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  • 08 May 2012 10:11 PM | Anonymous member

    Pink Medics


    Geoffrey Del Mundo Panganiban, RN

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE): Do your protocols or clinical practice guidelines (CPG) say anything about patients or the family of patients having a preference for the gender of the attending medic? Have you heard of anyone refusing treatment with regard to the medic’s gender? If you find it strange or unusual, maybe you haven’t been exposed to Arab countries or Arab patients at least.

    The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services have two (2) units specially dedicated to female patients. It uses the call sign Mama Units. The primary function of these units is to cater for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatal related emergencies but, sometimes these Mama Units serve as a backup unit for any case with a female patient requesting a female medic for assessment and treatment.

    The two Mama units were added to the Dubai ambulance fleet which consists of about sixty (60) rigs including two (2) big buses that serve as support units in case of a mass casualty incident. This large ambulance is officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the largest ambulance measuring 20.03 m (65.71 ft), with a total treatment and transport capacity of 123 patients and staff. This big bus ambulance contains among other things an operating theatre, three (3) intensive care units and eight (8) immediate care units.

    A regular ambulance unit in Dubai is manned by three personnel, a driver with two nurses, paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Only the Mama units have three female staff on board, including the driver. Female medics have a greater exposure to training in Obstetric and Gynaecology Hospitals, and yes, the Mama medics are wearing pink uniforms.

    The concept of creating units with an all-female crew originated from experiences of Arab families insisting, and only allowing, female health workers to take care of their female patient. This relates to Arab culture where only male family members can only touch or see a female relative, even in emergency situations.

    So, the next time you a have a female Arab patient or you’re considering working in an Arab country, try to be conscious of cultural diversity. You may not find things like this in your EMT books, but you can learn by experience. Experience, is indeed, still the best teacher.

  • 25 Apr 2012 5:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CPDme Launch New Videos

    The CPDme Development Team have put together some new videos for both the Public and CPDme Members to help them better understand both the benefits of CPDme and also an extensive How2Guide to managing your portfolio. 

    Check out our YouTube Channel by clicking here

    Some videos are only available to Members by entering the Member Section of the website and clicking in the Video Guide Section. There is also a help video everywhere you see this Video Sign:

    If you have any suggestions about Help or Guide Videos, email the development team at 

  • 19 Apr 2012 5:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    CPDme is currently engaged in talks with suppliers regarding an IPhone / Android Application. However we need some feedback into what you would like our App to feature. Please email andrew at with any suggestions.

     If we implement your unique idea. We will reward your contribution with a 5 year membership token. Please add comments below or email Andrew

    The CPDme Development Team
  • 18 Apr 2012 10:02 PM | Anonymous member





    Peter Davison and a team of his colleagues from East of England Ambulance Service are going to cycle from Lands End to John O' Groats in May 2012 in order to raise funds for the ASBF.

    Their itinerary is as follows:-

    4th - Land's End to Exeter

    5th - Exeter to Chepstow

    6th - Chepstow to Shrewsbury

    7th - Shrewsbury to Lancaster

    8th - Lancaster to Lockerbie

    9th - Lockerbie to Edinburgh

    10th - Edinburgh to Pitlochry

    11th - Pitlochry to Inverness

    12th - Inverness to John O'Groats

    A fantastic effort in support of your charity the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund.

    Give them your support as they cycle through your area and by donating towards their fund raising efforts by clicking on the "widget" below.

    For more Fundraising News from the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund please follow this link.

  • 18 Apr 2012 9:44 PM | Anonymous member

    Support the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund


    Pride in serving, proud to have served...Relieved to receive our support when dealing with a personal crisis or period of hardship.

    Your support today will help us to provide that extra help when the unforeseen has happened.

    The ASBF is here for all ambulance service personnel whatever your role, serving or retired.

    We have to attract donations and to help with this we need volunteer representatives at all ambulance sites and locations to ensure we can go on being there for Britain’s ambulance service heroes’ who are calling for our help.

