Arutz Sheva/Israel National News — Even for veteran paramedics, few scenarios are as daunting as encountering medical emergencies they rarely see or executing new techniques in the field.
But for 23 senior paramedics with Magen David Adom (MDA), a leading Israeli EMS organization, these situations will seem more familiar thanks to a simulation center at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) that enabled them to train for three days earlier this month in an environment that closely replicates real-world conditions. Plans call for training more than 100 MDA paramedics in the next few months.
“This simulation center is designed to provide paramedics and EMTs with an environment where they can learn new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and gain hands-on experience before having to apply them to a patient whose life is actually in danger,” said Dr. Refael Strugo, medical director of Magen David Adom.
The program, developed by MDA, was designed to enhance the advanced life support capabilities of its paramedics, the organization’s most highly trained emergency medical technicians. Of MDA’s roughly 29,000 EMTs, about 1,000 are certified as paramedics. They have a minimum of 1,500 hours of training, and frequently more than twice that if they graduate from Ben-Gurion University’s emergency medicine program, compared to about 200 hours of training for an EMT-B, a starting emergency medical technician.
The courses included the use of ultrasound as a tool for diagnosing cardiac arrest and establishing I.V. access, the equipment for which is being rolled out on MDA’s Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances, marking the first time ultrasound will be used in Israel in pre-hospital emergency care.