Humanitarian Aid: What Happens When the Cameras Go Home?

Handicap InternationalWhen many people consider humanitarian aid in disaster situations, they think about the media’s coverage of the crisis: people being rescued, aid packages being delivered, shelters being built. But what happens when the cameras leave?

Peter Skelton, a London-based Physiotherapist and Rehabilitation Project Manager with Handicap International (www.handicap-international.org.uk/), a c
harity which remains in a disaster-affected region for months after the public’s attention has moved on.

Peter specialises in helping people injured during emergencies, often in countries with limited resources and support frameworks. Speaking about his work, Peter said, “Most people’s experiences of physiotherapy in the UK come from their own direct interactions with a physiotherapist, normally because of a sports injury, back pain or a similar issue. That experience is completely different if you’ve had a major accident such as a spinal injury or an amputation, when you will see a very different side to physiotherapy.

“In many ways, the work we are doing in disaster situations is not markedly different from what we would do in major trauma centres within the UK. The difference is linked to the resources we have available, and the situations in which people find themselves.

“Invariably, in the UK when you provide treatment, you know that people can get access to the follow-up care that they need, you know that they’ll have support from social services if they need it, and they’ll generally have a supportive family around. There are all sorts of systems set up to support people while they are unwell and throughout the recovery process. In a disaster zone you generally don’t have access to these.

“We aren’t dealing with disaster injuries in isolation. Frequently, patients will have not only experienced a catastrophic injury, but may also have lost their home, their business, family members, friends. The country itself may also be experiencing severe upheaval so they are unlikely to have the same social support that we expect to be available in the UK.”

Peter Skelton works for Handicap International (www.handicap-international.org.uk/), an international aid organisation working alongside disabled and vulnerable people in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. He has worked in emergency teams responding to crises in Ecuador, Nepal, Gaza, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya, Jordan and Haiti.

Peter Skelton will be speaking at the World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo (http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/) at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS on 18 November 2016, focusing on the issue of psychological first aid.

The Psychological First Aid training package was developed by the World Health Organisation, and is targeted at anybody that is helping out in response to a disaster: humanitarian aid workers, medical professionals and even laypeople. It is designed to give a basic framework that they can use to deliver immediate support to people in disasters.

Peter said, “There is a misconception that the victims of disaster are always traumatised. Actually, my experience has been that people in disasters are incredibly resilient. What they really need is access to things like shelter, food and water, and if you can help them to meet those needs then they’re going to be fine.

“It’s only a much smaller number of people that require any specialist intervention and psychological first aid comes in one level below that.”

Mark Hannaford, founder of conference organisers World Extreme Medicine, said, “Peter is a hugely respected figure on the UK humanitarian scene, and his perspective is of particular interest because of his experience of the long term rehabilitation of disaster victims.

“World Extreme Medicine was founded around a campfire in Namibia, and we coined the phrase ‘World Extreme Medicine’ as an umbrella term for all practices of medicine outside of a clinical environment, whether it is prehospital, disaster and humanitarian, endurance, sport, expedition or wilderness medicine.

“Our message is that there is a great diversity of careers in medicine, and that traditional hospital environments are not the only option for a fulfilling career. To put it into a layperson’s terms, there’s never been a more exciting time to work in medicine.”

The World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo brings together leading experts from around the globe to share learnings on prehospital care, expedition and wilderness medicine, sport, endurance, humanitarian and disaster medicine.

For further information about the World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo, which takes place 18 – 21 November 2016, please visit: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/events/event/extreme-medicine-conference-expo-2016-early/ .

 

Links:

World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/

World Extreme Medicine Conference tickets: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/events/event/extreme-medicine-conference-expo-2016-early/

Handicap International: https://www.handicap-international.org.uk/

ENDS

High resolution imagery and interviews are available on request. Journalists are invited to attend the conference too and are asked to register their interest as early as possible.

Media information provided by Famous Publicity. For more information, please contact Tina Fotherby at 07703 409 622 or tina@famouspublicity.com or George Murdoch at 0333 344 2341 or george@famouspublicity.com.

 

About the World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo:

The World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo will take place at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS from 18 – 21 November 2016. Bringing together many of the world’s brightest medical minds, it will focus on humanitarian and disaster medicine, expedition medicine, endurance and sports medicine and prehospital medicine. The exposition’s mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community.

The term ‘Extreme Medicine’ was first coined by Mark Hannaford and Sean Hudson as an umbrella term for these extra-clinical medical practices.

About Peter Skelton:

Peter Skelton is a London-based Physiotherapist and Rehabilitation Project Manager with Handicap International (https://www.handicap-international.org.uk/), an international aid organisation working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. He has worked in emergency teams responding to crises in Ecuador, Nepal, Gaza, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya, Jordan and Haiti.

He previously spent 10 years combining physiotherapy with medical anthropology (the subject of his first degree), balancing work in the NHS in London with projects in Africa and South East Asia.

