Prehosptial Emergency Extracorporeal Life Support Course
The PEELS course was a new addition to our suite of courses in 2018/19. We recognise that there is significant potential in the delivery of ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) as rapidly as possible after someone has suffered a cardiac arrest, under specific circumstances. ECMO involves using a mini heart bypass machine to replace the role of the heart, where conventional methods of resuscitation (chest compressions, defibrillation) have not been effective. The machine requires the placement of very large drips (the size of knitting needles, and larger) into the major blood vessels during cardiac arrest so that the machine can then pump blood around the body while the heart rests. This treatment is performed in hospital, and in some centres outside of the hospital setting.
The Sub30 trial is being undertaken by our teams and aims to deliver the ECMO procedure outside of hospital in London.
The course helps our very experienced doctors and paramedics to prepare for delivering this procedure, in partnership with experts at the Barts Cardiac Centre.
A useful academic paper was authored by one of our BSc students, Callum Twohig. The link to this paper can be found here.
It is important to remember that ECMO is intended for use in a relatively small but important number of patients. The core skills of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation are essential actions that every member of the public needs to be able to undertake should someone suffer a cardiac arrest. These interventions truly save lives. CPR and defibrillation can be delivered much more rapidly with the use of the GoodSam app.