Wednesday, May 03, 2017- In April, the Republic of Palau Ministry of Health (MOH) hosted the Micronesia Anaesthetic Refresher Course (MARC). The course provided the medical workforce of Micronesia, specifically members of the Micronesia Anaesthetic Society, with continuing medical education about the safe delivery of anesthesia.


Lecturers for the workshop were Dr. Arthur Vartis (Convenor and Committee Member of the Overseas Development and Education Committee of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists), Dr. Stuart Lavender (Australian Society of Anaesthetists), Dr. Norifumi Kuratani (Japanese Society of Anaesthesiologists), and Dr. Chihiro Imai (Japanese Society of Anaesthesiologists). Participants included medical professionals from the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The course covered topics such as Anaesthetic Crisis Management, Critical Bleeding Airway Protocols, Perioperative Medicine, Obstetric Emergencies, Paediatric Anaesthesia & Ultrasound Guided Vascular Access, and Nerve Blocks.

During the course, the lecturers donated eleven (11) Lifebox Pulse Oximeters to the region of Micronesia. The donation was made courtesy of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (ASA). A pulse oximeter is a device that monitors oxygen levels in patients and will give an audible alarm if that level falls below a pre-set value. It is now routinely used in anesthesia. It is well known that relatively short periods without oxygen can be rapidly fatal to a patient. Early detection of a fall in oxygen levels by the pulse oximeter has saved many lives the world over.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the safe delivery of anesthesia as a key pillar in addressing the global burden of surgical disease. One of its challenges is supporting a skilled workforce with access to continuing medical education. The Micronesia Refresher Anaesthetic Refresher Course aims to address this challenge. MARC is the only regular medical education course offered in Micronesia regarding a medical specialty. The Australian Society of Anaesthetists has convened the refresher course since 1994. [/restrict]