Peter’s current role involves working in partnership with UK-Med (https://www.uk-med.org/) and the UK Government to train and integrate rehabilitation professionals into the UK Emergency Medical Team – a team of UK-based health professionals who can be rapidly deployed in response to global emergencies.

 

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A message to Extreme Medicine from NASA, WEM’16 is getting closer, Mountain Medicine in Nepa and RS(ed) accreditation news

A message to Extreme Medicine from NASA, WEM’16 is getting closer, Mountain Medicine in Nepa and RS(ed) accreditation news
Extreme Medicine Conference Edinburgh 18-21 November

Royal College of Surgeons accreditation

RCS(Ed) is so happy with the WEM Pre-Hospital Trauma Care workshop they have awarded a top 10 CPD points.

The next course is 12-13 November and places are limited so don’t miss out make sure you book now!

‘The Trauma workshop enables practitioners to effectively treat acutely ill patients in a constantly changing pre-hospital environment’.

Where will medicine take you?

Numerous talks at Extreme Medicine ’16 will focus on portfolio careers and the gathering offers the world’s best networking opportunity.

You also will find on our vacancies page recent additions from Head Medical and The Naankuse Foundation.

Voluntary roles are available with our friends at Raleigh International, opportunities in Tanzania, Costa Rica & Nicaragua, Malaysia Borneo and Nepal.

British Exploring is another great organisiation to check out with medic roles currently available for expedition to the Amazon, Himalayas, Yukon and Iceland.

Bouncy Bone | New Scientist

In the news..

A 25-year-old student has just come up with a way to fight drug-resistant superbugs without antibiotics.

Cheap and easy to make into any shape, “hyper elastic bone” could repair any kind of bone, from fractures to facial reconstruction. New Scientist.

Travellers warned of fatal tick-borne disease in Western Europe. New Scientist.

Survival secret of ‘Earth’s hardiest animal’ revealed. A gene that scientists identified in these strange, aquatic creatures – called tardigrades – helps them survive boiling, freezing and radiation. BBC Science

WEM & MSF veteran, Dr Natalie Roberts writes in the Hippocratic Post about her experiences following a non traditional career..

NASA welcomes Extreme Medicine Delegates

We are literally over the moon!

With the welcome that NASA Astronaut Dr Kate Rubins‘, who is presently aboard the International Space Station, has filmed for Extreme Medicine ’16 make sure you look out for the flips at the end!ISS Astronaut Kate Rubins talks about the Extreme Medicine Conference… from World Extreme Medicine on Vimeo.

Surgeon Dr David Nott on stage

Dr David Nott will be opening this years Extreme Medicine Conference – it’s a presentation you won’t want to miss….

David will be joined by BBC Newsnight reporter John Sweeney, with whom he recently reported on conditions inside of Aleppo, and also, we hope, by barrister Toby Cadman, International law specialist in the field of war crimes, human rights, terrorism and extradition.

The David Nott Foundation

Edinburgh hosts to 2016 Extreme Medicine Conference

Welcoming all our overseas delegates to Edinburgh

Have you got your ‘haggis catching net’ packed and your dancing shoes ready our traditional Scottish ceilidh dance,‘The Extreme Fling’ on the Sunday night of Extreme Medicine ’16?

If you haven’t booked there are still a limited number of tickets still available..

Lets go trekking

A couple spaces on our iconic Mountain Medicine course in Nepal to Everest Base Camp, led by the infamous Dr Martin Rhodes of Antarctica fame, have become available.

Grab your adventure here…

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NASA Gives Thumbs Up to World Extreme Medical Conference

Kate Rubins, one of three astronauts aboard the International Space Station, has transmitted a message of support (https://vimeo.com/184097597) to the organisers of the World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo (http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/), which will be held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Friday 18 to Monday 21 November.

iss-cover

Taking time off from sequencing DNA 400km above the Earth’s surface, Kate Rubins reinforced the importance of extreme medicine:

“Here in Earth orbit we have a unique appreciation of the concepts of ‘extreme’ and ‘remote’, very applicable to the World Extreme Medicine Conference, especially provisioning and point-of-care diagnostics in similar remote environments as well as on a wider global scale.

“The concept of extreme medicine resonates with so many corners of human health, such as disaster and humanitarian medicine, prehospital care, wilderness medicine, and in isolated villages in the developing world.

“The breaking down of traditional silos between these disciplines is leading to more effective treatments and devices, and of course the sharing of knowledge and best practices on a wider stage.”

The video was put on the World Extreme Medicine Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ExtremeMedicine/).

The attendees at the World Extreme Medicine Conference represent an eclectic mix of disciplines, united by one thing: they all specialise in medical practice conducted away from a usual clinical setting, typically in remote and sometimes dangerous locations.

