TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Counter to a tide of reports on health crises in remote First Nations communities, one isolated Ontario community is partnering with Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) researchers to develop the skills to manage emergencies locally.
"People in Sachigo Lake First Nation are gaining skills that are usually only made available only to paramedic professionals. Call 911 in Sachigo Lake and you get a busy signal, no sirens and no paramedics," says Dr. Aaron Orkin, a NOSM researcher who led the project with Dr. David VanderBurgh. "In an emergency, survival in Sachigo Lake depends on laypeoples' skills."
Orkin and VanderBurgh teamed up with local leadership to address this issue. Their journal article, "Where There Is No Paramedic: The Sachigo Lake Wilderness Emergency Response Education Initiative," is published today in the international medical journal PLOS Medicine. The paper highlights the circumstances of emergency care in isolated communities, showcases the programme's findings, and advances a unique approach to addressing emergency situations.
"This local training is part of the answer we have been looking for," says Jackson Beardy, Sachigo Lake Health Director. "It would be great to see this program across all of our First Nations." Remote First Nations communities continue to face a variety of health crises, from drug abuse and mental health emergencies to plane crashes and elevated rates of diabetes.
The research group will present their findings at NOSM's upcoming joint world conference, Rendez-Vous 2012 in Thunder Bay on October 9-14, 2012. "Millions of people worldwide live in settings without paramedics or pre-hospital health care" explained VanderBurgh, "This model may be applicable elsewhere."
SOURCE: Aaron Orkin MD
For further information:
Dr. Aaron Orkin
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Please use this url to access the paper (link live when embargo lifts):