Health officials demonstrate emergency preparedness

BY: Felix A. Baidoo
Some medical personnel attending to some of the patients during the simulation exercise in Kumasi
Some medical personnel attending to some of the patients during the simulation exercise in Kumasi

The Department of Nursing at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Emergency Medicine Unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have organised a simulation exercise at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, to test the emergency preparedness of health officials to handle emergency situations.

The exercise, which lasted about two hours, was organised with support from the National Ambulance Service, to show a mock occurrence of a gas explosion somewhere in the Ashanti Region with a mass casualty incident and the victims being conveyed to KATH for management and treatment.

The simulation was nurse-led with over 100 participants: 45 Final Year Emergency Nursing Students, 40 simulated patients with fake blood and other injuries; multiple specialist observers and staff from the National Ambulance Service.

Working together

Briefing the Daily Graphic after the exercise, an Emergency Medicine Specialist at KATH, Dr Joseph Bonney, said among other things that the exercise was to see how the various stakeholders could work together in such times as against the past where various practitioners worked on their own.

He said it would also foster the relationship between emergency nurses, physicians, national ambulance service and all stakeholders to contribute their quota towards saving as many lives as possible and giving them the best of service they deserved in addition to checking delays that were not necessary during such emergency situations.  A Disaster Researcher and Mass Casualty Trauma Specialists from the United State of America, Dr Roxane Richter, said many health personnel in the country were well prepared to handle and manage such disaster cases when they happen in any part of the country.

Commendation

She commended the simulation team for the quality of work done and urged them to maintain the standard so that they would be able to save many lives.

The Head of Accident and Emergency at KATH, Dr George Oduro, said due to the high casualty rate recorded during emergency situations in the country in the past, the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons in collaboration with KATH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2015 with Advance Trauma Life Support International (ATLS) under the auspices of the American College Of Surgeons to train Ghanaians to handle emergency situations.