San Miguel, January 16, 2012. Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health (MINSAL), held a pediatric emergencies workshop designed to reduce deaths in children occurring within 24 hours of admission to a hospital and to prevent deaths among those that can be recognized as seriously ill and quickly treated immediately upon arrival in the emergency service.
The workshop, offered by staff from TCH, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center in child health, was attended by pediatricians and emergency care personnel from the Integrated Comprehensive Health Services Networks (RISS) of El Salvador’s eastern region.
The methodology employed in the workshop, known by the Spanish acronym CETEP, consists of classifying, evaluating, and immediately treating the pediatric emergency, which is of the utmost importance to ensure that children with medical emergencies receive proper care as soon as possible.
MINSAL and PAHO-TCH have agreed to conduct the training sessions in stages: facilitators will be trained, international facilitators will participate, the activity will be systematized for potential expansion to other regions, and there will be a monitoring phase implemented by MINSAL, TCH, and PAHO.
At course completion, participants will be able to assess a child’s condition; evaluate its airway, respiration, circulation, and level of consciousness; provide emergency care and treat shock, coma, and seizures in a child; assess and treat severe dehydration in a child with diarrhea; and plan and implement CETEP in their hospital work area.
With this staff training and a TCH donation of a three sets of medical mannequins and complementary equipment, the San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Miguel will serve as the training center and be designated a Center of Excellence capable of replicating CETEP training for network personnel. Trainees will come from the nine hospitals and four specialized community health teams, known as ECOS.
The use of networks, the work modality promoted by MINSA, combined with a referral and back referral system between the first and second level of care, will be a new experience—one that is viewed with great enthusiasm by the team from Texas Children’s Hospital.
This initiative is sponsored by CIDA through its project “Improved Health and Increased Protection from Communicable Diseases for Women, Children, and Excluded Populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.”