We are sad to announce that Tuesday 25th April saw our last Academic Forum of the Academic Year. The final forum was based around the theme of Nerve Agents.
The evening opened with Graham Chalk, Lead Paramedic & Clinical Liaison Officer in the LAA. Graham acts as the main point of contact between London's Air Ambulance and London Ambulance Service. in 2015 Graham became Paramedic Education & Development Lead. He also acts as lead faculty member for the Pre-hospital Care Course and a member of Board of Directors at Association of Air Ambulance.
Graham discussed the challenges the paramedics who work tirelessly at the HEMS dispatches desks face. Sharing real 999 calls received by the HEMS desk, Graham taught the audience the difficulties in interrogating members of the public in order to decipher those patients who are in most need of the HEMS unit. This was a very eye opening talk, and gave the audience a completely different perspective of pre-hospital medicine.
After the break we were joined by Dr Gareth Grier - Con-convenor of the Prehospital Medicine iBSc. A familiar face to the PCP and academic forums; Dr Grier is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Pre-hospital care, working with the LAA.
Dr Grier delivered an interactive lecture on chemical nerve agents, with a particular focus on Sarin. Recruiting members of the audience to act as members of the public, members of parliament and police and HEMS doctors and paramedics - the scenario re-enacted a sequence of events to re-enact a chemical attack in London.
The presentation taught us the toxidrome of nerve agents, and how people may present if exposed to Sarin, as seen recently in the Syria attacks. It re-instated Graham's talk earlier on how a paramedic working in the control room might react. The session focused on how we felt the emergency services would respond in such a scenario - reflecting on escalating a major incident and the issue of decontamination. It was discussed how such an event might be managed in the capital - with the take home message of being able to recognise characteristics of such nerve agents on people.