Learn more about how Crashsavers is adapting the simulators to Resource-Constrained areas, their targeted audience and accessibility.
Adoption in Resource-Constrained Settings
There is clear evidence of the need for formalized training focused on hemorrhage control in Guatemala. Our training schema is predicated on delivering a low-cost, easy-to-assemble physical simulation model with an accompanying smartphone or computer application. Importantly, the low cost of supplies, ease of assembly, and lack of reliance on a constant Internet connection contribute to the broad accessibility of our course.
Furthermore, we intend to continue the training we have initiated at the Bomberos Voluntarios School where basic EMT training is conducted. This training site permits wide exposure to our course, allowing for the additional recruitment of many volunteer firefighters. We can further expand the reach and dissemination of our training course across the country through our team’s connections with many other Guatemalan medical departments. A portion of this grant will be allocated to outreach and education.
Guatemala, like many low- and middle-income countries, lacks an organized EMS system. Moreover, the infrastructure for prehospital care is poorly established. Currently, all prehospital care is provided by 3 independent firefighting organizations that are largely composed of volunteers. Transport vehicles and other medical equipment are rarely available, and oftentimes, firefighters buy necessary equipment at their own expense.
In addition to the inadequacy of a formalized prehospital infrastructure, medical training and education are lacking for prehospital providers. Anyone with a 6th grade education is eligible to become a firefighter in Guatemala and must subsequently complete a 2-week, 160-hour course endorsed by USAID. One of the firefighter training programs offers an optional 2.5-year EMT course, though very few actually complete this. Due to the training deficiency and volunteer status of most of the firefighters providing prehospital care, the majority of prehospital care consists of an erratic “scoop and run” approach rather than a systematic process to obtain vitals, perform adjunctive procedures, and provide significant stabilization of the patient prior to transport to definitive care.
Ultimately, 8,500 firefighters who have basic first aid training, have little to no equipment available, and work in a poorly organized system are responsible for tending to the emergency needs of 18 million Guatemalans. These providers can greatly benefit from formalized training in hemorrhage control techniques.
All of the content for our surgical training module was created within the regulations of the GSTC Discovery Award. We have been exceedingly mindful to use only open access platforms that are free of charge, available on multiple platforms (ie. Android, Apple), and without licenses or paywall requirements for access.
Additionally, the ability to create and use different versions of our physical simulation models removes the barrier of possible electrical or technical difficulties with the sensor-based model. We intend to translate the educational content and instructional manuals into more languages aside from English and Spanish so that we can increase reachability and accessibility.