Local students training to save lives using basic items since medical equipment is not always available in emergency situations.
NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne was there for part of the course and talked to the instructor who has firsthand experience with responding to trauma outside of a hospital.
While he was in medical school in Pakistan, Dr. Akbar Herekar was one of the first people to respond after a bomb went off nearby. What to do in this situation was not something that was covered in his med school classes. Right now, he is training Medical College students on how to respond to similar traumatic situations. He plans to bring the curriculum to grade school students as well.
After his experience, Dr. Herekar became very aware of the lack of proper emergency response in Pakistan and other developing countries.
“They usually have ambulance drivers who really aren’t trained so they just come and they grab a patient and they put them in the back of the van and they take them to the hospital,” Dr. Herekar describes.
“There isn’t a lot of equipment you lose a lot of time there’s traffic jams, there aren’t good roads.”
He and a group of medical students started a company in Pakistan that now has 10,000 trained people and 5,000 responders. He now teaches a similar course to medical students in Augusta. He explains, although future doctors learn things like anatomy and even treat patients in a clinic, these settings do not compare to responding to trauma in the street, in a classroom or in a concert venue where you do not have medical equipment at your fingertips.
“We will teach them how to make tourniquet with pieces of cloth for example,” Dr. Herekar says. “To just their hands how to use scraps of sheets or something that’s around something that they can find to actually do maneuvers that can help us resuscitate these patients.”
First year med students like Bharat Sanders will also become a trainer of the course. When he goes to Uganda this summer, he will be able to teach the people there the same lifesaving skills he learned.
“I’ll be more comfortable with it and can help other people be more comfortable with it,” Sanders says. “These are skills that everyone should know. They are very simple skills as long as you know them.”
Dr. Herekar says they trained elementary age students in Pakistan using this curriculum and they plan to do the same here.
“Because of the recent increase in violence and I think it’s important that our children know how to respond,” says Dr. Herekar. “We teach our kids geography and math and history and science and everything, but we don’t teach them basic lifesaving skills.”
Unfortunately, we know all too well that bomb attacks and school shootings are a very real possibility in the US as well as the developing world. Dr. Herekar says this curriculum could save lives in the future.
CLICK HERE to visit their website and learn more about their workshops.