    There are many ways you can help to fundraise, from riding bikes from one end of the country to the other, organising a fundraising dance, making regular donations by signing up to a donation from salary scheme and, to make things really simple, by using Vodafone’s JustTextGiving.

    To help with raising funds you can also purchase medal bars, pin badges such as the new Poppy badge, Diamond Jubilee medals and just arrived are presentation boxes of Diamond Jubilee cufflinks and much more!

    For further information please visit the ASBF website:

    Or email:

    The Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund is Caring for the Carers –

    Together we can make the difference.”

    Patron: Simon Weston OBE

    Registered Charity # 800434

    (words 213)  

  • 18 Apr 2012 9:01 PM | Anonymous member

    Medical Emergencies
    within the
    Dental Practice

    Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident - CVA)

    by Wendy Berridge


    DEFINITION A sudden attack of weakness affecting one side of the body due to an interruption of blood flow to part of the brain.

    There are two types of stroke. The most common is caused by the presence of an atheromatous plaque or less commonly a blood clot, which blocks one of the blood vessels supplying part of the brain, which results in the death of the area of the brain the blood vessel supplies. The second cause is less frequent and occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, resulting in a haemorrhage which causes an area of the brain to become “squashed” by the pressure of the blood. In either type of stroke, the signs and symptoms are very similar and an area of the brain will die.  A stroke can happen at any age, is the third largest cause of death, and the single biggest cause of severe adult disability in the UK.

    The prognosis for stroke patients is variable, but the mortality rate is around 30% when the stroke is caused by a plaque, or blood clot, and as high as 80% when caused by a haemorrhage.

    A Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) or mini-stroke is caused by a temporary disruption of blood flow to part of the brain. Symptoms may be similar to a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) but recovery occurs within 24 hours. However, 20% of people who experience a TIA will suffer a full CVA within a few weeks, therefore TIAs should be regarded as a warning sign that further TIAs or a complete stroke may occur in the future.

    There are several predisposing factors that can increase the chance of a CVA and these include:



    Heart Disease

    Renal Disease


    Atrial fibrillation


    Excess alcohol consumption

    Previous TIA/CVA


    The clinical features of a stroke can vary considerably and are dependent on the area of the brain which has been affected. The onset is sudden and rapidly progresses and can consist from mild confusion or difficulty in speaking to major symptoms including cardiac arrest. The signs and symptoms can include one or more of the following:

    Paralysis of one side of the face

    Paralysis of the limbs on one side


    Inability to speak clearly, or at all

    Visual disturbances

    Tingling down one side of the body

    Numbness down one side


    Severe headache (sudden onset)


    When a person presents with any of the symptoms described above it is essential that a CVA is considered as a possible cause and the emergency services called as quickly as possible.

    If you suspect a stroke you should carry out the “FAST” test:

    F  -    Facial Weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

    A  -   Arm Weakness -  can the person raise BOTH arms?

    S  -    Speech Problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

    T  -    Test and Time - as soon as the person fails any test, it’s time to dial 999

    REMEMBER:  to test all three, but as soon as the person fails one of the tests send a colleague to telephone for a paramedic, because speed is important.


    The dental management of a person who has had a CVA is restricted to assessing and monitoring ABCDE (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure) and provision of high-flow oxygen, together with an immediate call for a paramedic.

    If the casualty is conscious then place them into a position with head and shoulders raised. High flow oxygen should be administered via the non-rebreathing face mask. It is worth remembering that although they may not be able to speak they will probably be able to understand what is happening and they will be extremely frightened. A calm management approach is essential.

    If the casualty is unconscious but breathing then they must be placed into the recovery position, also receiving high-flow oxygen via the non-rebreathing face mask. If they are not breathing, not breathing normally, or you are unsure then cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be started immediately.

