ARLINGTON — Armstrong Ambulance is pleased to announce that two staff members recently returned from a week-long trip to Haiti, where they trained hospital staff on advanced life support techniques.
From Jan. 19-26, Paramedic John Sossei, interventional cardiologist Carl Turissini and his son, Armstrong EMT Cole Turissini visited Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti. While there, the trio worked with doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses to develop their advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) skills.
In addition, Dr. Turissini donated two monitors/defibrillators to the hospital to support their cardiac life support efforts. The three worked with Haitian medical professionals, as well as a doctor from Cuba, and were able to share their expertise despite language barriers between the English speaking instructors and French, Spanish and Haitian Creole speaking students.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur is a 200 bed hospital that is the largest in northern Haiti, which is the poorest country in the western hemisphere according to the World Bank. It has provided uninterrupted service to that region of the country for almost 30 years.
“It was truly one of the biggest honors of my life to teach these skills to such a dedicated group of medical practitioners,” Sossei said. “They were all extremely prepared and had a huge desire to learn, and were receptive to our ideas and guidance.”
Over the course of a week, Sossei and the Turissinis worked with their Haitian and Cuban peers to share the lifesaving ACLS and PALS skills, which will in turn be shared with other medical professionals at the hospital.
ACLS is used in the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke, myocardial infarction and other life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies, while PALS is used to treat children in emergency situations.