Critical Paediatric Day goes with a swing

Doctors, paramedics and students  came from Berkshire, Hampshire, Dorset and London to attend this year’s major training day – organised by BASICS Hampshire with the help of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).

Helped by Hampshire’s Fire Service who provided a display of what they do in critical car crashes – the training day was the first in the region to be funded by the NHS.

After major sessions in the morning from experts from BASICS Hampshire  everyone had practical training sessions in dealing with major injuries to children.  “The younger the child,” says BASICS Hampshire training officer Phil Hyde, consultant in paediatric medicine at UHS, “the more you have to consider very carefully what you do when they suffer injury or illness.

“You certainly can’t treat them like adults with the same injuries – and the training day was all about appreciating those critical differences.”

The surprise for everyone who attended were real children for the training sessions – young actresses from Basingstoke who had to play various catastrophic problems from serious head injuries in a car crash  to internal bleeding  from a fall and fractures from a car accident.

“It really put the pressure on”  says  paramedic Jack Ansell, “dealing with real children rather than the usual medical dummies – we all felt it.

According to young actress Philippa Simpson, 11, it was an awesome day.  “I played someone in a car crash with head injuries.  I had to act getting worse and losing consciousness.

Fellow actress Sam Croombs, also 11, acted the cyclist knocked down by a car. “When I was being sedated I had a codeword with the organisers when I couldn’t speak to the medics any more, so they had to work out what was wrong with me – it made it more realistic.”

10-year-old Maya Choonucksing said they didn’t have to act cold – it really was.  All of them gave feed-back to the emergency medics – and Sam says she told them how important it was for everyone to keep talking to her and her parents as well as each other.”