Archive | CPD

Portable Head CT Scanning

Access to CT scanning has risen in importance, particularly with the tight timescales for stroke thrombolysis.  However, scanners still have a relatively high cost, in many cases too much for smaller community hospitals to justify (or have space for). This means that stroke patients can only achieve thrombolysis if rapid identification, assessment and transport to mainland facilities are available.

Yet rural populations often have a larger proportion of patients who are at risk of cerebroembolic events, to the extent that such presentations can be considered common.  The challenges of accessing CT facilities were raised in a recent article in the Scottish Medical Journal (Todd & Anderson, 2009)

So it’s interesting that the Summer edition of the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine includes an article about the use of portable CT head scanners.  These are lower in cost, require less space and – as the article highlights – potentially more feasible for the community hospital setting.

So what does it look like?  There are various videos on YouTube but most are quite dated.  The best I could find was this video about similar scanners which are used for paediatric imaging in the USA.

If/when we emerge from the current cutbacks, perhaps this is on the horizon for our rural hospitals, stored next to the portable Xray machine?!

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Journal Focus: Reflections on Swine Flu

With efforts focussing once again on the influenza pandemic, I found this article from a GP team in rural Scotland interesting. Back in June 2009, our colleagues in Cowal & Bute discovered that they would soon be one of the early hotspots of the swine flu outbreak.

In their article “Major incidents in rural areas: managing a pandemic A/H1N1/2009 cluster” which features in Rural & Remote Health, Stark et al describe the nature of the response, and detail the challenges faced from a rural perspective.

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CPR Explained

The new resuscitation guidelines emphasise the importance of good quality CPR with minimal “hands-off” time.  With complex ALS algorithms, and having to remember how many cycles you should go through before adrenaline etc… it’s easy to think that the chest compressions are the easy bit.

However the compressions are the most evidence-based component of resuscitation, so it makes sense to ensure that it’s being done well.  This video, taken from the sparky website, goes through these “basic” skills with a practical approach.

Note that this video was filmed before the latest guidelines were published, but there are few relevant differences that I can notice.

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New Resuscitation Guidelines published

New guidelines for resuscitation have been launched today by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).  These represent collaborative work between the resuscitation councils of different regions, including Europe and America.

The content of these guidelines has been kept under wraps for several months, however an important message being sent out is that the new guidance will be phased in according to local resources… therefore hesitation to implement CPR because of confusion between guidelines is to be avoided.

The new guidelines are available from today at the ILCOR website.  The UK Resuscitation Council has also updated its website.

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Diploma in Remote and Offshore Medicine

The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh have just released details the new Diploma in Remote and Offshore Medicine.

Aimed at all healthcare providers working in remote and offshore locations, the diploma is based around online CPD modules, along with an eLogbook and access to feedback from tutors.

Modules include topics such as dive medicine, aviation, occupational health, trauma and medical emergencies.   There are further optional modules in expedition & wilderness medicine, tactical medicine and relief/disaster response.

Full details can be found at the Diploma’s website.

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Being a new mother in rural England

Another report from the Commission for Rural Communities has been published, this time focussing on the challenges of providing and accessing maternity services in rural areas [link no longer available].

Recent health policy has focussed on patient choice.  However, as the report states: “Delivering these choices in rural areas, presents particular challenges. With less availability and variety of provision in rural localities, choice can often only be exercised by women who are able to draw on their own resources, particularly in relation to capacity to access information and transport. It is therefore unclear whether ‘choice’ in maternity services actually helps to address inequalities but may instead serve to aggravate them.”

RuralGP was alerted to this item via the Institute of Rural Health Newsflash, a regular compilation of rural health items which is sent to IRH Associates.
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Being a young carer in rural England

“In the UK there are 175,000 children under the age of 18 who are informal (unpaid) family carers. There are also 230,000 young adult carers aged 18-24, Rural young carers face particular barriers in accessing and receiving services and support, compounded by distance, lack of adequate public transport, isolation, stigma and lack of privacy”.

This report from the Commission for Rural Communities highlights the challenges and barriers for young carers, that are particular to living in a rural area.

RuralGP was alerted to this item via the Institute of Rural Health Newsflash, a regular compilation of rural health items which is sent to IRH Associates.
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RCGP Pandemic Forum

The Royal College of General Practitioners is hosting a forum in Leeds on Thursday 18 March to discuss a wide range of issues relating to the recent threat of pandemic flu. The RCGP is keen to have input from all primary care professionals who were affected by the decisions made to counter it in order to learn from experiences and contribute to future pandemic planning.

The RCGP Pandemic Forum will provide a platform to candidly discuss all aspects of the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Within a structured environment, it will analyse the pandemic strategy and how it worked in theory and reality.

This is an ideal chance to contribute towards future planning and decision making, based on personal experiences of those involved and insights from colleagues across the spectrum of healthcare provision and policy (both from the UK and overseas).

The Forum will be of interest to anyone involved in primary care including GPs, PCT Medical Directors, PCT Managers, Practice Managers and Practice Nurses.  Full details can be found on this PDF or via the RCGP

To register your attendance, visit or download an application form. RCGP Members can attend for £99 / Non-RCGP Members: £149.

Please direct all enquiries to our Forum organiser, Terri Myers – / 020 7344 3065.

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