Harmony Gold Medical Clinic at Hidden Valley mine site in Papua New Guinea proposed to the management to send our 3 Senior Nurses to travel to Denmark for the EMS Copenhagen 2018 European Congress and competition in April 2018. The Management quickly approved the proposal and the long hail to get to Copenhagen started the team was known as the Team Kumul (Bird of Paradise). Whilst the 3 nurses had never been out of Papua New Guinea before the paperwork started which would have seem to be relative easy, however, it proved to be much more difficult than first anticipated. The main hurdle was that you are not able to obtain European Visa in Papua New Guinea, the other major problem was to get the National Identity Card in order to get a Passport took up to 4 month to get, passport and visa to Australia. Having overcome this, it was great we had 8-month preparation as we needed every minute we had to do this.
The first event was taken up with a tour to the Herlev Hospital on the north west part of Copenhagen where Paramedics, Doctors and Nurse practical training takes place including ongoing education followed by visit to Intensive care Unit and Emergency Department.
Second day was a ride on the doctor’s emergency response vehicle where the doctors will response to an emergency to back up paramedics on the scene and assist where possible. The doctor response vehicle which a full complement of intensive care equipment, manned by one doctor and one paramedic, it was great to see how the doctors and paramedics was working as a team. It was also great to see how the paramedics were part of a medical team and how pre-hospital and hospital system works in perfect harmony. Being a one system, this off course could never work in Australia because we think each state is much better than another one and then who does the paramedic report to, Emergency services or medical, I have always been in favor for paramedics to be part of the medical system a perfect system at work it is well worth to visit.
Initial Response is through a 112 system (same as 000) if serious likely an AED is needed a paramedic and doctor unit will be dispatch but also a bystander who reside nearby will be alerted and given details of where the AED is located and then run to the location, it was stated that now 70% of all out of hospital cardiac arrest where the AED is operated by a bystander and will deliver the shock(s) before paramedics arrives and there are 1000’s of AED’s available all-around Denmark even on small islands. The patient will then be taken to the appropriate hospital for the patient’s specific condition. The second tier is where if you think you need to go to hospital you then call 1813 number where nurses are manning the phones once the local GP leave the surgery the nurses on 1813 number will take all calls from the GP’s surgery advise the patient on if their need to go to hospital now or see the GP tomorrow, in the event the patient is advised to go to hospital, then the 1813 number will advise on the waiting time in each hospital to get the patients reduce waiting time in hospital. There is also a Social ambulance which starts service at 16:00 hours and run through the night to look after the homeless needs.
Each dot on the screen represent a registered AED it is believed that 1000’s more private owned not registered are available.
Motorcycle Ambulance response, Doctor paramedic response, vehicle in background is a full 10 bed emergency mobile unit collapsing down to one level when being moved to other location this unit is particular used for major events and 3 rural located helicopters to support the whole system.
The third day was time to go to a cadaver laboratory, this was properly the highlight of the tour where the team was able to practice various clinical skills with an expert assisting them this was done in small groups. Due to the nature of this it was not possible to take photos it is also believed that the cadaver labs will be coming to Australia this year if getting the opportunity, it is well worth enrolling.
The next 3 days was taken up with the EMS competition and the Congress, the competition was over 2 days including 12 teams from Denmark, Sweden, England, Scotland, Switzerland, Portugal, Holland and Papua New Guinea.
Team Kumul in action Still born baby and mother in distress both were saved.
The Kumul team did well and on the second day the final was held and presentation for all the teams at a gala night ending in the early hours of the morning.
The Team in red coats with Heart Runner to honor the volunteers who get alerted to collect an AED and run to the incident and start defibrillation of a patient. Some 1400 people paraded though Copenhagen main streets.
This was followed with a reception at the headquarters of the Copenhagen Fire Brigade where all the teams from the competition had a great evening with dinner and getting to know each other.
Following the Congress it was time for a tour of the 112 Control Room for emergency and non-emergency. The afternoon the PNG team when to the National Hospital to the cardiac lab to observe a stent procedure and as well as the Intensive Coronary Care unit demonstration the various equipment keeping patients alive whilst the patients is waiting for Heart Transplant.
The only thing left for the team to do was to decide if to go and look at Viking ships, castles etc or go to Lego land the team thought the best would be to have a fun day in Legoland.
Then it was time for the long trip back to Hidden Valley. The team would like to thank the Harmony management for the great support to make this a lifetime experience for the team Kumul and to CPAG for the great support and interest.
By Ole Juul.