Doctors, nurses trained in cardiac life support

Stabroek News
May 5, 2003

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A team from the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Tennessee recently conducted an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training course which is expected to lay the foundation for the establishment of a Cardiac Life Support training centre by the end of the year.

Comprising 14 doctors, eight nurses and one nurse practitioner, the visiting team was on attachment to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) where it also conducted training in Emergency Room medicine. Twenty physicians and ten nurses of the GPHC took part in the course.

At a press conference last Wednesday at the GPHC, Dr Jeffrey McKinzie, leader of the delegation, said that apart from training, an assessment was also being done of the emergency capabilities at the hospital and in the regions. And according to him, this would lay the groundwork for future goals for Guyana's emergency services.

Accompanying the team Dr Brian Charles, head of the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, underscored the significance of the ACLS training course, noting that cardio-vascular diseases, heart attacks and strokes were the number one killers in this part of the world.

Dr Charles said the training course would go a long way towards the development of a training facility where doctors could be educated in ACLS and the general public in Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS). He hoped that a self-sustaining education programme would be the result of the training, explaining that trainers would be selected from the participants of the ACLS course, to form the teaching staff of the new centre. Charles also said that the Heart Association of Barbados would play an integral role in order to get the centre going by the end of the year.

GPHC Administrator Dr Madan Rambarran meanwhile added that this was all part of the National Health Plan which envisaged the training of 50% of all nurses and teachers by 2004 in BCLS.

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