A group of St John and PHA doctors and nurses completed training in advanced life support and trauma care. 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 Prehospital 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.
Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) is the international standard of emergency medical care for patients suffering severe trauma. 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.
Advanced Life Support is facilitated and taught using the Australian Resuscitation Council ALS program. It is a recognized course in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Europe.
A group of St John 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 along doctors from the National Department of Health, East New Britain PHA, West New Britain PHA, and a senior emergency nurse from the NCDPHA who
also participated in the ALS2 and PHTLS courses.
What is ALS1?
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.
Tell me more about ALS2 and PHTLS…
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.
Who accredits the courses?
Advanced Life Support levels 1 and 2 were facilitated by Parasol EMT, the leading provider of advanced resuscitation education in Australia. The president and senior representatives from the PNG Society of Emergency
Medicine participated in the course and are seeking to recognize and accredit PNG’s own version of ALS 1 and 2.
The Prehospital Trauma Life Support is a course accredited by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians in the United States. This was the first time this course had been performed in Papua New Guinea.
Why are these courses important?
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 stabilization might include rapid blood transfusion or emergency surgery.
What is next?
St John Ambulance is working with the PNG Society of Emergency Medicine
(PNGSEM) 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. PNGSEM and St John are being supported by the highly experienced training organization 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 PNG.