    The dental team can do little to prevent a CVA or TIA from happening. The medical history is an essential tool to help identify predisposing factors in patients who may have an increased risk from a CVA, as well as recording details if the patient has had either event in the past 6 months as there is a greater risk of having another CVA or TIA if this is the case. If so, it will be necessary to carry out a risk assessment to decide if treatment should be carried out, or possibly deferred by another 6 months as there would be a lesser risk then.

    Wendy Berridge delivers CPR, Medical Emergencies and AED training to dental practices throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

    Contact details:

    Tel: 07771590513


  • 11 Apr 2012 11:06 PM | Anonymous member
    Mountain Trauma Rescue Services
    Open Day
    29th April 2012

    Mountain Trauma Rescue Services would like to invite you to our open day at our training facility in Crosthwaite, Kendal on 29th April 2012.

    This event is suitable for those wishing to join one of our future first aid or rescue courses, extreme sport event organisers, healthcare professionals and just those looking for a day out.

    This is a free event and will include:

    - Instruction on CPR and defibrillator use

    - Advanced airway workshop (CPD event for healthcare professionals - certificate provided)

    - An opportunity to visit our first aid and medical training facility and to get hands on our educational resources

    - An opportunity to see our rescue equipment and event medical services set up and 4x4 response vehicle (great for event organisers and healthcare      professionals wishing to work for us at future events)

    - Opportunity to buy first aid equipment for use in remote areas

    - Free refreshments throughout the day and prizes to be given away and much more.

    This is a drop in event so pop by anytime between 10am and 4pm.

    Address: Town Yeat, Crosthwaite, Kendal, Cumbria. LA8 8DN

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Mountain Trauma Rescue Services
  • 11 Apr 2012 7:32 PM | Anonymous member

       David Thornicroft

       St Thomas Training

       CPD Articles Contributor

    David Thornicroft is the owner of St Thomas Training which specialises in delivering training on the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to the staff of health and social care organisations throughout England and Wales.

    He is very happy to answer questions about the Act or of course to come and deliver training to your staff. He can be contacted on, or via the website at

    David Thornicroft
    02380 970 914

  • 11 Apr 2012 6:52 PM | Anonymous member

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the use of Advance Decisions