Four core disciplines are covered by 100 key speakers: disaster and humanitarian medicine, extreme, expedition and space medicine, human endurance and sports medicine plus prehospital medicine. Highlights include:

Disaster and Humanitarian Medicine

Dr David Nott, an NHS surgeon who spends several months of each year working overseas for Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Federation of the Red Cross, will be speaking about his most recent work at a makeshift hospital in Aleppo, Syria, and previously, in other conflict zones.

Peter Skelton, a London-based physiotherapy and rehabilitation specialist who has worked in emergency teams in Ecuador, Nepal, Gaza, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya, Jordan and Haiti, will be speaking about the importance of Psychological First Aid training to responders in disaster situations.

Extreme, Expedition and Space Medicine

Speakers come from as far afield as Australia, such as John Cherry, a rural doctor working in Orange, New South Wales, around 150 miles west of Sydney. Dr Cherry has had an incredibly varied career and will be speaking about how he created the blueprint for preparing ESA astronauts for medical situations in space.

American MD Will Smith is travelling from Jackson, Wyoming, where he is the US National Parks Medical Director. He provides consultancy services to extreme medicine and rescue organisations across the world and will be sharing his experiences of practicing medicine in remote and austere locations.

Human Endurance and Sports Medicine

Speakers include the elite sports expert, Edinburgh-based Dr Andrew Murray, who has worked for the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth games. He is also an incredible athlete in his own right, having run 4,300 km from Scotland to the Sahara Desert and completed a husky trek in -40C in Outer Mongolia.

Pre-Hospital Medicine

Londoner Eoin Walker is a Pre-Hospital Mass Casualty Incident Management Paramedic with the London Air Ambulance, and will be discussing prehospital care alongside Zoe Hitchcock. In 2013, Zoe suffered a cardiac arrest whilst shopping in Oxford Street, central London, and Eoin was the first on the scene and re-started her heart.

World Extreme Medicine Founder Mark Hannaford said, “In today’s world, more than ever before, the human race is determined to access remote areas, whether it be for science, exploration, business or a myriad of other reasons. People going into these areas need medical support, and the skillsets of the medical professionals required are very different to those needed in a traditional clinical environment.

“Likewise, there are conflicts and disasters happening in parts of the world where access to equipment and medicine is extremely difficult or impossible. Medical professionals in these conditions need to be able to work with very limited resources and frequently overcome new challenges.

“The area of extreme medicine is in growth, and our message is that it’s a great alternative to a traditional clinical career. My belief is that there’s never been a more exciting time to work in medicine, and the fascinating speakers at the World Extreme Medicine Conference will prove that point.”

Mark Hannaford concludes, “We are thrilled to be bringing 100 speakers to Edinburgh at a unique event attended by 800 doctors, nurses, paramedics, surgeons and medical students. New medical research findings will be shared, making the conference an unmissable and historic event.”

About World Extreme Medicine Expo

Ends

High resolution imagery and interviews are available on request. Journalists are invited to attend the conference too and are asked to register their interest as early as possible.

Media information provided by Famous Publicity. For more information, please contact George Murdoch at 0333 344 2341 or george@famouspublicity.com , Tina Fotherby at 07703 409 622 or tina@famouspublicity.com or Adam Betteridge at 0333 344 2341 or adam@famouspublicity.com.

About the World Extreme Medicine Expo:

Extreme MedicineThe World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo will take place at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS from 18 – 21 November 2016. Bringing together many of the world’s brightest medical minds, it will focus four core disciplines:

  • Disaster and humanitarian medicine
  • Extreme, expedition and space medicine
  • Human endurance and sports medicine
  • Prehospital medicine

The exposition’s mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community.

The term ‘Extreme Medicine’ was first coined by Mark Hannaford and Dr Sean Hudson as an umbrella term for these extra-clinical medical practices.

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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins currently aboard the International Space Station on the similarities of working in space & remote locations on earth.

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Expecting the unexpected

Expecting the unexpected, writes WEM Medical Director Dr Alex RoweExtreme Medicine

In life one thing is certain you will encounter situations that you could not anticipate no matter how much you plan.  In expedition medicine one of the challenges is dealing with these when away from the security of a well staffed and secure environment, in fact you could say that meeting these challenges is part of what makes it so interesting.

Imagine you are travelling with an expedition group as their doctor. You are travelling to Nepal to undertake a Himalayan high altitude trek everything is planned meticulously. You’ve undertaken medical kit sourcing, researched the local area and formulated evacuation plans, revised management of high altitude conditions, spoken to local guides and are happy that you have all the emergency communications systems you need.

You are driving along the mountain pass and there is a sudden, loud bang and the coach in front of yours swerves, breaking through a rickety crash barrier, careering down the bank into a small river where the coach rolls onto its side. The inside of the coach is chaos with debris everywhere and you can hear the screams as you survey the scene. You also know the nearest hospital is three hours’ drive away.

