Broadening doctor's knowledge on using Decompression Chamber

VCH Medical Interns and Dr Vincent Atua (centre) with the ProMedical team in front of the Decompression Chamber. Photo: Dr Basil Leodoro

A training has been conducted to broaden the knowledge of young doctors on how to operate the decompression chambers housed at the ProMedical Headquarters at Freswota 1 to treat decompression injuries.

Decompression conditions are related to scuba diving. It happens to divers who have not allowed enough time for gases in the blood to dissolve, causing numbness, unconsciousness, shortness of breath, paralysis or even death.

Many doctors are not familiar with decompression chamber and its services, said the Acting Manager of ProMedical, Michael Benjamin.

The Academic Program Leader for the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Basil Leodoro, said: “Our islands are surrounded by sea, and with scuba diving being a major tourist attraction in Vanuatu, it is important that our doctors train with ProMedical on the use of the chamber.

“VCH and the Northern Provincial Hospital have relied heavily on the expertise of the paramedics and the first responders at ProMedical for major incidents, vehicle crashes and medical evacuations.

“This was the first for VCH doctors but we hope that it continues regularly to ensure that trauma and emergency cases receive the best care they can get.”

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and ProMedical have a long-standing relationship.

Dr Leodoro said: “We have responded in cyclone Pam together as first responders, we have trained together for major incidents and most recently, participating in a simulation exercise at the international airport.

Pre-hospital services which includes ambulance and paramedic services have been a strength of the Vanuatu Emergency Medical Services Association (VEMSA) and ProMedical since they were established in 2004.

The VCH Emergency Services has received a huge boost with the arrival of Dr Vincent Atua who is Vanuatu’s first qualified Emergency Physician.

Meanwhile, the team is excited to announce the arrival of the first Emergency Physician who will join Dr Atua in 2020.

The young medical officers were invited to join ProMedical team on their days off or on weekends if they wished to learn more on Pre-Hospital care and the decompression services.

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