Critical Response: Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Training & Crash Carts
All over Vietnam, emergency rooms and intensive care areas are missing a critical piece to assure fast response for a child in respiratory or cardiac arrest, as well as the training to handle pediatric emergency situations. An absolute necessity in emergency room and ICUs in first world countries, the pediatric crash cart, sometimes called a pediatric code cart, places all of the pieces of equipment needed in a code at the hands of the responding doctors and nurses. The metal rolling cart has equipment on the top and in drawers that enable the doctors to respond quickly to restore breathing or proper heart rhythms to the child.
The knowledge of what to do and how to do it is not very helpful if a doctor does not have the tools that are necessary at hand. Our goal is to provide crash carts to pediatric ICUs and emergency rooms all over the country. We are starting with the larger tertiary care centers, where most critically-ill children receive surgery or are taken for life-threatening episodes. Later we will do nate units to the provincial hospitals, and eventually include district hospitals. Along with the cart and additional supplies, VCF will provide training to nurses on how to maintain them and assist doctors in a code. Prior to receiving the cart, doctors in the hospital will be required to attend training on Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), an intensive course developed by the American Heart Association and the American Association of Pediatrics. Intended for health care providers of children, this course provides a standardized approach to the evaluation and management of critically-ill children. Its goals are to provide the participants with:
1.The information required for recognizing a child at risk of cardio-pulmonary arrest, as well as the strategy for preventing such an arrest, and
2.The necessary skills for resuscitating and stabilizing a child in respiratory failure, shock, or cardiopulmonary arrest.
For just $2,700 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 of onsite training for local nurses 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 will be adapted to Vietnam’s 220V/50Hz current. VCF will outfit the carts with defibrillators, suction machines, ambu-bags, transformers, and carts purchased in the US, and with disposables and medications available in Vietnam.