By Kate Hunger
Several faculty members and residents from UT Health San Antonio traveled to Vietnam in April to participate in a national EMS conference held by the Vietnamese Society for Emergency Medicine.
David Wampler, Ph.D., assistant professor of emergency health sciences ,was scheduled to give a lecture on the myths of EMS and teach a workshop on vascular access. Craig Cooley, M.D., MPH, EMT-P, FACEP, assistant professor of the Department of Emergency Medicine, who has been involved in efforts to improve emergency medicine in Vietnam, coordinated the EMS section of the conference. Joining Wampler and Cooley at the conference were Steven Moore, M.D., clinical professor, Kaori Tanaka, D.O., MSPH, assistant clinical professor, Damian Liebhardt, D.O., EMS fellow, Leanne Dolson, chief resident and Patrick DiCosimo, resident, all from the Department of Emergency Medicine.
The group also took educational materials and supplies for patient care, including resuscitation equipment and EMT supplies, said Wampler, who attended last year’s conference.
“Vietnamese EMS is where the United States’ EMS was back in the 70s,” Wampler said. “So this is really more of a humanitarian effort to try to elevate the level of care they are delivering to their patients. The direct benefit to the University is, it’s establishing an international presence and it’s engagement with the Vietnamese community and hopefully it will save some lives.”
Cooley said he hopes to continue to expand the involvement of UT Health San Antonio in developing EMS and emergency medicine in Vietnam across all schools and disciplines.
“My dream is to have a fairly robust, continuous relationship with our department and other departments for global health,” Cooley said.
The conference was held April 22-27 in Hue City in central Vietnam. Last year’s conference was held in Hanoi, a city of 3 million people served by just 14 ambulances. Wampler noted that in Vietnam, emergency calls are not centralized through one number.
“If you need fire and EMS you need to make two separate phone calls,” Wampler said.