    by David Thornicroft

    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the use of Advance Decisions 
    Many readers will be familiar with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and you may well have attended training on it. You may well also have some understanding of the concept of Advance Decisions. But the whole issue of when you should treat a patient, and when you should withhold treatment, is still a tricky ethical and legal dilemma. This article attempts to provide some clarity.
    The Mental Capacity Act 2005, which applies in England and Wales only, starts from the premise that individuals over the age of 16 years are able to make decisions about their own lives. These may not be very good decisions, and they may well be decisions with which parents and/or professionals may disagree, but ultimately there is a presumption that the individual can make them for him/herself.
    The Act brought in many new concepts, one of which is the Advance Decision. An individual who has capacity (in other words who can make decisions about his/her own life) is now able to make an Advance Decision to reject any form of medical treatment. 
    Immediately there is a deviation from the main body of the Act here, because Advance Decisions can only be made by individuals who are over the age of 18 (not 16, as applies to most of the rest of Act).
    An Advance Decision (sometimes called, wrongly, an Advance Directive) is legally binding, if properly made in the first place. It means that the individual has made his/her wishes clear, and that these wishes must be respected today and in the future.
    So what are health and social care professionals to do to ensure that we comply with the law?
    Let's take two scenarios to try to clarify. Scenario 1 concerns Katya, a 30-something female who is being driven along a main road by her husband Ian. They are involved in a head-on collision with an articulated lorry. The ambulance arrives to find Katya unconscious with severe head injuries. Ian, who is injured but conscious, tells the paramedics that Katya has always said she does not want to be resuscitated.
    Scenario 2 concerns Alf, a 90-something resident of a nursing home for people with dmeentia. He has just suffered a suspected heart attack, and the ambulance is called. His daughter Gemma is with him at the nursing home and, just like Ian, she tells the paramedics that her father has always said he does not want to be resuscitated.
    The question is: do you resuscitate both Katya and Alf, only one of them (which one?), or neither of them? And, most importantly, why?
    Before the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act these were difficult questions. If you asked 100 paramedics you would probably get 101 different answers. However the Act does give clarity, if it is properly interpreted.
    The first issue is whether or not Katya or Alf have capacity at the moment to make the decision for themselves. If they do, then the decision is up to them. In these cases, however, assuming that they are both unconscious and both incapable of communicating with you then they do indeed lack capacity (because one of the requirements of capacity is that the individual must be able to communicate his/her decision to you, in some form or another). Therefore the decision to resuscitate must be made by you.
    The second issue is whether or not there is indeed a valid Advance Decision in place, specifically relating to resuscitation. Both Katya and Alf have relatives nearby telling you so, but this is not sufficient. It is possible to make a verbal Advance Decision (for example "I never want to be given electro-convulsive therapy", or "I never want to be given an injection"), but when it comes to life-sustaining treatment the Advance Decision must be in writing. It must be made at a time when the individual has capacity about the treatment that s/he is refusing; it must state specifically what treatment is being refused and in what circumstances; it must be signed and dated by the individual and it must be countersigned and dated by someone else to confirm that, in their opinion, the individual does have capacity about the treatment that s/he is refusing.
    This is the point at which the scenarios may well diverge. Is it reasonable for the paramedic treating Katya, in all the chaos of a road accident, to search for the Advance Decision, then read it, check that it contains all the necessary details etc? No! The paramedic act in whats/he believes to be in Katya's best interests, which almost certainly means attempting resuscitation. The paramedic must also be prepared to justify his/her decision later. The paramedic will not be prosecuted as long as s/he has acted "reasonably".
    However in Alf's nursing home it's a very different situation. The nursing home staff should have discussed such scenarios in advance with each resident and, where appropriate, with the family. It is entirely predictable that an elderly resident such as Alf may suffer a heart attack. The home should keep detailed records on the wishes of each resident. Those records should be easily accessible. So at the point of making the 999 call a good nursing home will already have told the paramedics that there is a valid Advance Decision in place stating clearly that Alf does not want to be resuscitated in the event of a heart attack. The paramedics, when attending the scene, should of course ask to see the Advance Decision, to satisfy themselves that it does exist. If so, then the decision is made. No resuscitation. And of course if the nursing home cannot produce the Advance Decision then the it's up to the paramedic to decide what is in Alf's best interests, which again almost certainly means attempting resuscitation.
    Remember that the Mental Capacity Act is there to protect the individuals who lack capacity AND the people who care for them. Chapter 6 of the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice is well worth reading, because it explains how carers, healthcare and social care staff can carry out their normal duties without fear of being prosecuted. The two crucial issues are set out in paragraph 6.22: (The carer) "must reasonably believe that the person lacks capacity to make that particular decision at the time it needs to be made, and the action is in the person's best interests."
    Of course the wishes of the patient may conflict with our own instincts. We may feel it is morally wrong not to try to resuscitate Katya, or Alf, irrespective of their wishes. But the Act again makes clear that our own beliefs or morals are secondary in importance to the beliefs and morals of the individual. And that, surely, is how it should be.

    David Thornicroft
    St Thomas Training
    02380 970 914


    Editor's note:

    To learn more about the Mental Capacity Act please visit the St Thomas Training website where you can complete the e-learning module 'Mental Capacity Act - The Basics' free of charge (normally £15.00 plus VAT) until 30 April 2012.
  • 04 Apr 2012 11:16 PM | Anonymous member

      Fire Risk Assessments
      & Staff Training

       by Eric Dempsey G.I.Fire.E 

    Small Businesses, Fast Food Outlets and Restaurants – Face Prosecution


    In 2005/6 the law in the 

    UK regarding Fire Safety changed. Over 118 out of date pieces of legislation were abolished and a new streamlined Act based on ‘Fire Risk Assessment’ was brought in. The Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005.

