LIFE SAVERS: Toowoomba Hospital emergency specialist Dr Katie Mills delivered the EMET advanced life support refresher course which Dr Lindsay Haase says is a key factor in saving lives.
LIFE SAVERS: Toowoomba Hospital emergency specialist Dr Katie Mills delivered the EMET advanced life support refresher course which Dr Lindsay Haase says is a key factor in saving lives. DDHHS

How this course is saving lives in the South Burnett

TRAINING provided by Toowoomba Hospital emergency specialists is saving lives in rural areas.

Dr Lindsay Haase put his skills to work only weeks after completing an Emergency Medicine, Education and Training refresher course.

"While working in the South Burnett recently we had an EMET refresher course for advanced life support and not very long after we had a situation where we had to resuscitate a patient,” Dr Haase said.

The patient had ventricular fibrillation, an erratic heartbeat, which led to a cardiac arrest and they had to be shocked using the defibrillator four times.

"I was very glad to have just done the EMET ALS refresher training because I was prepared and ready to use those skills when they were needed and thankfully the patient lived,” Dr Haase said.

"EMET training is invaluable, it's a wonderful service to rural doctors and nurses throughout Darling Downs Health, because it saves lives.”

Dr Sheree Conroy, Toowoomba Hospital-based emergency medicine specialist and Darling Downs health director of Clinical Training, has been co-ordinating EMET training for the past four years.

A successful application for funding to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in the latter half of 2014 led to the implementation of the EMET program in February 2015.

"Since then we've travelled more than 46,000km to provide 215 EMET training sessions at 17 of our hospitals, with more than 2300 attendees,” Dr Conroy said.

"The sessions are attended by doctors and nurses at each of the sites, as well as other personnel such as local paramedics or pre-hospital staff.”

Two emergency specialists from Toowoomba Hospital travel to a couple of rural hospitals every week to deliver training.

They do separate training modules for topics such as airway management, paediatric and trauma which is seen weekly in Toowoomba, but less regularly in rural facilities.

"That's why it's so important to visit our rural hospitals and upskill and refresh our excellent rural staff on managing these less common emergencies in their own clinical setting,” Dr Conroy said.

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