APLS course emphasises early emergency response for children

National 2 minutes, 25 seconds


A SENIOR officer at the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday underscored the importance of understanding and managing paediatric emergencies for all practitioners who are involved in the care of children.

“Early recognition and treatment of these critically ill patients will impact their outcome and survival,” said Director-General of Medical Services Dr Hj Zulaidi Hj Abd Latif in his opening speech at the first National Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) Course.

The APLS Course is aimed for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children. It provides the knowledge necessary for the effective treatment and stabilisation of the paediatric population with life-threatening emergencies.

Dr Hj Zulaidi said that regardless of where emergency care is practiced, three broad parameters must be addressed; recognition of the critically ill or injured child and the ability to provide immediate and life-saving treatment; the ability to recognise a child in pain or distress and to deliver appropriate treatment; and to recognise a vulnerable child at risk of abuse in any form.

Held at the Seminar Room of the Womens’ and Children’s Centre at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, the three-day course is attended by 24 participants from all four districts consisting of doctors, nurses and paramedics from the Emergency, Anaesthesia & Paediatric Departments, Primary Health Care Services as well as from the Medical Reception Station (MRS).

The Course is conducted by a team from the the Singapore Paediatric Society led by Professor Ng Kee Chong, head and senior consultant of the Department of Emergency Medicine at KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Singapore.

A statement provided at the event said the Course will incorporate didactic teachings as well as simulated, hands-on practical training to reinforce the important concepts of a systemic approach to paediatric assessment of the seriously ill child, basic life support, APLS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team dynamics.

The Course, it added, aims to improve the standard of paediatric life support and the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured children, resulting in improved outcomes. It is hoped that the Course will endow local healthcare professionals with the necessary skills required in paediatric emergencies to better serve the community.

“We recognise that childhood emergencies do not only occur in the hospital setting but at homes, in the community, in clinics and hence we want to reach out to as many paediatric health providers as possible,” he said, adding that if only one young life is saved and one death is prevented then this course will already be a success.

The statement also said that it recognised the need for formal and standardised training in the management of paediatric emergencies and resuscitation in Brunei.

Currently, it added, only small numbers of doctors and nurses have undergone APLS training as part of their previous training overseas, or on sponsorship from the MoH to Singapore, Malaysia or Australia.

The Brunei Times