The Hilton

MIDLANDS’ PARAMEDICS SHARE EXPERTISE

- ESTELLE SINKINS

Staff from Life Hilton Hospital were given an insight into the work done by paramedics to stabilise patients before they are taken to hospital, during a special event to mark World Trauma Day on October 17. According to the World Health Organisati­on (WHO), trauma is a major cause of death and disability across the world.WHO’s research has also shown that at least 50% of road deaths in developing countries could have been prevented if the victims had received effective care immediatel­y after a being involved in a collision.

South African paramedics are highly trained and are able to provide this expertise by having adequate knowledge of handling emergency situations and a good supply of pre-hospital care equipment and facilities.

At last week’s event in Hilton, staff from St Michael’s Ambulance Service, based in Howick, showed staff how they ventilate a person, depending on whether or not they have sustained neck or spinal trauma.

Paramedics from Mi7 National Group, in Pietermari­tzburg, then demonstrat­ed how they would go about removing a patient, who complains of having neck pain, from a vehicle safely.

This involves fitting them with a Kendrick Extricatio­n Device (KED), which is designed to immobilise a patient and evolved from a device created in the 1970s to extract racing drivers from their cockpits following a crash.

Life Hilton staff got the chance to get up close and personal with two African Ball pythons and a corn snake, while Shaun Hoft, from Magma Security and Investigat­ion’s paramedic division, explained the effects of different kinds of venom on the human body. His colleague, Cait Hagerman, then provided an insight into the damage caused by different kinds of bullets and how they treat gunshot victims at the scene of an incident.

Staff also got to explore the state-of-the-art Midlands EMS intensive care bus, which is used to transport critically ill babies and adults to hospital.

The vehicle is fitted with an incubator and ICU monitoring equipment and is staffed by only very experience­d paramedics.

Other medical providers who shared their expertise with staff at last week’s event were paramedics from Netcare 911 and ER24, who spoke about the use of pelvic splints, tourniquet­s and how to provide CPR.

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