DOH paramedics to augment critical care services

Motorcycle-riding acute-care providers trained to handle injuries, sudden illness, vehicular accidents, criminal violence, and fires


THE Department of Health – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) welcomed the first batch of paramedics in the country in a graduation rites held recently in Manila.

Headed by Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo, DOH MIMAROPA led the training of paramedics to provide immediate response to emergency situations in the provinces of MIMAROPA.

“These 12 paramedics will be our first line of defense for an injured or stroke person as they will the primary health care responder to emergency situations being the first to arrive on the scene. They will take control and provide immediate care to ensure that the patient makes it to the hospital,” Dr. Janairo said during the ceremony.

He added that these paramedics play a vital role in attending to emergencies such as injuries, sudden illness, and casualties in road and rail accidents, criminal violence, and fires.

The group of paramedics were trained in assessing the condition of patients who are injured or suddenly taken ill; resuscitating and stabilizing patients; using defibrillator; applying splints to limbs, dressing wounds, administering pain relief, oxygen, drips and fluids; taking ECG, carrying out certain surgical procedures when necessary, such as intubation (insertion of a breathing tube); monitoring the patient’s condition and working closely with doctors and nurses in hospital accident and emergency departments, briefing them as their patient arrives at hospital; and producing case notes and reporting the patient’s history, condition and treatment to relevant hospital staff.

Moreover, the DOH MIMAROPA head said that paramedics will be supplied with two units of motorcycle ambulance for easier transportation.

The said motorcycle ambulance is equipped with an oxygen tank, an ECG machine, and defibrillator. It also has a state of the art CENA 10C communication system with blue tooth capability, intercom, smartphone combined with an HD 1080P resolution action camera and recording.

These motorcycles are installed with early warning traffic devices such as a siren, LED flashers and built in tractor grip tires for rocky roads and slippery muddy highway. The bike is customized for the paramedic rider complete with helmet, jacket, pants, boots, gloves and a backpack containing first aid medicines.

“These paramedics are not a replacement to nurses, but they will augment the critical care capacity of the intensive care unit and the emergency unit of hospitals. “Their specialties are emergencies that occur outside of hospitals. They can also provide occasional assistance when called upon during shortage of health workers in the hospital,” Dr. Janairo said.

The training was part of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Roland A. Fernando (RAF) School of Healthcare Technology in Pasay City, the first institute to offer specialty courses in paramedics and home health care in the Philippines.

The first batch of paramedics are composed of Kamille Besa, RN (DOH-Health Emergency Management Bureau), John Amielle T. Pila, RN (DOH MIMAROPA), Edsel Padilla, RN and Maristella Garing, RN from Oriental Mindoro; Reynaldo Tan Jr., RN and Jasper Beryl Coching, RN from Romblon; Josephine Morales, RN (Marinduque); Joi Anne M. Padua (National Children’s Hospital); and Krisanto Idolito Calugay, RN (Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center). Stacey Marie Bedia, RN (Iloilo), Ernest Serranzana, RN (Bicol) and Eric Tagle (Homehealth CA, USA) who will become local trainers based in the school.

Vital Signs Issue 79 Vol. 4, September 1-30 2015