J Surg Res 2019 Sep 17;241:53-56. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Department of Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.
Background: Basic bleeding control (BCon) techniques can save lives globally but the knowledge is not widespread in low-income countries where trauma is a common cause of death. Short-term surgical missions (STSMs) are an effective route to share this public health initiative around the world.
Materials And Methods: Over 2017-2018, the International Surgical Health Initiative organized STSMs to locations in Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Peru, and Ghana. The hour-long official American College of Surgeons Basic Bleeding Control course was offered to host participants several times over the course of the mission. Data including number and size of classes, type of trainee, instructors trained, and success rate in demonstrating acquisition of core BCon principles and techniques were collected.
Results: Over the course of four, week-long STSMs, 748 people were successfully trained in BCon over 27 sessions, with an average of 28 trainees and up to four instructors per class. One-hundred percent of trainees demonstrated acquisition of required skills proficiency. Trainees included health care workers and those in public security roles.
Conclusions: Concurrent with a short-term surgical mission, a substantial number of health care providers and would-be bystanders can be trained in BCon in countries most impacted by trauma. Local instructors can be trained to teach BCon independently to sustain the initiative. STSMs are a feasible modality to teach bleeding control techniques to an international audience that does not have rapid access to effective prehospital care.