Sharing is caring at Pastrana Rural Health Unit!

What did VFV Volunteer Erin do when she found out some of the clinic staff had forgotten their Emergency First Aid training?

Plan and run a refresher course for them!
I joined Erin (a trainee paramedic) at the Pastrana Rural Health Unit to see what happened.

a medical volunteer

Erin before her presentation







Erin started by clearly explaining the aims of her session to the 15 or so staff:
• Reminder of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
• How to recognize emergencies.
• Understand that some help is better than none.
• How to protect yourself when dealing with an emergency.
She began by going through the step by step ‘DR ABCD’ response in an emergency situation:
Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation/Compression, Defibrillate.
Erin emphasized the importance of keeping yourself safe when faced with an emergency situation.

How to do chest compressions

Erin demonstrates chest compressions

She highlighted the need for doing chest compressions fast (100 per minute) and hard (4-5 cm in adults) to give the patient the best chance of survival.
Other topics covered included – cuts, fractures, stroke, heart attack, heat exhaustion and panic attacks.




The session was very interactive with Erin asking questions to check understanding and getting the staff involved in emergency role plays.
The staff found the role plays very entertaining!

A slide from a health presentation

One of Erin’s slides

Checking the airway

Checking the airway

checking for a pulse

Checking for a pulse






Erin showed sensitivity to the local environment and acknowledged that there might not be the same equipment available in Pastrana as in her home country (Australia). Erin and the staff discussed what alternatives would work in certain situations. Pillows and sticks to make a splint for a broken limb for example.

people watching a presentation

Nurses concentrating on Erin’s presentation

The session ended with a big thank you and round of applause from the staff.
They said that they were very happy to have had the refresher and will be more confident responding to emergency situations in the future.

Find out how you can pass on your medical knowledge to improve the lives of people in Leyte or donate to enable others to do so.




Photos and story by Liz Avery – VFV Media Intern

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