Patients with life and sight threatening conditions are a key challenge for doctors in the emergency department and pre-hospital arena. The rarity of the conditions is compounded by the time-critical nature of the diseases, and the further reality that the first time they are encountered in clinical practice is usually also the first time that the clinician will perform the necessary surgical procedure.
The Sydney Trauma and Resuscitative Emergency Surgical Skills Course is a two-day, human cadaver based procedures course that aims to address this issue by training emergency and pre-hospital physicians in the time-critical, life- and sight-saving procedures of resuscitative (clamshell) thoracotomy, thoracostomy, lateral canthotomy and cricothyroidotomy. The course also provides the opportunity for up-skilling in advanced vascular access (intra-osseous and subclavian ‘trauma line’s) as well as airway management (direct and videolaryngoscopy, and fibre-optics). Techniques of guillotine amputation and cranial burr-holes, and temporary transvenous pacing are also included, which are particularly useful for pre-hospital and rural and remote doctors.
With a high participant-to-cadaver ratio (1:2), and an internationally renowned faculty, this course provides an excellent opportunity for critical care physicians to expand their comfort zone.
The course is run at the Surgical and Anatomical Science Facility a the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), which provides excellent facilities to support learning.