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“Save a Life Today” courses from Improve International launching in 2022 in partnership with RECOVER

The initiative aims to highlight the importance of appropriate, regular, evidence-based resuscitation training to improve patient survival rates

Global veterinary education specialist Improve International is launching a series of “Save A Life Today” (SALT) courses in partnership with the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER) in early 2022. The initiative aims to highlight the importance of appropriate, regular, evidence-based resuscitation training to improve patient survival rates. 

The two-day SALT courses are led by RECOVER-certified instructors and are interprofessional. Vets and nurses are encouraged to attend together, as well as individually, so that they can go back to practice and share their learning as a team. During the first day, delegates cover the practical aspects of resuscitation, while the second day focuses on effective leadership during and after CPR and the critical care of patients that survive CPR, with an emphasis on techniques used in general practice. 

The RECOVER initiative was launched by a team of veterinary emergency and critical care specialists with the goal of developing and disseminating the first true evidence-based veterinary CPR guidelines.  It is now the internationally recognized authority in veterinary CPR.  Through its training, RECOVER aims to remove the stress and uncertainty from CPR by making it systematic and organized, leading to better team satisfaction and patient outcomes. 

The RECOVER courses for Improve International are led by Emily Thomas BA VetMB FHEA DACVECC DECVECC MRCVS Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care at Dick White Referrals, supported by Kathryn Latimer, DipAVN, DipHE, CVN, CertEd, CertVN (ECC), RVN, head of nursing services at North West Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire. 

Commenting, Charlotte French, Operational Head for Improve International in the UK, said: “When CPR is attempted, it can be stressful and distressing for those involved. It’s also a situation in which clear thinking and teamwork can save lives. “Through our partnership with RECOVER, we hope to increase the competence and confidence of veterinary staff globally in conducting CPR and to facilitate the building of team-working which will radiate into other areas of day-to-day practice.  

“We hope that UK veterinary professionals will be inspired to support this initiative and update their CPR skills.  Over time, we hope that this will result in a positive impact on pet survival rates in the UK and, in due course, around the world.” 

Emily Thomas added: “Resuscitating a patient from cardiac arrest is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a veterinary professional. I vividly remember the first patient that I helped resuscitate successfully, which was a miniature schnauzer in anaphylactic shock after a bumblebee sting that went on to do well. The most difficult part was managing him after his recovery, and I learned a lot from this. I’ve also had my fair share of unsuccessful attempts, but despite the sadness I still find it rewarding knowing that I did everything I could for that patient and for their owner.

“CPR training for vets and nurses has traditionally focused on individual tasks such as chest compressions. However, we’re now realising that human factors such as organisation, teamwork, and leadership are equally integral to success. This is an area of particular interest for me, and I’m hoping to bring some simple, evidence- based ideas to this course to help people improve these non-clinical aspects in their own practices.”

An online training module with RECOVER is completed prior to attending the face-to-face SALT course. Places are limited in order to ensure sufficient one to one attention. Successful delegates will become Basic and Advanced Life Support RECOVER Rescuer Certified and accrue a total of 20.5 hours CPD.  

Improve International’s SALT delegates will also receive access to the company’s world-leading e-learning platform, to enable them to access additional resources, reflect on their learning and share ideas with peers via its discussion forum. 

Following the UK series, Improve International plans to extend its RECOVER training to the Nordic regions and eventually to all of the countries in which it delivers veterinary CPD around the world. 

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