Australian Volunteer, Danielle Clark, has written the first-ever Adult Resuscitation Basic and Advanced Life Support Manual for clinical workers at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) so they can perform high-quality emergency responses.

Dr Clark said, “each year, in conjunction with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, we do Life Support Trainings at the hospital with teams of volunteers from Australia or New Zealand.

“Sadly COVID-19 has closed our borders, So I came up with the idea of creating a manual in accordance with the Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines that fits the Vanuatu context.”

Dr Clark said it took her almost two to three months to complete the manual and to make sure everything is evidently based under the Australian and New Zealand guidelines.

Clark is a volunteer under the Australian Volunteers Program (AVP) while working at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in Sydney, Australia, now she is an Emergency Medicine Registrar at VCH.

This week, in partnership with ProMedical Vanuatu, she has organised a 2-day course training at the hospital to teach doctors and nurses on how to prevent and perform Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support in the event of a cardiorespiratory arrest.

“Weeks before the exercise, VCH participants must first read and be accustomed with the manual.

“Around 65 participants have contributed in the 2 days of lectures and practical exercises with mannequins and dummies, where they learn how to use the defibrillator, understand cardiac rhythms and knowing how to use the right medications.

“Nine trainers who are senior health workers were selected to assist in the annual learning program.

“Our main aim is to educate trainers in the hospital so they can continue to deliver Life Support trainings in the more years to come,” she said.

On completion of the assessments, the assessor will either decide whether or not the participant is competent and will give a “pass” which is valid for 12 months or “not yet competent,” in which the participant will require re-assessment and further training.

“After the pilot phase training, the next stage is to approach the Ministry of Health (MoH) so they can officially approve the Advanced Life Support manual.”

Doctor of the Emergency Ward, Vincent Atua said with few cases of cardiac arrests in the country, nurses may sometimes forget the procedures in how to save a patient from a heart attack, therefore these trainings create a more suitable learning environment for health workers to get comfortable with everyday procedures and to be in high alert when dealing in the Emergency Room.

“One of the main benefits of the training is getting nurses and doctors more familiar and confident with using medical machines, especially during an emergency,” he said

“Trainees learn to make rapid assessments, to identify cardiac arrest patients and how to approach and treat them.

“All in all, the program has greatly supported and benefitted the hospital,” he said.

ProMedical Critical Care Paramedic, Clinical Instructor and an Australian volunteer through AVI, Ben Elliot is one of the trainers during the course program commented on the success of the training as a milestone achievement for all health personnel.

“Our participation is to increase the communication between workers from the Hospital and with our ProMedical team, so we can be on the same level,” Elliot said

“With closed borders, the sustainable course can now be taught by the selected trainers each year instead of relying on volunteers from Australia or New Zealand.”

The 2-day training is supported by the Australian Government through AVP and the Vanuatu Health Program.

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