Your mind switches into processing mode to analyse this chaotic scene, formulate a plan, delegate then get on with the job- it’s what we’ve always done and somehow our minds find a powerful focus in the most dramatic situations. Key to this is organising the response to achieve the best outcome for the most people.  Decision making is at the core of how we practice medicine and we base these decisions on previous experience, prior learning, teams we have worked with, great leaders and a certain X factor originating from common sense and lateral thinking.

Another aspect of medical training is the emphasis on the role of the team and in general most doctors are capable of functioning as valuable team members because we are taught the importance of listening, empathy and compassion when we are looking after our patients and how to treat them as human beings, rather than just numbers with problems and solutions. As our medical personalities evolve, our human personalities are also shaped.

I started my medical career in anaesthetics and emergency medicine before going into general practice and the longer I practice medicine, the more I understand the importance of communication and consultation skills. I also work as a pre hospital care doctor where empathy, compassion and communication has never been more important as we manage major trauma. We are taught that we can even ease pain purely with compassion, kindness and talking to our patient. Drugs help of course!

So how does this fit into Expedition and Extreme Medicine? Groups of people are fascinating to watch and interact with. Put those people into more challenging environments and out of their comfort zones, and suddenly true colours are revealed as the sub conscious primitive brain takes over and starts to govern what is shown to the outside world. As an expedition medic, we are in the same challenging environment, yet how do we control ourselves when we are undertaking the same challenges as the people involved, then switching into doctor mode when we are as tired, hungry and possibly as scared as the rest of the group.  Conventional medical training can give us the foundation to operate in this challenging environment.

I have been working with a great team developing the Human Factors Module for the Extreme Medicine Post Graduate Programme. Human factors are what allow us to perform and do our job when others are struggling. Self-awareness, situational awareness and group awareness allow us to process the global picture when groups are under pressure, and should enable us to stand back from the scene and make functional and rational decisions. We are not alone though and it is a skill to recognise and utilise the group members who can work with us. Task and environment specific skills such as management of altitude illness will always be vital, however it’s the softer skills that help us stand out, perform as accepted leaders and take control when stuff starts hitting the fan.

Open doors to extend your professional interests and career.  Visit www.expeditionmedicine.co.uk  for a portfolio of training opportunities, like no other.

Extreme Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Extreme Conferencing in Edinburgh

Our friends at Adventure Medic managed to track down Extreme Medicines founder Mark Hannaford and talked to him about this years Extreme Medicine Conference…

…..It’s a bumper year for conferences in Adventure Medic’s spiritual home of Edinburgh. World Extreme Medicine and Student Wilderness Medicine UK are both round the corner and we can’t wait to catch up with you all there. In preparation, we caught up with WEM’s Mark Hannaford to hear what’s in store.

Hi Mark, what have you got planned for us?

The original concept of the conference came from a realisation that within pre-hospital care, expedition, disaster, humanitarian and extreme medicine, similar groups of highly motivated and exceptionally skilled medics existed, and that the types of medicine practiced and actually the ‘types’ of medics involved were also very similar.

We want to build a platform where we can share best practice, research and experience and also create a network to enable people to move across disciplines more easily. As the conference has developed we’ve introduced more sub disciplines most notably, last year endurance sports medicine, aided by Dr Helen Grimsmo, herself a remarkable athlete. With the Olympics now behind us we are looking forward to hearing about some of the medicine behind this years’ GB team’s remarkable successes.

Whilst the daily headings have broadly stayed the same, the content is very different with a number of ‘Core Concepts’ now finding a home as optional workshops. New for this year, is a focus on vulnerable populations and a tie in with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to deliver an abridged version of their Excellence Series.

Having experimented with a range of workshops at last years’ event, where we were overwhelmed with their popularity, we have built a similarly diverse range of optional sessions into this year gathering ranging from Expedition Dentistry presented by the amazing Dr Burjor Langdana, ultrasound workshops presented by our colleagues at GE to ‘Anaesthesia equipment for the travelling anaesthetist’ and ‘The surgical airway, where, when and how.’

We really enjoyed some of the animal biology stuff last time…

Great! We’ve continued our relationship with the Society of Experimental Biology to provide two sessions where we look at how the animal kingdom performs and adapts to extremes, and how we might relate that back to human medicine.

Why did you make the move to Edinburgh?

For the past five years, aside from one visit to Harvard Medical School, we have based the conference in London primarily at the Royal Society of Medicine, so this year’s move to Scotland was made with a little trepidation. However, we’re delighted at how it’s all turned out.  The warm welcome from all the Scots folk we’re engaged with and the ease of navigating Edinburgh is a real treat and we even managed to catch a glimpse of medics ‘Parkouring’ to the venue.

What are you looking forward to most about the conference?

