The sixth annual Caribbean conference on Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC) was held at the Jolly Beach Resort October 5th to the 7th.

The two-day conference was sponsored by American University of Antigua College of Medicine, the American Heart Association, the Inter-American Heart Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, Manipal University of India, WorldPoint ECC Inc, and supported by the government of Antigua and Barbuda through the Ministry of Health. International, regional and local delegates attended the conference.

Speaking on behalf of the AUA, VP of Academic Affairs & Dean and head of the local organizing committee, Dr. Peter Bell, summed up the conference’s broad objectives as to provide a scientific forum for regional health care providers, to promote the idea of emergency cardiac care and most importantly to provide a platform for professional exchange beyond the lectures and workshops. Dr. Bell opined that with networking ‘the problems you have, that you solve in your schools, in your universities, in your services in your country, will help us to solve our problems in Antigua & Barbuda.”

AUA is pleased to be a major sponsor because, he said, the conference supports the goals of the university: to promote and improve health care, not only in Antigua & Barbuda but in the region. Other benefits of the conference highlighted by Bell are the multiple medical workshops and presentations designed to improve medical knowledge of the attendees and the opportunity provided for participation in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support workshops facilitated by instructors from the Mayo Clinic.

The event was an excellent training opportunity for medical (from students to consultants) and paramedical personnel in the region to be exposed to current modalities in resuscitation and advanced care of the ill. The scope of the conference ranged from basic first responder treatment and management, to in hospital protocols and procedures. The attendees included doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical, and other emergency and intensive care practitioners, who benefited not just from the conference presentations, but also the workshops and skills training.

The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer who told the delegates that it was extremely timely, noting that the growing problem of non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean has captured the attention of the heads of government from around the region. A specially convened summit of Heads was recently held in Trinidad to address the issue and according to the PM declarations had been made for a way forward in tackling the problem.

The PM said he hoped that through the relationship with AUA and the partnerships forged at the conference that Antigua & Barbuda could join Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago in becoming the third international emergency cardiac care training center in the Caribbean.