Emergency Medicine Conference 2013

Olympian challengeJason Killens, Deputy Director of Operations at the London Ambulance Service provided a summary of the trusts achievements, failures and most importantly, lessons learned in handling the significant and media-sensitive 2012 London Olympic Games. In particular he spoke about the ‘nervousness over industrial action’ at the time of the games, as well as the stress of dealing with ‘admissions from Olympic athletes and their families who attended the games’ a worry no doubt exacerabted with the looming hoards of reporters and journalists ready to pounce on any failure from the LAS, avoidable or not.Killens also accounted the intersting ‘8 % rise in the number of incidents throughout the games [Paralympic games not inclusive]’ but suggested that that was likely due to the increase in activity and number of people in the capital at the time rather than increased call-outs within the native population. Though accepting some shortcomings found as a result of the games (‘we would have had a larger response team in hindsight…we were caught out to be honest’) the way the LAS delt with the affair sounded, on the whole, admirable—and, as a further bonus, the games also managed to educate thousands of people across the capital in quality CPR practice.Fiona Lecky, Clinical Professor at the University of Sheffield and Reserch Director for the Trauma Audit and Research Network gave a talk titled: Imporing Pre-hospital Trauma Services in the UK. Having worked as a crowd doctor at anchester United's Old Trafford and also as a practitioner at the Olympic games Lecky, clearly no stranger to pre-hopsital trauma both ‘at the desk’ as well as ‘in the field’, noted the most difficult aspect of trauma care facing paramedics, the decision of whether to ‘stay and treat or scoop and run?’Lecky noted how this question becomes even more difficult to to answer in cases of blunt trauma, in particular to the head of the patient, as paramedics have to decide on very little information in a very short period of time, and often without communication (if the patient is either unconscious or has a high Glasgow Coma Score). Lecky drew attention here to those incidents where specialist knowledge on-scene can prove invaluable, and that without it, the issue of patient concent concernign treatment can become particularly contentious.

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