With the world and indeed the NHS changing in ways we hadn’t considered five years ago, when we first started the conference series, it now provides an amazing, inspiring place to hear first-hand from doctors and medics who use their medical degrees in the most remarkable ways, who have stepped away from traditional training pathways and who are only too happy to share their experiences

Personally it’s the energy and vibrancy of getting so many inspiring people together in one place for four days it’s a chance to catch up with old friends meet new and create new ideas and hear incredible stories.

http://www.theadventuremedic.com/news/6899/

World Extreme Medicine Conference

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NEVER SAY NO TO ADVENTURE…

NEVER SAY NO TO ADVENTURE

No matter where people go for adventure, medicine must follow. Those are the words of Mark Hannaford, a pioneer in the field of extreme medicine.Mark Hannaford

World Extreme Medicine, which was co-founded by Hannaford over 15 years ago, trains doctors and other medical professionals to work in some of the most inhospitable locations in the world. Providing support to those who respond to disasters, humanitarian crises, conflict zones and other low resource environments.

Hannaford, who was a member of 21 SAS (Reserves) Regiment and has over 27 years of experience in expeditions & remote travelling under his belt, reiterates the need for medics to have the necessary skills to work in some of the most remote areas of the world.

Speaking to Nevisport, he said: “A lot of skills are needed to work remotely and this differs to hospital medicine, with less access to specialist skills, equipment, and medicines. We concentrate on best practice in the absence of these resources.

“Our environmental courses such as our Polar Medicine courses in New Zealand and Norway, Mountain Medicine in Nepal and Jungle Medicine in Costa Rica teach very specialist skills that are really only learnt in those specific extremes.”

EXTREME MEDICINE

One aspect of extreme medicine, which is sometimes forgotten about, is the ‘pressure’ on medics who have to make life or death calls with little or no support. Hannaford added: “The pressure of medics working remotely, is often neglected, the psychological pressure of having to make decisions without support. Dealing with co-workers who might be working under immense pressure or physically exhausted and our courses provide insight into this and offer some tools to use to assist in managing both oneself and a team.”

Extreme Medicine WEM was part of the working group that drew up the Guidance for Medical Provision for Wilderness Medicine for the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. The ability to pack more equipment into smaller pieces of kit thanks to the advancement of technology, is leading to a revolution in the area of extreme medicine and WEM is at the forefront. This allows the likes of Hannaford and other adventurers to undertake expeditions with a basic first aid kit, knowing that they have a support team which will be able to provide a level of medical care which their predecessors could only dream about.

But for Hannaford, there is some kit that he cannot do without no matter his destination, he continued: “My basic kit is just that basic, but I always travel with a down jacket with a hood. It is lightweight and indispensable when it’s chilly in the evening and even when it’s warm doubles up as a great pillow. A Petzl headtorch, my iPhone for photos, a spoon, and a toothbrush. That’s about it but obviously, expands if the environment is more challenging!”

WEM is not only educating medics and those working in areas such as Everest Base Camp or Antarctica, they also highlight the similar challenges faced by medical professionals working in remote areas of Scotland as they face the same constraints in terms of the time it can take to get a casualty to the next level of medical care.

Despite his years of travelling, whether it is to Morocco, Antarctica or Namibia, Hannaford’s greatest joy has been introducing his children to expeditions.

“This is something I can be rather evangelical about,” he said. “There is a perception that children need to be protected, but my son was in a backpack and trekking across the Namib Desert not that he was aware of it, aged just five months. Children really blossom and grow by being introduced to the outdoors; watching their reaction to a new place is magical in its innocence and enthusiasm.”

So what does the future hold for WEM?

They have another year of film support in the South Pacific on the TV show ‘Survivor’ and in November they descend on Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh for this year’s World Extreme Medicine Expo. Guest speakers include such luminaries as Adrian Mellor (Surgeon Commander, Royal Navy), Barry Fudge (Head of Endurance with British Athletics) and South African Cathy O’Dowd (the first woman in the world to climb both the north and south sides of Mount Everest).

For more information on World Extreme Medicine and their courses go to: http://www.expeditionmedicine.co.uk/

 

ANDY MUIRHEAD

Born in Glasgow, but lived for many years in South East Asia, Andy has a love of travelling and experiencing what the world has to offer. He prefers to immerse himself in the local culture rather than the mundane tourist areas. Andy works in our head office in Glasgow.

Never say no to adventure

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Interested in Mountain Medicine? In 2017 our Nepal course moves to April 23 – May 10

Extreme Medicine

GLOBAL • EXPLORATION • SPACE

Interested in Mountain Medicine? In 2017 our Nepal course moves to April 23 – May 10. Check out the course page for more information.

New WEME Workshops

We’re delighted to be working with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to offer an abridged version of their Excellence Series in Obs & Gynae.

Building on last year’s successful ultrasound workshops we’ll deliver both introductory and advanced ultrasound scanning workshops with GE, so no matter how experienced you are, there’ll be something here for you.

Head over to the WEM Conference website for more information. 

Please note there will be a charge for some workshops, booking prior to arrival is essential.

