In Vietnam, forty thousand children a year die needlessly in emergencies where access to quality care is limited by distance, lack of skills or equipment. This program provides the missing pieces to assure fast response for a child in respiratory or cardiac arrest, and the training to handle pediatric emergency situations.
The pediatric crash cart, an absolute necessity in emergency rooms and ICU’s, places all of the pieces of equipment needed in a dire medical emergency, or code at the hands of the responding doctors and nurses. The metal rolling cart has equipment that enables doctors to respond quickly to restore breathing or proper heart rhythms to the child.
This program aims to provide emergency response training and crash carts to pediatric ICU’s, CICU’s, and emergency rooms all over Vietnam. The program design has four facets:
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support Training (PALS/APLS)
- Donations of fully stocked Crash Carts
- Training doctors and nurses onsite regarding the use and maintenance of the cart
- Monitoring the use of the carts, maintenance of the carts, and retraining when necessary
Pediatric Advanced Life Support Training (PALS/APLS)
Prior to receiving the cart, doctors in the hospital will be required to attend training on Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Targeting healthcare providers of children, this course provides an internationally recognized approach to the evaluation and management of critically-ill children in respiratory or cardiac arrest. Its goals are to provide the participants with:
- The information required for recognizing a child at risk of cardio-pulmonary arrest, as well as the strategy for preventing such an arrest, and
- The necessary skills for resuscitating and stabilizing a child in respiratory failure, shock, or cardiopulmonary arrest.
Each PALS course trains 32 doctors in an intensive two-day course including:
- One half day of seminar
- 4 hands on skill stations, which each doctor must pass to qualify
- Certification exam
Each PALS/APLS course costs 5,200 USD in the Mekong; 3,900 USD in Ho Chi Minh City; 6,700 USD in the central region; 7,200 USD in the highland areas and 7,000 USD in Northern Provinces. Each course requires eight trainers to ensure intensive hands-on skills training, testing and certification.
In April 2013 we conducted our first PALS course for nurses at Children’s Hospital Number 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. The PALS curriculum was preceded with an extra day of lectures on Basic Life Support. All 30 nurses participating, passed the course.
In a medical care team, the nurse has the most contact with the patient and the access and ability to recognize symptoms of a “crash” before it occurs. He or she can help save time or prevent an arrest when responding to an emergency. The Nurses PALS course costs 3,900 USD for 30 nurses.
Pediatric Crash Carts
For just 7,660 USD, VCF can provide a fully-stocked pediatric crash cart to a hospital. The cart will come with warranties for all equipment and a half day onsite training for local nurses and doctors on how to use the cart, perform daily checks, restock the carts after a code, maintain equipment, and adapt the procedures to the hospital’s policy manuals. The rolling carts have electrical connections and all equipment is new and is adapted to Vietnam’s 220V/50Hz current. VCF will outfit the carts with defibrillators, suction machines, ambu-bags, transformers, and disposables. The hospital is responsible to stock the cart with emergency response drugs and restock the disposables. The carts are lockable and mobile to move to the bedside of the patient. Each hospital signs an MOU on the use and maintenance of the cart.
- 885 doctors trained and certified in PALS
- 290 nurses trained and certified in BLS and PALS
- 136 Crash Carts; 4 ECGs; 2 monitors delivered to 98 hospitals, in which 5 Commune Health Centers
This program receives financial support from Toyota, ExxonMobil, HSBC Bank, and Thanh Ha Fish Sauce.
Hospitals report the use of crash carts up to 10 times a week, average two children treating on per week. That equates to 27 children a day or one child every hour of every day. Since 2009, 141,440 children have been saved. As a result, expansion across the country of this program is one of our biggest priorities.