Twickenham, England
Monday 7th November 2011
After flying in from Kenya yesterday afternoon, I had a quick turnaround before heading across to Twickenham for the night with Gerry (Ramogida).  Over the next two days we are doing my Pitch Side Immediate Trauma Care update, which has to be repeated every 3 years with an update conducted every year.  The two courses that are recognised by UK Athletics & many of the other sporting governing bodies are the REMO course & the one I opted for, which is run by the RFU.

After an early start & the usual introductions, we launched into a full programme of lectures & practical skill stations covering basic life support, advanced life support, initial assessments, airway management, breathing & chest trauma, circulation & shock, surgical airway management, IV access, head injuries & neurological assessment, facial, dental & eye injuries & spinal trauma.  Our group was headed mentored by Barney Kenney, the head physio at the RFU accompanied by Phil Riley, a paramedic & faculty member.

Whilst most of this was revision for me, certain details have changed since I last did the course.  For example, the finer points of the chest compressions of CPR have changed (compression depth of 5-6cm in adults, with pressure applied through the centre of the chest), whilst the introduction of oropharyngeal tubes is now right way up & assisted with a tongue depressor, introduced as the upside-down/rotation method was found to be causing too much oral trauma.

Where this course has so far proved more detailed than previous courses I have attended is that we were able to perform needle & surgical cricothyroidectomies (last chnace saloon methods of providing an airway) in addition to decompression needle thoracocentesis (used in the management of tension pneumothoraces) on sheep thoraces & oesophages.  We also used improved versions of the scoop stretcher than I have previously encountered & had the chance to try out some pieces of kit that are normally reserved for combat situations.

Tomorrow we are working through fracture & dislocation reduction & relocation techniques, a few more scenarios before our written & practical exams.  I would like to think I will take the time to do some revision tonight but tiredness has hit me after my travel back from Kenya & as Gerry ended up doing a 3am cross town dash to attend to his son, who was rather unwell, only returning at 6am, I think it might be an early night!

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