I’ve just finished the RFU’s Pitch Side Immediate Trauma Care Course (PSITCC) at Twickenham Stadium itself, so I thought I would pop a little bit of info down for anyone who works in and around sport and just jot down what I have learnt. Not just the content but the importance of knowing how to help in the worst case scenario!
I have heard a few people who work in rugby, in and below league level 6 who think that this course is not necessary for us! I even heard a couple of people on the course itself have a moan about its relevance!
I disagree, here’s why…
Working within Level 7 myself (for the mighty Grasshoppers RFC) I am alone on a match day in terms of other medical staff. On the side line it’s just me and my trusty physio bag so I do not have the luxury of doc’s, paramedics or on site surgeons; I do not have defibrillators, medication like adrenaline or morphine, or entonox (gas and air) for my players in pain.
But I tell you knowing what to do when something goes wrong and having the confidence to take control of the situation is SO reassuring to that player and team!
During the course you learn how to deliver CPR in the most dire of situations (ok any first aid course will teach this); it also teaches how to do so with a suspected neck injury (ok some first aid courses may also teach that) but it also teaches how to use a defibrillator, when to administer life savings drugs and how to do so in such a calm and methodical way that you can draw people around you into this emotional state and how to get them to help you to achieve the best possible outcome.
Ok so I now theoretically know how to decompress a lung, give an emergency tracheotomy & how to put all manner of joints back into place; which granted is way beyond my scope of practice (and insurance capabilities!) however if it was a case of watching someone struggle with help far away or have a go to save a life or limb, I know which course of action I’d choose…!
I also now know how to help if I DO have a paramedic or doc there; when working with Middlesex this year, they had all the ear piece gizmos at their Sussex fixture in Crowborough AND they had TWO docs on scene, so if something had necessitated me helping, I could have set up saline drips, prepare needles and cannulas, know how much drugs to administer, to set up medication for saving lives and how to hold a leg with open fractures to save a limb…
So just because I don’t have a £10k medical budget for the year which lets me buy all toys & hire all health professionals under the sun, I do have confidence and knowledge to help me hopefully get any player or person through potentially the worst day of our lives and JUST for that I can’t recommend doing this course enough!
Man that sounds like a sales pitch! But I won’t change a word, learning from the best means learning the best you can take in! (And learning from the best I mean, Mike Bundy (Eng Rugby Doc in SA this year), Andy Smith (In charge of the course and has his fingers in many health profession pies, inc Emergency Medicine Consultant, Doncaster Knights, Yorkshire and Eng counties Doc and the Prem Rugbys Clinical Advisor!), Barney Kenny (the Eng Senior Physio) and Prav Mathema (who was the guy who stayed with Danny Cipriani after his ankle fracture and disclocation at Wasps, who was promoted to Welsh RU Medical Manager 2 years later!) and that’s to name just a few…
I’ve done this course four times now, and I will be doing at every top up opportunity I can get!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any more (impartial) details you may have on this brilliant course!