The Department of Surgery at the College of Health Sciences conducted a one-day intensive course on Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM) for the Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelors of Surgery sixth-year students to prepare them to handle life-threatening trauma scenarios.
Acute trauma can occur as a result of burns (chemical or otherwise), extremely cold temperatures, or motor accidents, to name a few.
As a result, emergency preparedness and pain management are critical for optimal, safe patient care.
The course (similar to a master class) combined didactic instruction via lecturer presentations with several pedagogical methods such as joint productive activity, complex thinking, and instructional conversation between the multidisciplinary faculty and the medical students.
Early correct care of the injured patient is critical because acute trauma is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 44, and further, lack of it causes disabilities that exceed death by a ratio of 3:1.
Moreover, trauma-related costs exceed billions of dollars per year which puts a strain on healthcare.
According to Dr. Sylvia Shitsama, a Neurosurgeon and Lecturer at the department, even with training, injury prevention has been difficult due to lack of public awareness but can be achieved through analyzing injury data, building local coalitions with the communities and those in the transport industry, communicating the problem, developing prevention activities, and evaluating the existing interventions.
Her counterpart Prof. Jana MacLeod, a General Surgeon and Surgical Intensivist at the School of Medicine, Kenyatta University, said a clinical acumen is still a critical tool even in a technologically advanced world that now employs methods such as Robotic surgery. The acumen can be developed by examining normal people, in order to detect abnormality in patients.
Prof. MacLeod also advised that prescription, though important, must always be preceded by thorough primary and secondary evaluation whose priorities are constant whether dealing with an elderly or expectant patient or children. In all instances, she emphasized the outcome depends on early aggressive care
The learning which was carried out in skills stations with clinical scenarios was instrumental for the medical students to learn the TEAM principles which include treating the greatest threat first, not wasting time concentrating on a definitive diagnosis, using a physiologic approach, and preventing any further harm to the patient, all requires teamwork for TEAM to succeed.
The skills stations consisted of airway videos; endotracheal intubation or surgical cricothyroidotomy; cervical spine and chest x-ray; chest tube insertion; as well as pelvis and musculoskeletal examination.
This was a well-thought-out approach for the students to sequentially apply the ABCDEs of trauma, which are airway, breathing, circulation, disabilities, and exposure. The ABCDE is a mnemonic that medical personnel use to help assess and treat the condition at hand.
The course, which is based on the ATLS course for doctors, began and ended with a multiple-choice survey administered within a LockDown Browser to allow students to self-assess their knowledge without having to consult the internet. This was done to evaluate both the baseline knowledge and the new information gained as a result of the training.
The training, held on Monday, May 30, 2022, featured faculty from JKUAT and other institutions and was facilitated by Dr. Janai Ondieki, Chairperson Department of Surgery, Prof. Everisto Opondo, Dr. Wairimu Ndegwa, Dr. Samuel Ogombe, Dr. Gachambi Mwangi (all from JKUAT), Dr. Beverly Cheserem (Aga Khan University), Dr. Dorcas Chomba (Kenyatta National Hospital), and Dr. Samuel Wafula (St. Lukes Orthopedic and Trauma Hospital, Eldoret).
The TEAM course is designed to augment the knowledge gained from various trauma classes and surgical and orthopedic rotations completed during the six-year degree program.