ACLS Subject Matter Expert Exchanges in Belize

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Story Number: NNS140702-07Release Date: 7/2/2014 9:13:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

PUNTA GORDA, Belize (NNS) -- The medical Adaptive Force Package (AFP) that supports Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS-JHSV 14) had the opportunity to conduct Subject Matter Expert Exchanges on Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) with Nurses at San Antonio Polyclinic Hospital, June 27.

During the Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Lt. Cmdr. Suzanne Maldarelli, an ACLS instructor, combined her knowledge with the nurses to enhance their skills in treating adult victims of cardiac arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies.

"I was very pleased to see the high quality of knowledge they showed," said Maldarelli." We were able to notice a lot of their challenges so later on, if they are put in a position where these practices need to be used, they will know exactly what to do."

The team spoke about recognizing dangerous and potentially fatal heart rhythms and the strategies for effectively treating them in an isolated rural community.

After the exchanges in the classroom, the team decided they wanted to put their knowledge to the test with a simulated scenario.

The scenario involved a man entering the hospital, speaking and then suddenly collapsing to the floor with no pulse. The team then had to react quickly on a medical simulation mannequin using their ACLS techniques.

"Even though I have done this before there was still a lot of confusion," said Kevin Dawson, a rural health nurse at San Antonio Polyclinic Hospital. "After being able to actually have the hands-on training today, it has made the ACLS processes and what to do so much clearer."

The team completed the scenario with confidence that they would be able to handle a situation in the future.

"Overall the goal is to save lives; whether you're in a different country or speaking a different language, medicine will always be the same language," said Maldarelli.

The team is scheduled to conduct more practical ACLS Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, July 3, in support of SPS-JHSV 14.

SPS-JHSV 14 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

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