Emergency and trauma congress kicks off

03 Oct 2014 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 03 OCT (NAMPA) - A two-day emergency medicine and trauma congress organised by the Namibia Medical Society (NMS) started at the University of Namibia (Unam) Medical School in Windhoek on Friday.
Trauma ranges from the employee injured at work to victims of road accidents.
NMS chairperson Dr Shitaleni Herman said in a media statement issued recently scientific research points to the importance of the “golden hour” in trauma management.
The “golden hour” refers to the hour after a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death.
“This implies that the first responders, which include emergency medicine personnel, should manage and stabilise patients properly within the first hour to improve survival outcomes of victims of trauma,” he said.
Herman noted that the recently issued Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Public Health Sector in Namibia highlighted the many challenges faced by the health sector in the country, particularly in remote settlements and villages which do not have access to health facilities and personnel adequately trained to handle trauma, particularly in the golden hour.
He said by supporting this initiative, health professionals can equip themselves critically to save more lives as anyone at any time can be a victim of a tragic traumatic event.
The increasing trend of lifestyle diseases in Namibia is also a matter of concern, the NMS chairperson said. These include diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, strokes, and ischaemic heart disease, which can be silent killers.
“It is vitally important that health professionals are competent in handling these conditions and continue to educate patients who they treat and encounter on adopting a healthier life,” he added.
Discussions during the congress will amongst others focus on the introduction of emergency medicine and approach to the critically ill patient; the evaluation and management of acute coronary syndromes; overview and emergency management of cervical fractures; fluid resuscitation and gastroenteritis in children; strategies to avoid blood transfusion; an overview of sepsis; brain death – medical, legal and ethical issues; and diagnostic trauma imaging.
Facilitators include local and foreign health experts from South Africa and Botswana.
The congress ends Saturday.