MSF

We welcome Médecins Sans Frontières as this year’s charity partner at the WEM Conference.

MSF Board Member, Javid Abdelmoneim, draws from his experience over the past 12 months much of which has been spent aboard an MSF search and rescue vessel based off the coast of Libya.

Operations Manager, Natalie Roberts, discusses how to arrive on scene and hit the ground running. No matter what the epidemic, disaster or conflict, an effective response from day 1 is critical.

WEME CPD

If you’re looking to boost your CPD for the year, the World Extreme Medicine Conference is a great place to do it.

The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh has awarded 6 CPD points per day, if you’re with us for the full event that’s 24 CPD plus a whole load of excitement and inspiration to take away with you.

Join us in Corfe

Later this year we’ll be packing our bags and heading to Dorset to inspire and educate a new wave of medics ready to take their skills out into extreme or poorly resourced environments across the globe.

With a huge range of skills and experience, our team put extreme medicine into context, showing you how to use your new skills, where they can take you and how you can enhance your skills through adventure and in challenging environments.

The course run Oct 31 – Nov 3, 2016 and we hope to see you there.

Need kit? Remember our discount with Cotswold Outdoor, simply use discount code AF-WEM-C2 to claim 15% off (T&Cs apply)

Yorkshire has a new mountain

We’re super pleased to hear the UK has a new mountain! Calf Top as it’s known has been newly surveyed and has come in at 609.606m just 6mm over the threshold height.

It may not be the biggest mountain, but it’s a mountain and therefore it’s worth climbing.

Richard Earlam

We’re very sad to hear of the passing of Richard Earlam who was a consultant general surgeon at the Royal London Hospital and the man who pioneered London’s Air Ambulance Service.

Richard Earlam was a very special clinician with an inquisitive mind which led him to produce a significant body of research.

Take a look at what this remarkable man achieved HERE.

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Reviving Accidental Hypothermic Victims with Extracorporeal Life Support

Extreme Medicine - Beat WalpothDr Beat Walpoth is speaking at the World Extreme Medicine Conference

Dr Beat Walpoth, Director of Cardiovascular Research at the University Hospital of Geneva (http://www.hug-ge.ch/), Switzerland, is a leading surgeon and expert on rewarming victims of hypothermia using extracorporeal life support (ECLS).

The technique has been adapted from cardiac surgery as early as the 60’s and 70’s when patients were cooled down to core temperatures around 20°C in order to perform complex cardiac surgical repairs in a state of deep hypothermic cardiac arrest with good survival after rewarming to normothermia.

Dr Beat Walpoth said, “Such operations would be impossible in normothermia because the brain has a tolerance to anoxia – not being perfused by blood – of about three minutes. However, when you cool the body to 20˚C, the brain’s tolerance is extended to around 30 minutes.”

“After the first successful rewarming of a patient in cardiac arrest with accidental hypothermia by Professor Ulrich Althaus (http://www.ctsnet.org/home/ualthaus), I joined the team at the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland (http://www.insel.ch/en/) and we developed the method much further.  This pioneering research has shown that it is possible to revive a victim in deep hypothermia with cardiac arrest by rewarming the body with ECLS (cardio-pulmonary bypass, or ECMO) and to give him a chance for a sequela-free long-term survival (published by our group in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997).  Prior to this event such patients would have been declared dead.”

But could this technique be advanced to the point at which humans could lie dormant for years at a time? Suspended animation is the concept that lowering a person’s core temperature dramatically can enter them into a dormant state, waiting to be reanimated years later.

It is a theme that is often revisited in science fiction and is regularly proposed as a way of dealing with the long timescales of interstellar travel, but how realistic is the possibility of cryonic suspension?

Dr Walpoth continues, “It has always been the dream of many scientists and writers.”

“At the moment I’m not convinced that it will be possible for the whole body to be ‘frozen’ (cryo-preserved). As you may know, it is possible for cells; you can freeze certain types of cells for 20 years or even longer and they will still carry all of their capacity when thawed.”

“There is work in progress to try to apply this technology not only to isolated cells but to whole organs. So far, some organs have the potential to be cryo-preserved at -196°C and thawed; you can, for instance, do that with simple organs such as heart valves, which function quite well after thawing.”

“But from there, to go to ‘freezing’ a whole body is an enormous step. I don’t want to be overly optimistic or pessimistic but time will tell – my expectation is that these technologies will not be available in the near future.”

The pioneering cardiovascular surgeon is the founder of the International Hypothermia Registry (https://www.hypothermia-registry.org/), which gathers patient data and collates peer-reviewed analysis to improve the treatment of accidental hypothermia victims.

Dr Walpoth will be speaking at the World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo (http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/) at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS on 19 November 2016.  The Extreme Medicine Exposition brings together leading experts from around the globe to share learnings on prehospital care, expedition and wilderness medicine, sport, endurance, humanitarian and disaster medicine.

