In August this year, AV Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics Nathan Looby and Kerry Senior undertook airway training in the GippSim at Latrobe Regional Hospital but couldn’t predict that the life-saving skills they’d practiced would be needed for an emergency incident just minutes later.
After their GippSim session, Nathan and Kerry went back on-duty, only to be dispatched 20 minutes later to a 70-year-old man who had collapsed in a Churchill bakery.
Gippsland local, John Sewell, had gone into cardiac arrest and was being treated by quick-thinking bystanders with early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of a nearby Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Kerry said John’s case showed that undertaking scenario-based training in an almost identical environment has real, positive impacts on patient outcomes.
“When Nathan was managing the airway of the patient, he was using the equipment we’d just used in the GippSim 20 minutes ago and I thought to myself, ‘what are the chances?’,” Kerry said.
“Nathan was comfortable and confident in the skills he was performing because he had just trained in using them.
“It highlighted the importance of ensuring paramedics undertake regular skills maintenance training, especially within a life-like environment like the GippSim.”
Nathan said he felt better equipped when responding to John’s case after having just completed a ‘high stress’ training scenario in the GippSim.
“The training actually required advanced airway management and problem solving to resolve life threating complications, which is what we saw in John’s case,” he said.
“This, combined with rapid bystander intervention meant John’s case ran as smoothly as possible.”