We are getting close to the end of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing number of countries are struggling again with increasing infection numbers. During the past 2 years safety measures, including contact restrictions and wearing masks, became an important part of our daily life. This had a huge impact on the ERC course system as the number of courses dropped significantly in 2020. On the other hand, team training and simulation of managing patients in cardiac arrest, as well as critically ill COVID-19 patients, is more important than ever. Such training promotes a structured approach to emergency care by ensuring the needed safety measures at the same time.
Over the last two years, all ERC instructors have learned to adapt their teaching methods and also the content of ERC courses to the constantly changing conditions. Our blended learning course formats provide the bigger framework for ERC courses. Online course preparation and instructor led webinars support pre-course learning in a safe way. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and increased hygiene measures allow the delivery of on-site courses in a safe and protected environment, much like daily healthcare is performed in all medical institutions. A high vaccination rate (including a 3rd
booster vaccination) amongst candidates and faculty will help to minimise the risk for infection during our courses.
The ERC therefore recommends:
- It is important to continue ERC life support courses during the ongoing pandemic to save lives.
- Structured education is a major link in the formula of survival and without continuous learning healthcare providers are at risk for losing their competencies rapidly.
- Life support courses help increase survival following cardiac arrest - and cardiac arrest patients need our expert help.
- Team factors, leadership and proper communication as taught in ERC courses, prepare the whole team for managing the critically ill patients.
- ERC courses can be adapted to the regional and national, pandemic related, infection precaution regulations.
- ERC courses can and should be tailored to the need of learners and instructors within the framework of the ERC.
Carsten Lott, MME, FERC
ERC Director training and education