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A model of prehospital trauma training for lay persons devised in Africa
  1. M A Tiska1,
  2. M Adu-Ampofo2,
  3. G Boakye2,
  4. L Tuuli2,
  5. C N Mock3
  1. 1School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, USA
  2. 2Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
  3. 3Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, seattle, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 M Tiska
 3345 N Street, Sacramento, 95816, USA;


Objectives: Few low income countries have emergency medical services to provide prehospital medical care and transport to road traffic crash casualties. In Ghana most roadway casualties receive care and transport to the hospital from taxi, bus, or truck drivers. This study reports the methods used to devise a model for prehospital trauma training for commercial drivers in Ghana.

Methods: Over 300 commercial drivers attended a first aid and rescue course designed specifically for roadway trauma and geared to a low education level. The training programme has been evaluated twice at one and two year intervals by interviewing both trained and untrained drivers with regard to their experiences with injured persons. In conjunction with a review of prehospital care literature, lessons learnt from the evaluations were used in the revision of the training model.

Results: Control of external haemorrhage was quickly learnt and used appropriately by the drivers. Areas identified needing emphasis in future trainings included consistent use of universal precautions and protection of airways in unconscious persons using the recovery position.

Conclusion: In low income countries, prehospital trauma care for roadway casualties can be improved by training laypersons already involved in prehospital transport and care. Training should be locally devised, evidence based, educationally appropriate, and focus on practical demonstrations.

  • road traffic accidents
  • developing countries
  • prehospital care
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    Photo 1 Drivers practice the ABCs of the primary survey on each other.


    Photo 3 Drivers practive applying bandages and improvised splints on each other.

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