Mark Hannaford, founder of conference organisers World Extreme Medicine, said, “Dr Walpoth’s great experience is relevant and poignant for a lot of doctors working in expedition and wilderness medicine, as hypothermia is a great danger to all mountaineers and polar explorers.

“Improving the efficacy of the treatment of accidental hypothermia is hugely important to safety in these extreme environments, and Dr Walpoth is at the very forefront of that research.

“World Extreme Medicine was founded around a campfire in Namibia, and we coined the phrase ‘World Extreme Medicine’ as an umbrella term for all practices of medicine outside of a clinical environment, whether it is prehospital, disaster and humanitarian, endurance, sport, expedition or wilderness medicine.

“Our message is that there is a great diversity of careers in medicine, and that traditional hospital environments are not the only option for a fulfilling career. To put it into a layperson’s terms, there’s never been a more exciting time to work in medicine.”

For further information about the Extreme Medicine Expo, which takes place 18 – 21 November 2016, please visit: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/events/event/extreme-medicine-conference-expo-2016-early/ .

 

Links:

University Hospital of Geneva: http://www.hug-ge.ch/

Professor Ulrich Althaus: http://www.ctsnet.org/home/ualthaus

University Hospital of Bern: http://www.insel.ch/en/

International Hypothermia Registry: https://www.hypothermia-registry.org/

World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/

World Extreme Medicine Conference Info: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/events/event/extreme-medicine-conference-expo-2016-early/

ENDS

High resolution imagery and interviews are available on request. Journalists are invited to attend the conference too and are asked to register their interest as early as possible.

Media information provided by Famous Publicity. For more information, please contact Tina Fotherby at 07703 409 622 or tina@famouspublicity.com or Adam Betteridge at 0333 344 2341 or adam@famouspublicity.com.

 

About the World Extreme Medicine Expo:

The World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo will take place at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS from 18 – 21 November 2016. Bringing together many of the world’s brightest medical minds, it will focus on humanitarian and disaster medicine, expedition medicine, endurance and sports medicine and prehospital medicine.  The exposition’s mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community.

The term ‘Extreme Medicine’ was first coined by Mark Hannaford and Sean Hudson as an umbrella term for these extra-clinical medical practices.

 

About Dr Beat Walpoth:

A trained cardiovascular surgeon, Dr Beat Walpoth is currently the Director of Cardiovascular Research at the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland. He is ex-President of the European Society for Artificial Organs. His main areas of research include vascular tissue engineering, biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, angiogenesis as well as bio-artificial cardiovascular support. His main clinical expertise covers coronary blood flow measurement, hemodynamics, cardiac transplantation and mainly hypothermia.

Dr Walpoth is a recipient of several national and international awards, the most prestigious being the Ernst-Derra-Prize (1993) for the paper “MR Spectroscopy for assessing myocardial rejection in the transplanted rat heart” and more recently his research group has received the ESAO Wichtig Award in the years 2008 and 2012 for their research on vascular tissue engineering. He has also received more than 10 peer-reviewed national and international grants.

He has over 100 publications, of which more than 50 are first-author papers, in peer reviewed journals with a total impact factor over 150. A keystone paper “Outcome of Survivors of Accidental Deep Hypothermia and Circulatory Arrest Treated with Extracorporeal Blood Warming” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 and describes for the first time the sequelae free long-term outcome of 15 survivors of accidental deep hypothermic cardiac arrest rewarmed by cardiopulmonary bypass.  This research was carried out at the University Hospital, Bern, where Professor Ulrich Althaus pioneered the extracorporeal rewarming of a deep hypothermic victim in cardiac arrest.

He is also the founder of the International Symposium on Accidental Hypothermia which he organized, or co-organized in the years 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2014.   This year the meeting will be organized on November 11, in Interlaken, Switzerland, under his guidance.

Dr Walpoth was the founder of the International Hypothermia Registry which is now entering its fifth year and counts more than 50 international participating centres.  This registry is web-based (https://www.hypothermia-registry.org) and aims to gather enough patient data worldwide, followed by a peer-reviewed analysis, in order to establish new consensus guidelines for establishing better outcome predictors and improving the treatment of accidental hypothermia victims.

Glossary:

Cardio-pulmonary bypass: Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is a technique that temporarily takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery, maintaining the circulation of blood and the oxygen content of the body. The CPB pump itself is often referred to as a heart–lung machine or “the pump”.

Cryo-preserved: Cryopreservation is a process where cells, whole tissues, or any other substances susceptible to damage caused by chemical reactivity or time are preserved by cooling to sub-zero temperatures.

ECLS: Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is a variation of cardiopulmonary bypass. Whereas cardiopulmonary bypass facilitates open heart surgery for a number of hours, extracorporeal life support maintains tissue oxygenation for days to weeks in patients with life threatening respiratory or cardiac failure (or both).

