Coventry University competes for Pilsen Cup of Paramedics

Day one: navigating night-time scenariosFriday night was the start of the competition. We were given a comprehensive kit bag and a mobile phone to receive our scenarios through. After dinner there was a brief for our team leaders, who we nominated earlier in the day by the diplomatic method of ‘shortest straw’, about the agenda for the evening. After this we were asked to wait in our hotel rooms until the phone rang giving us our first scenario.Our very first task was located a few miles down the road and thankfully, we were given a lift. Upon our arrival we were told that this was a major incident scenario. One person on the team acted as a controller and the other two as the first crew on scene. The scenario was set in the basement of a restaurant, initially in the dark using only head torches for light. We were met with some small obstacles and a child's play mat, portraying a village using dolls and cars to depict a major incident. There were several emergency service vehicles around the town and our task was to run a major trauma scenario acting as the first crew on scene with another team member as a controller some distance away. As a crew we were given a radio for communication and a tablet device with a slideshow showing the casualities involved in the collision and the extent of their injuries and vital signs. The controller also sat in the dark away from the scene, using just a head torch to move resource cards around and a radio to communicate any resources required by the on scene crew.Luckily, we were just finishing our module in clinical decision-making at university, including a day long taught session in major incidents and mass casualty treatment. After 15 minutes of lots of talking, sweating and a little confusion, this scenario finished and we were whisked off to wait for the next scenario. At this point we didn't really know how many scenarios we'd be doing but were told we should be finished by about 3 am. So, with adrenaline still rushing through our bodies, our second scenario came through a short while later.The controller passed details of a 30-year-old male patient, called Mr Novak, complaining of abdominal pain on the second floor of a hotel. Leaving our room, we were guided to the lift. After summoning the lift the doors remained closed but we heard people inside shouting, clearly in distress. After a little confusion and translation we established there was a woman in active labour inside and no way to get in. We briefly discussed the scenario and when told that no other resources were available, we concluded that the task was to give instructions to the people inside to deliver the baby safely. This ran smoothly with a positive result at the end for all in the lift…until we were questioned about Mr Novak upstairs. We all forgot about Mr Novak, something we found out later we were not alone in. This was a glimpse of what was yet to come and thankfully for us, the end of our night.Figure 1.Navigating across a river to rescue a man with suspected arm fracture

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