    The biggest change being that employers or person in control of the building – known as ‘The Responsible Person’ are now responsible for fire safety within their business/premises and are required by this law to have a Fire Risk Assessment of their premises, implement its findings and train their staff in all regards to their safety. Everyone must be trained in Fire Awareness and know what to do in case of Fire. Fire Marshals must be trained to assist evacuations and fight the fire if safe to do so. To do this, they must be trained by competent instructors. The Fire Risk Assessment must be reviewed annually and staff must receive refresher training. This training must be recorded and kept with the Fire Risk Assessment for inspection by a Fire Officer at any time. The old ‘Fire Certificates’ are now defunct and are no longer valid.

    Thousands of people are hurt and over 20 people per day either killed or seriously injured in fires involving Class F Cooking Fats fires in 

    UK kitchens. The Fire Service will not do this Fire Risk Assessment, but will certainly ask to see it on an inspection or for an after fire audit. Failure to have one will result in prosecution and that may render your Public Liability Insurance invalid. Many employers are falling foul of this legislation –


    In essence the ‘Responsible Person’ can delegate the Fire Risk Assessment to a person who is competent to do it but cannot delegate their legal responsibilities and liabilities – under the legislation itself.

    Check for yourself and Google ‘Recent Prosecutions under the RRO (Fire Safety) Act. You will be shocked and surprised!

    In addition, the ‘Responsible Person’ must:

    • Ensure that a fire risk assessment is carried out
    • Identify fire precautions and establish an Emergency Plan
    • Record findings of the risk assessment
    • Nominate one or more competent persons to implement control measures and review the fire risk assessment
    • Establish fire safety procedures for staff and anyone entering their premises
    • Inform employees about risks/control measures/identities of nominated competent persons
    • Establish means of contacting emergency services and provide them with relevant information
    • Ensure that premises and any equipment provided in connection with fire safety are adequately maintained by a competent person
    • Inform and co-operate with other occupiers (other responsible persons) within the building, concerning findings of significant risk and measures of prevention and protection

    Duties of Employees

    • Comply with the law and assist employers in maintaining fire safety
    • Take reasonable care for the safety of themselves and others
    • Cooperate with employers regarding fire safety duties
    • Inform those responsible of serious and immediate dangers
    • Inform those responsible of any shortcomings in the employer’s fire protection arrangements

    Training your employees not only fulfils your legal and moral responsibilities but is financially desirable. Many businesses that have a fire never recover the loss of contracts and goodwill and go out of business. Training is an essential part of the safety of staff and the public.

    As a fire officer for almost 30 years before retirement I regularly attended complicated incidents involving fast food restaurants with deep fat fryers as Officer in Charge of tactics responsible for the deployment of personnel and equipment and well understand your concerns. These fires are dangerous and can cause serious injury or worse. They can also destroy a business. I will assess your staff and write training programmes to SUIT YOU. Remember an assistant trained in the use of extinguishers can save your business. A staff member trained in 1st Aid can save your life.

    I particularly enjoy training staff as Fire Wardens to give them confidence in this area. I have trained around 2000 in the last year alone. Often, they have volunteered for this possibly dangerous and responsible task in addition to their normal duties. It is in this area that my long years of experience can best be utilised working at national locations. Assessing need and providing a realistic and cost effective programme at your own location to remedy any deficiency.


    Should you wish us to assist you to meet your legal obligations and assist in all matters regarding staff safety? Contact us to arrange your training. We can adapt any training required for local circumstances, give advice on FRA’s and carry them out. We will also help implement the requirements of the Risk Assessment if required.

    • Staff Safety Induction
    • Basic Fire Fighting for Civilian Staff including Extinguisher Training
    • Fire Marshall & Responsible Person
    • Emergency 1st Aid @ Work


    Training can be arranged via Eric Dempsey at

    Arc Fire Training Services Ltd


    Or email Eric at

    Eric Dempsey G.I.Fire.E

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