ECMO: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) works by removing blood from the person’s body and artificially removing the carbon dioxide and oxygenating red blood cells. Generally it is only used in the later treatment of a person with heart or lung failure as it is solely a life-sustaining intervention.

Normothermia: A normal state of temperature.

Sequela-Free: Living without a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury.

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Extreme Medicine in Scotland

Scotland – world-renowned for scientific medical excellence thanks to pioneers including microbiologist Alexander Fleming, the chemist Thomas Graham, best known for his leading work in dialysis and Joseph Lister, the “Father of Antiseptic Surgery” transformed surgical practice – will be home to a pioneering medical conference this November.

Taking place from Friday November 18 – 21, at Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Gait, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS the World Extreme Medicine Expo involves over 100 world-renowned medical experts – from surgeons and paramedics to astronauts – sharing their specialty, medical practice conducted away from the comfort of a typical hospital setting.

Four core disciplines are covered – disaster and humanitarian medicine, extreme, expedition and space medicine, human endurance and sports medicine plus prehospital medicine.

World Extreme Medicine Founder Mark Hannaford said, “Our mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community. We are honoured to host the most incredible line up of speakers who are willing to share their learnings, working at the very top of their profession.

“The event is also an amazing showcase for the wonderful diversity of careers in medicine and proof that a fulfilling career can be found outside of a traditional hospital environment. My belief is that there’s never been a more exciting time to work in medicine and the fascinating presentations will prove that point.”

Speakers include the elite sports expert, Edinburgh-based DrAndrew Murray who has worked for the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth games. He ran 4,300 km from Scotland to the Sahara Desert and completed a husky trek in -40C in Outer Mongolia.

An exploration of the challenges faced when a solar storm hits your space shuttle will be examined by Dr Michael Barratt who spent 199 days as the Chief Medical Officer on the micheal barrettInternational Space Station. He is passionate about the adapted physiology of people in space.

Disaster Medicine is a more down to earth theme, which is largely covered on the first day of the conference. Mark Hannaford continues, “We have speakers from many aid agencies including Natalie Roberts from Médecins Sans Frontières and Arij Boureslan-Skelton from Save The Children. We’re pleased to have many speakers representing UK-Med, the UK’s disaster and emergency trauma response team, founded by Tony Redmond,who’s also speaking. Speakers, including Sean HudsonEoin WalkerChrissy and Roger Alcock have deployed with UK-Med in response to disasters including the earthquake in Nepal and Typhoon Haiyan**.** We have chosen Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as our charity of the year and the leading vascular surgeon Dr David Nottwill speak about their work on the first day. Our speakers will share human stories behind the traumatic news headlines.”

The prehospital care programme involves an incredible case of a young woman who suffered a coronary heart attack while walking in London’s Oxford Street. Luckily for her, senior paramedic Eoin Walker from London’s Ambulance Cycle Response Team was close by and saved her life. There will not be a dry eye in the auditorium when Zoë Hitchcock tells her life-changing story.

Mark Hannaford concludes, “We are thrilled to be bringing 100 speakers to Edinburgh at an exciting event attended by 800 doctors, nurses, paramedics, surgeons and medical students. New medical research findings will be shared, so that the World Extreme Medicine event will be making history, following in the footsteps of the scientific giants who are now household names.”Extreme Medicine founder Mark Hannaford

About World Extreme Medicine Expo

Location: Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS

Dates: Friday November 18 to Monday November 21

Ticket information: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/events/event/extreme-medicine-conference-expo-2016-early/ Prices from £124.17 (for one day) to £825.00 (for all four days)

Website: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/

Videos: Being a Doctor Just Became the Most Exciting Career https://vimeo.com/170846844

Extreme and Wilderness Medicine – Our Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhPrFGFIFXI

Ends

High resolution imagery and interviews are available on request. Journalists are invited to attend the conference too and are asked to register their interest as early as possible.

Media information provided by Famous Publicity. For more information, please contact Tina Fotherby at 07703 409 622 or tina@famouspublicity.com, Tabitha Monkhouse at 0333 344 2341 or tabitha@famouspublicity.com or Adam Betteridge at 0333 344 2341 or adam@famouspublicity.com.

About the World Extreme Medicine Expo:

The World Extreme Medicine Conference and Expo will take place at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS from 18 – 21 November 2016. Bringing together many of the world’s brightest medical minds, it will focus four core disciplines:

· Disaster and humanitarian medicine

· Extreme, expedition and space medicine

· Human endurance and sports medicine

· Prehospital medicine.

The exposition’s mission is to break down barriers, build bridges and make connections within the extreme medicine community.

The term ‘Extreme Medicine’ was first coined by Mark Hannaford and Sean Hudson as an umbrella term for these extra-clinical medical practices.

Contact Name: Tina Fotherby
Role: Founder
Company: Famous Publicity Ltd
Contact Email: click to reveal e-mail
Contact Phone: 03333442341
Company Website: http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/
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