BLS Project

APCNA BLS training in Pakistan

One of the core mission of APCNA had been to establish Basic Life Support (BLS) training Centers in Pakistan. On December 18, 2008, APCNA conducted a full day course on BLS for health care providers at the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) House in Karachi. Total of 45 participants successfully completed the course and were given certificate of completion. These participants then were recognized by the Palm Beach County AHA training center and received AHA BLS cards. (See below the APCNA Pilot study on BLS training)

APCNA conducted full-day BLS training session at the PMA house Karachi for the health care providers. APCNA working with PMA over the past few months arranged the required equipment and teaching material to conduct the BLS course at PMA house. Set of 10 Adults, baby and infant mannequins, Ambu bags trainer AED, reading and test material were provided by APCNA. PMA organized the registration of health care providers to take the course.

The morning session consisted of “Train the Trainer” session where six physicians were identified by PMA to receive the training to be the trainer for the subsequent BLS courses at PMA house. Dr. Jamil Akhar was identified as the lead trainer. Other physicians who were trained as trainer included, Dr. Ghulam Nabi & Dr. Saleh Memon from Nawabshah, Dr. Chughtai, Dr. Afsheen Zaidi and Dr. Sultana Zafar. In the morning session these trainers were given the in-depth training to be able to become trainers.

AHA guidelines of BLS training was strictly followed and on successful completion of the course these individuals were given the certificate of completion of the course. The afternoon session was conducted to provide BLS training for the health care provider. Total of 36 individuals registered for the course. Dr. Wajid Baig conducted the course with demonstration of the recommended AHA BLS training video with instruction key points APCNA BLS Training at PMA House explanation in between. This was followed by hands-on session to provide the skills training in BLS. Dr. Wajid Baig, Dr. Immad Sadiq and Dr. Rizwan Karatela supervised the course for the health care providers and also evaluated the new trainer in their skills as the trainer of the course.

The candidates then were tested on the skills portion of the training and were signed off on each skills areas as noted on the AHA skills testing check list. The final session consisted of the written test required to pass for the BLS. In the end, the students were scored and were provided the feedback on the various key points related to the training. The evaluation forms were given to the participants allowed there feedback on the quality of the training course.

All the successful candidates were given the certificate of completion. 

Nadeem Afridi MD FACC 
Chairman, APCNA BLS Training Project 


Results of a Pilot Study on BLS Training in Pakistan

March 2009

Pakistan in many ways is a land of opportunity for the prepared. Although the basic health care delivery system is quite extensive, major gaps exist in basic life support systems. No structure exists in the country for formal training of basic life support (BLS) in Pakistan such that hundreds of lives are lost due to lack of know how and equipment.

Initial survey done by APCNA (Association of Pakistani Cardiologist of North America), APPNE (Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England) with the support of DMC (Disaster Management Center) in Abbott abad, reviled the following information. 1. Basic Life support is not taught in most public (Government) hospitals including large teaching hospitals due to lack of trained staff . 2. No code 99 protocols exist in most large public hospital. 3. Due to the lack of resources and infrastructure to produce training equipment for BLS, it is beyond the approach of most public hospitals in the country to name a few impediments.

APCNA along with the APPNE and DMC created a model in which two central areas were selected as teaching centers, one in Abbott abad and the other in Muzaffarabad. These areas also had an advantage of having a very receptive audience due to the recent disaster. Medical students, doctors, homeopathic students, nurses, paramedics and even house wives and children were att racted to these BLS courses.

BLS equipment was donated through APCNA and APPNE, and training CD’s form the AHA’s BLS courses were used for demonstration. Hands on training was provided by AHA certifi ed staff and students were tested for there skills on mannequins. A written test was administered along the lines of AHA certifi cation for BLS.

So far 5 trainers have been trained to administer BLS. 174 individuals have been certified, including 16 young adults, 105 women and 73 men from 3 medical schools, and 3 hospitals.

APCNA has now obtained a certification agreement from AHA to give BLS credentialing cards to successful trainees in Pakistan. Interestingly, small
organizations and NGO’s have taken a notice of the usefulness of this program and are beginning to provide funding to the DMC in Abbott abad to conduct more BLS training courses at various sites.

Moral of the story is that with litt le motivation, persistence and few thousand dollars, similar programs can be initiated in teaching hospitals throughout the country and many lives may be saved by simple interventions.

Nadeem Afridi, MD FACC
BLS Pilot Project