Launch of "Saving Lives International" Charity Marks Milestone in Pre-Hospital Care Education
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In a significant step towards advancing pre-hospital care education in India and Nepal, the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care (FPHC) and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh have expressed their gratitude to Dr. Peter Patel and Professor James Kingsland for their generous invitation to the launch of their charity, "Saving Lives International."
L-R Professor James Kingsland, Dr David Bruce, Dr Peter Patel, H E Gyan Chandra Acharya (Ambassador of Nepal to UK), Dr Pam Hardy, Dr Rob Russell
This momentous occasion, hosted at the House of Lords opened with an address from The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and brought together healthcare professionals and experts dedicated to improving post-disaster recovery in India.
The birth of this initiative dates back to 2018 when Peter Patel initiated discussions with the FPHC's International Development Lead, Dr. David Bruce. Their conversations revolved around the potential development of a pre-hospital care course tailored to the specific needs of India, aligning with Patel's long-standing mission to enhance disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery in the country. India recorded just over 397,500 accidental deaths in 2021, of which 1.8% were due to forces of nature, such as flooding or earthquakes, while 98.2% were due to other causes defined as “deliberate or negligent conduct of human beings”, including falls, factory incidents, explosions, crowd stampedes, building collapses, traffic accidents and other incidents. 31% of the deaths were in the age range 30 – 45 i.e. the economically active part of the population and of course, life changing injuries and the consequent economic/emotional impact on families will amount to much more.
Over time, these discussions evolved, and led to the adoption of the FPHC-endorsed ‘Pre-Hospital Trauma Care Course’ as a vehicle for international training. Clearly, primary and secondary prevention are paramount in reducing deaths and disability from accidents but the course aims to improve tertiary prevention through optimal first aid/pre-hospital treatment. In February 2019, David Bruce and Rob Russell travelled to Chennai, where they met key figures at the Sri Ramachandra Institute for Higher Education and Research (SRIHER) and visited local government hospitals and the 108 Ambulance control centre to assess the existing capabilities.
The global COVID-19 pandemic temporarily interrupted the planned progress of this initiative. However, it did not deter the commitment of those involved.
Post-pandemic, in October 2022, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh invited all faculties to participate and present at their international conference in Chennai. Dr. Rod MacKenzie, Professor Mark Wilson, and Dr. Pragya Mallick presented on behalf of the FPHC, with Pragya being a graduate of Chennai and a UK pre-hospital emergency medicine trainee.
During the conference, FPHC received gracious support to organize a parallel, accessible, and affordable workshop for local multi-professional attendees. This workshop, hosted by SRIHER, drew participation from over 50 delegates and featured ten speakers from India and Nepal.
Informed by the workshop and the February 2019 Chennai visit, a substantial amount of work was dedicated to adapting the UK Pre-Hospital Trauma Care Course to suit local contexts. The first two courses were successfully delivered in April of the current year, catering to 41 multi-disciplinary candidates from India and Nepal. The courses were conducted by David Bruce, Rob Russell, Lorraine Greasley, and Professor Ramakrishnan of SRIHER.
Seventeen candidates were identified as having instructor potential and an instructor course is now scheduled for October; this will be led by Rob Russell and Professor Ramakrishnan. Furthermore, the development of an administrative package is underway, encompassing all the necessary documentation to enable other approved centres in India/Nepal to deliver the course. The goal is for the course to be administered by Indian faculty at different approved centres, with an annual visit by a UK member of FPHC to provide support and quality assurance.
The Pre-Hospital Trauma Care Course's mission extends beyond reducing deaths; it also aims to reduce morbidity by emphasizing the importance of mastering fundamental principles. To support this endeavour, David Bruce, Professor Ramakrishnan, and Peter Patel have authored and updated an "Emergency Services First Aid Drills Aide Memoire" based on Major General Tim Hodgetts' publication, with his kind permission. This invaluable resource was launched at the workshop and is now being disseminated through the ‘Saving Lives International’ charity.
L-R Dr Peter Patel, Professor James Kingsland, Dr Rob Russell, H E Nimisha Madhvani (Uganda’s High Commissioner to the UK), Dr Pam Hardy, Dr David Bruce
The success of this venture owes much to the dedication of individuals such as David Bruce, Rob Russell, Lorraine Greasley, and all those involved in crafting and delivering the courses. The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care extends its heartfelt appreciation to its members and Faculty Manager Beth Stevenson for their unwavering support.
This ground-breaking initiative would not have been possible without the collaborative spirit of international colleagues, notably Professor Ramakrishnan and the entire SRIHER team, including Vice Chancellor Dr. Umar Sekar.
In conclusion, the FPHC expressed their deep appreciation to Peter Patel for his collaboration and vision, expressing pride in the partnership and extending their best wishes to the "Saving Lives International" Charity in all future developments. This launch marks a significant milestone in the journey to enhance pre-hospital care education and ultimately save lives in India and Nepal.
Read more about the inception of FPHC’s Pre-Hospital Trauma Care Course here.
L-R Dr Fionna Moore, Dr Rob Russell, Professor Sir Keith Porter, Dr Pam Hardy, Dr David Bruce, Mrs Beth Stevenson, Mr Pala Rajesh
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