May 10, 2017 | An interactive conference for health care professionals and first responders drew nearly 145 people to Fayetteville on May 3-5 to discuss and practice the best methods for handling severe traumatic injuries and medical emergencies in critical care settings
It was the second year for the ICARE Conference (Improving Critical and Acute Care through Regional Education), led by UAMS and developed by individuals and organizations throughout the state.
“The conference brings out hot-button topics that impact acute care throughout the state of Arkansas and the region,” said conference director Rawle “Tony” Seupaul, M.D., professor and chair of the UAMS Department of Emergency Medicine. “We’re able to focus on the gaps. For example, the pre-conference mass casualty training is something we want to get right so we’re prepared if something that unfortunate happens.”
The conference began with a video produced by the FBI. The Coming Storm is a short film dramatization of an active-shooting scenario. Within the story, the film shows the best practices and lessons learned from active shooter incidents throughout the country. After the film, panelists led discussion and emphasized the importance of communication and relationships.
“Arkansas is better prepared and more ahead of the curve in the event of a traumatic event because of the already-established relationship between law enforcement, fire and EMS,” said panelist and former police officer John Slish, M.D., of Gainsville, Florida.
Sgt. Chris Moad with the Fayetteville Police Department pointed out that witnesses and bystanders have become the first responders in situations like this. He said most people don’t see violence come to their doorstep. But it’s becoming more common as violent attacks increase. Moad says it’s necessary to be prepared.
“A lot of the ability to move through a given crisis or disaster is your relationships,” said Charles Miramonti, M.D., chief of Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. “It’s important to know who the players are. It’s important to have face time with them and information flowing. These are the folks you’ll rely on heavily in an event where there are mass casualties. You don’t want your first meeting to be on that day.”
The audience included EMS, health care professionals, police officers and fire fighters. Following the discussion, participants regrouped to participate in an active shooter scenario in one of three different perspectives: hospital medical staff, rescue professionals or communications.
The conference included several sessions on a range of critical care topics including stroke response, hand trauma, sepsis and farm safety.