JOIN Clinical Working Group meets in Brussels

Brussels, Belgium, 04. November 2017

On Saturday 4 November, the medical group of JOIN came together in the Brussels office. The physicians discussed the European Resuscitation Council (ECR) guidelines on first aid, the new Medical Student Exchange programme of JOIN and a mobile first aid application for citizens. The participants also explored the possibility of creating a first aid manual together.

From left to right: Leonard Fried (JOIN Office), Dr Christian Emich (Johanniter Austria), Dr Paul Hunt (James Cook University Hospital), Joachim Berney (JOIN Office), Dr Ian Greaves (St John Ambulance), Dr Jörg Oberfeld (Johanniter Germany), Dr Sarah Vecchione (SOGIT), Dr Rainer Thell (Johanniter Austria), Dr Davide Laetzsch (SOGIT), Dr Andreas Tanos (St John Cyprus)

All pictures by Johanniter International  

The meeting counted with the participation of nine representatives from Austria, Cyprus, England, Germany, Italy and Jerusalem. In addition, Dr Paul Hunt from James Cook University Hospital in the UK was invited as an external speaker to present the first aid mobile application citizenAID. The app is designed to help first responders in extreme situations such as shootings, stabbings or bombings to provide first aid before professional help arrives. The clinical group decided to explore an endorsement of the app and to seek further collaboration with its developers in the future. 

Ahmed Al-Jabir, a medical student from King’s College London and long-time volunteer at St John Ambulance, joined the afternoon session online to talk about his experience as the first participant of the new Medical Student Exchange programme of JOIN. Ahmed spent two weeks each at the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and at the Johanniter hospital in Stendal, Germany. He was impressed with the way he was welcomed in both places and described his stays as both medically and interculturally enriching. 

The Clinical Working Group discusses the European Resuscitation Council (ECR) guidelines on first aid

The group also discussed the survey responses of national JOIN representatives on the use of ERC first aid practices in their countries. Overall, there is a very large consensus on most practices with slightly different methods taught on issues such as bleeding control, the use of supplemental oxygen and the splinting of fractures. In addition, the chair of the clinical group, Dr Ian Greaves, proposed to create a common first aid manual, which could be translated into different languages and therefore used all over Europe or even globally by St John enterprises. 

The group decided to take up the idea of drafting a first aid manual and will further discuss it, notably during an extraordinary meeting in Lignano, Italy, on 6 and 7 June in the run-up to the Annual General Meeting. The participants also decided to invite representatives of the ERC to Italy to talk about their first aid guidelines and to explore a potential cooperation in the future.