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V.I. International Trauma Life Support Conference to be Held on St. Croix

Dec. 2, 2006 – Virgin Islands Medical First Responders (MFR), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), registered nurses and physicians have the opportunity this week to significantly increase their skills necessary for the rapid assessment, resuscitation, stabilization and transportation of trauma patients. Emergency medical providers will be attending the V.I. International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) Conference beginning Dec. 3.
ITLS is a course designed to give the emergency medical system providers the knowledge, skills, and ability to properly manage and treat a trauma patient. Medically, trauma refers to a serious or critical bodily injury, wound, or shock.
With this conference and training, our capacity to provide immediate pre-hospital emergency treatment and resuscitation to victims of trauma will be strengthened, including gunshot wounds, stabbings, auto accidents and pediatric trauma, said Gregory N. Richards, chief of St. Croix Rescue and VI ITLS Chapter coordinator.
Aside from the training, the V.I. chapter will be reviewed and possibly receive its charter and accreditation as a member and training center of ITLS, joining 70 chapters around the world. ITLS is a global organization and if accredited, the V.I. chapter will be the regional hub, excluding Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Pete Gianas, a member of the ITLS Board of Directors, and Jeff Gilliard, on the ITLS Global Development Committee and affiliate faculty, will be conducting the review.
The ITLS Conference will be offering two different levels of training:
1. ITLS for Basic Providers training for the EMT-B and First Responder is a hands-on training course is designed for providers who must initial evaluate and stabilize the trauma patient.
2. ITLS for Advanced Providers training for the advanced EMT, paramedic and trauma nurse, the primary objective of the course is to teach the correct sequence of evaluation and the techniques of resuscitation and packaging a patient.
The Virgin Islands is very fortunate in that all four of the major islands have Rescue Squads with the capability, tools and expertise to rapidly extricate a trauma patient from an entanglement or entrapment. These courses will reinforce the skills of MFRs and EMTs and train new responders to provide expert pre-hospital care, appreciably increasing a victims, who has been freed from an entrapment, chance of survival, said Chief Richards.
During the training students have the possibility of being designated Instructor Potential if they have a written score of at least 86, an excellent rating on the practical evaluation, and they possess the qualities of a good instructor. After meeting additional criteria, and successfully completing the Instructor Certification Course students can become certified ITLS instructors. That course is scheduled for February on St. Thomas.
The conference begins on Dec. 3, with the ITLS Instructors Update; the Chapter Business Meeting will be held on Dec. 4. These events will be held at St. Croix Rescue Academy at Five Corners. The Combined Provider Course will be conducted On Dec. 5 and 6, at Patrick Sweeney Police Training Center Police Pavilion. It will conclude on Dec. 7, with a cocktail party and presentation of the V.I. Charter.

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