2019 First Aid Response Mission Report
On October 3, 2019, the Isla Medical Foundation (IMF) began its first official mission in General Luna on Siargao Island during the World Surf League’s Siargao International Surfing Cup. This region is under-served with medical care in all areas, but IMF chose to specialize the first mission in first aid and emergency medical response. The team joined the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Island Doctors PH, Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), and the General Luna Rural Health Unit (RHU) to provide emergency medical care to those who needed it during the International Surfing Cup. These medical sub-teams, along with the National Coast Guard, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) came together to provide full support to the people at Cloud 9. The volunteers were welcomed by eager local teams who were interested in learning and sharing first aid techniques and providing the best care to all patients.
In six days, there were a total of 48 documented patient care events from 42 patients. 30 (62%) of those patient complaints were lacerations to hands, feet, head, and eyes. Two of those patients suffered from severe head lacerations that required stitches or staples. One patient required surgery at the Siargao District Hospital in Dapa by the SPMC team and Island Doctors. 11 (23%) of the documented patient events were professional surfers in the competition.
Because the medical team consisted of personnel from five different teams, everyone used this as an opportunity to learn different medical techniques from each other. IMF used an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Trainer and the CPR Mannequin from the MDRRMO to give a CPR/AED demonstration to local surf instructors, hotel workers, and kitchen personnel. An ICE (In Case of Emergency) initiative was also started by IMF to educate the people of General Luna on the emergency numbers of their municipality. When more people know the phone numbers, response time to emergencies may decrease, and lives can be saved.
After the surf competition was complete, the IMF team completed a day of outreach before finishing the mission. The team traveled to different places in General Luna, Burgos, and Pilar to distribute nine clean water filters donated by Mending Kids and Clean Water Ambassadors. Each clean water filter system provides water to 100 people per day (540 gallons) from fresh water sources. This clean water initiative will continue on throughout each mission to Siargao.
42 patients were treated, and the medical team was prepared for any emergency that was possible. There weren’t any patient care events in which there wasn’t a knowledgeable medical practitioner, instrument, or feasible treatment plan available. All the sub-teams worked well together and received support from the local, municipal, and provincial government bodies. With more first aid missions during this busy time, the local healthcare practitioners will be able to receive more hands-on experience to help them expand their knowledge in this field for use during the rest of the year when outside teams are not available. The ICE and clean water initiatives were well-received, and IMF will continue the initiatives throughout all missions.