DOCTORS and nurses who complete internationally accredited advanced life support and advanced pre-hospital trauma care courses are better equipped to save lives.
From June 1-5, a group of St John Ambulance and provincial health authority (PHA) doctors and nurses completed a training in advanced life support and trauma care in Port Moresby.
The training courses were facilitated by Parasol EMT in collaboration with St John Ambulance and the PNG Society of Emergency Medicine.
The courses included advanced life support level 1 (ALS1), advanced life support level 2 (ALS2) and pre-hospital trauma life support (PHTLS).
The fifth day included an instructor course to prepare St John doctors and nurses to facilitate future courses in Papua New Guinea.
St John’s 21 registered nurses and four ambulance officers participated in the advanced life support course.
Participating in the two advanced courses (ALS2 and PHTLS) were four paramedics, 12 doctors, nine nurses and two ambulance officer trainers.
St John invited doctors from the Health Department, East New Britain PHA, West New Britain PHA and a senior emergency nurse from the National Capital District PHA also participated in the ALS2 and PHTLS courses.
ALS1 and 2 and PHTLS
The ALS1 course is a one-day course aimed at providing health professionals with the skills and knowledge to manage the casualty in an immediate period of crisis until further medical assistance arrives.
ALS2 and PHTLS courses are designed for registered health professionals working in the prehospital and emergency department settings.
The advanced resuscitation and emergency surgical procedures taught in ALS2 and PHTLS include managing airway, respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological emergencies.
Accreditation of the courses
ALS 1 and 2 were facilitated by Parasol EMT, the leading provider of advanced resuscitation education in Australia.
Advanced Life Support is facilitated and taught using the Australian Resuscitation Council ALS programme.
It is a recognised course in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe.
The president and senior representatives from the PNG Society of Emergency Medicine participated in the course and are seeking to recognise and accredit PNG’s own version of ALS 1 and 2.
The PHTLS is the international standard of emergency medical care for patients suffering severe trauma.
It is a course accredited by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians in the United States.
This internationally accredited course is taught in 64 countries around the world.
This is the first time PHTLS has been taught in PNG, making PNG the 65th country to have introduced the PHTLS standard of care.
Importance of the courses
Trauma is the third most common reason that Papua New Guineans call St John Ambulance for emergency medical care.
Ambulance officers have a small window of opportunity to get immediate medical care to a trauma patient to save their life. This is referred to as the “golden hour”.
The golden hour starts from the time when a patient suffers the trauma to when the patient gets the definitive critical stabilisation to save their life. This medical stabilisation might include rapid blood transfusion or emergency surgery.
St John Ambulance is working with the Papua New Guinea Society of Emergency Medicine to introduce locally accredited ALS and PHTLS course in PNG.
St John will run the training for doctors and nurses in the public and private sectors.
PNG Society of Emergency Medicine and St John are being supported by the highly experienced training organisation Edvoke and Parasol EMT and are going through the process of accrediting with the USA National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.
The ALS and PHTLS training are being overseen by Dr Mangu Kendino, who is the emergency medical specialist doctor at Port Moresby General Hospital and the chief doctor for St John Ambulance
Dr Kendino said PHTLS had been delivered to health professionals in countries all over the world and this was the first time the course was delivered in Papua New Guinea.
“This important training for emergency health workers is an indication of the quality that we want to be able to provide to Papua New Guineans suffering severe trauma and medical emergencies,” she said.
St John Ambulance chief executive officer Matt Cannon said: “Emergency health workers respond to severe trauma every
day – from knife wounds and gunshot trauma to falls and blunt trauma.
“Emergency health workers must start immediate life support for these patients at the scene to save their life.
“These advanced trainings for doctors and nurses are in addition to our existing training programmes in making sure our medical team members are even better prepared to save lives.”
The National / PNG Health Watch
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