Staying alive - even at 30 000 feet
Breaking into a sweat giving CPR at 9am in a backroom of Munich’s biggest hospital Klinikum Großhadern is probably not what EMSA students had envisioned when they subscribed to this years exchange during their holiday time. This year’s welcoming committee of the European Medical Students Association in Munich had discreetly planned a short course on emergency medicine in cooperation with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Notfallmedizin München (AGN München) for the visiting students from Romania.
Amongst visits to various cultural landmarks and university facilities in Munich the small group attended a course on patient assessment and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
The participants practiced the ABCDE algorithm: an international tool for patient assessment. It gives first aiders and professional emergency medical staff a structured approach to “treating first whatever kills first”. The novelty of teaching in English for the international crowd didn’t stop the two AGN instructors from coming up with imaginative ways of challenging the visitors: a drowning woman in the public swimming pool and a dyspnoeic backpacker in a transcontinental flight were useful cases for putting into use the new tool.
The EMSA students were also invited to practice their CPR skills and acquired new skills in airway management with a laryngeal tube and defibrillation with an AED, thus taking their first steps towards giving professional advanced life support.
After a couple of hours of intensive training the visitors were discharged and headed on to their next planned visit.
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Notfallmedizin offers regular such courses for medical students of any level. Our aim is to offer students the possibility to practice emergency medicine skills and increase their experience in a field where books can only help you so far... We thoroughly enjoyed working with the European Medical Students Association and are looking forward to being aloud to host similar events for them in the future.
Author: Lucien Torlot
Photos: AGN Munich with permission of EMSA Munich