away pack: there is some information that you can take away for further learning. We recommend “spaced repetition” for the best learning, i.e…

  1. Make some reflective notes while it’s fresh in your mind

  2. Make yourself read them again in a couple of weeks


How does it work?

The drill packs will be laminated and left in the In Situ Simulation Bay (Resus) for teaching purposes, in addition to “take-home” cards for those who want to brush up on their learning. Each team can then choose a scenario by rolling a dice (supplied) to decide! Each pack contains: location of equipment, “Red call” sheet (optional), decision algorithm, scenario script, debrief questions, procedure and additional learning resources.


Many thanks to MAGPAS Air Ambulance for use of their Procedural Aide Memoires (PAMs) to help illustrate many of these procedures.

This work (like all our content) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Creative Commons Licence

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