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Health workers ready to give cardiac life support

Health workers ready to give cardiac life support


Twenty-one health care givers are more equipped to resuscitate any cricket fan that collapses with a cardiac arrest as they watch their favorite cricket team play in St Vincent and the Grenadines during next year’s historic Cricket World Cup.

For the third consecutive year the Kingstown Medical College has invested over $20,000 to train health care personnel through out St Vincent and the Grenadines in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).{{more}}

The three days of intense training took place in October at the Medical College’s headquarters in Ratho Mill. Leading the team out of Trinidad and Tobago was Dr Ian Sammy, an emergency medicine specialist who lectures at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies.

Unlike the Basic Life Support (BLS) program which focuses on the administration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) – a technique designed to temporarily circulate oxygenated blood through the body of a person whose heart has stopped – the advanced program incorporates a whole lot more. Students learn to read echocardiograms (ECG), administer drugs, and operate the fibrillator (the machine used to apply an electrical shock to jump start the heart).

Dr Sammy told SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH that the course is very important because every bit of time is crucial when dealing with a patient with a sudden cardiac arrest.

“Anything that can improve care and quicken the timing of the attention given is invaluable” said Dr Sammy.

Local course coordinator Arrington Burgin said that the Kingstown Medical College is happy to continue to present this course to St Vincent and the Grenadines. Burgin, who is with the transport department of the school, is also the local BLS tutor. He visits various communities nationwide to teach BLS.