• Keeping up the PAIC

    by Jess Morton. Last modified: 29/11/14

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    September saw the highly anticipated Paramedics Australasia International conference convene on the Gold Coast, Australia.

    I attended the Neonatal resuscitation pre-conference workshop which was headed up by A/Prof Helen Liley from the Mater Mothers Hospital in Queensland and support by Belinda Flanagan, a paramedic & midwife ( @Mbpelf5 )

    It was a hands-on experience as delegates moved around different stations which included airway, delivering a bub with shoulder dystocia, care of the premature baby & a poignant station discussing the care of both Mum & baby after stillbirth or miscarriage.

    Take home points

    • Sniffing positions for neonates. Remember the difference in the anatomy of the occiput.

    • Do not routinely bulb -suction the neonates nose & mouth if baby has begun respirations on their own. It can cause more harm than good.
    • Keep babies warm & prevent drafts as much as possible. Premature babies can be placed in Glad bags (with a hole cut out for head). Glad wrap may also be used if necessary.

    • Begin resuscitation on room air, not oxygen for neonates & preemie bubs.

    • Determining a babys’ perfusion status by colour is a poor indicator of oxygenation. CHECK THE SATS!
    • Don’t be distracted by transporting and moving into the ED when in charge of the babys airway. Remain focused and keep the seal! Effective ventilation will often achieve ROSC before compressions needed.
    • Delay cord clamping for at least one minute. The concept remains controversial, however delayed cord clamping has now become routine practice at Mater Mothers hospital. This is unless baby needs urgent & rigorous resuscitation.


    • Easiest way to ascertain the neonates heart rate is by feeling the umbilical cord. If it is not pulsating, then the left side of the chest. (Tap it out too if that helps you keep up)
    • When transporting a Mum & her baby who has died ( through early miscarriage or stillbirth), wrap the baby up as you normally would. Give bub to mum to hold and talk as you normally would. Try & normalise the situation as best you can. Be clear on language. “Your baby has died”.
    • Document the condition, texture and appearance of the placenta.

    #PAIC2014 was a colourful conference full of big personalities, eye-catching uniforms and a myriad of accents, all set amongst the palm trees of the sunny Gold coast.

    Aside from the strong academic plenary program and concurrent sessions, PAIC was about coming together to share ideas. Friendships were made and old ones rekindled. Colleagues swapped stories & formed new working relationships.

    We shan’t forget the many Australian & New-Zealand student & qualified paramedics who were recruited by the London Ambulance service as part of their trip to Australia for PAIC.

    The exhibition hall was abuzz with chatter, freebies, demos and of course food. Morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea were all provided. Ferno launched their new stretcher the #Inx at PAIC and it certainly received a workout both in the expo hall and during the exciting innagural #FernoSim.

    The FernoSim is a story in itself. It warrants its own post. I hope to convince some of the competitors to have a chat about their experience for later on.

    It was excellent to see some speakers stepping away from the traditional and may I suggest tedious presentation style of standing behind a lectern with several involved slides. Many speakers like Rob Lawrence, Victoria Brazil (well known for her powerhouse presentations at SMACC), Professor Brian MacGuire, John Brogden, Dr Graham Jay & more came out from the lectern, spoke with minimal or no “death by powerpoint” slides & really engaged with the audience.

    This presentation quality really took PAIC to a new level of professionalism & education. My hope is that as the PAIC conference grows each year, the quality of invited speakers will reflect how the delegates learn best.

    Above all for me, being invited onto the media team for #PAIC2014 was such a privilege and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to participate and watch the amazing Paramedics Australasia and Ferno Australia teams work tirelessly for a year to bring such a world standard event to paramedics.

    It was lovely to catch up with my friends and have drinks with new ones.

    #PAIC2015 will be held in Adelaide, South Australia 1-3October.


    South Australia is wine country. Book your leave, talk to the many locals about what to see and do…and drink when you visit. The new team have promised you will “arrive curious & leave inspired”.

    You can also read the review by Rob Lawrence from EMS world


    See you all in Adelaide next year for what I know will be an even better conference.


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    Jess Morton

    Jess Morton

    Student Paramedic.
    I am an Australian undergraduate Student Paramedic. I study part-time as I am also Mum to 2 beautiful boys. I am passionate about Friendship, Family & #FOAMed. I am keen to get more experienced as well as student Paramedics into the FOAM world to enable better access to education to result in better patient care. My interests include photography, thick shakes and sleeping in past 6am.

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