University of Ghana Medical Centre to offer life support training

The University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) has opened a centre to train healthcare and non-healthcare professionals on how to provide basic life support services.

The centre will focus on building the capacity of health professionals and non-health professionals on first aid for cardiac arrest.

Known as the Simulation and Training Centre, located on the University of Ghana Medical Centre premises, the centre has the aim of equipping every Ghanaian with the skills to resuscitate a person who suffers cardiac arrest.

The maiden training exercise started from Tuesday, September 17, and will end today, September 20, 2019, with over 300 participants attending free of charge.

The Director of the UGMC Medical Training and Simulation Centre, Prof. Aaron Lawson, stated at the start of the training that it was important to provide trainees with skills to help revive or resuscitate a person who experiences cardiac arrest.

The skills

He added that the trainees “could help anytime, especially in times of emergency.”

Prof. Lawson stated that the trainees would be taken through Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) and Cardio-Pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which combines chest compressions with artificial ventilation in an effort to pump or restore blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in a cardiac arrest mode.

“If someone collapses from cardiac arrest and the heart stops beating and the lungs also stop expanding and retracting, something needs to be done to revive the heart because when the heart stops, the lack of oxygenated blood can cause brain damage in only a few minutes,” he explained.

Prof. Lawson further indicated that the intention was to give the basic training so that people would help sustain any state of emergency while they sought for advanced life support.

Who qualifies?

Prof. Lawson noted that everyone was qualified to take the training at a fee.

“It will be useful for everyone to know the basic life support skills involved in resuscitating someone who has collapsed from cardiac arrest,” he stated.

He added that the free training was organised by the centre in collaboration with Emergency and Critical Care Network, Health Solutions International Inc. and Africa Resuscitation Initiative and the training was based on the curriculum of the American Heart Association (AHA).

The participants who took part in the training included staff of the UGMC, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), University of Ghana Dental School Clinic and others across other health facilities in the Greater Accra Region.

They will be certified by the AHA instructors.

“Cardiac arrest is dangerous”

At the opening of the four–day training in Accra last Wednesday, the Head of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the KBTH, Dr Christian Owoo, said cardiac arrest was killing more people than infectious diseases.

He stated that death from cardiac arrest could be prevented if the person received first aid, which is the resuscitation process to stabilise the condition before heading to the hospital for an advanced team to take over.

“It is for this reason that this training is very important so that individuals can have an idea of how to revive people who get heart attack. We expect that once the training has gone down well, the death toll associated with cardiac arrest will reduce,” he said.


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