(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday 26 August, 2019): InterHealth Canada – TCI Hospital conducted a special presentation on heart health to over 50 young basketball camp participants and donated a life-saving medical device to the TCI Government Department of Sports. The initiative was held on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex on Providenciales. The Medtronic Lifepak automated external defibrillator or AED was acquired via the assistance of the health care company’s visiting consultant Cardiologist, Doctor Himanshu Shukla.
AED’s are used to analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm in a case of sudden cardiac arrest. These medical devices can cost several thousand dollars and is commonly located in sporting arenas and other actively used public spaces as a precaution. Persons can be stabilized via the use of an AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the arrival of an ambulance.
The Medtronic Lifepak AED is easy-to-use with a digital monitor, low maintenance and lightweight for easy portability. InterHealth Canada –TCI Hospital, Registered Nurse Carl Lewis, conducted an interactive simulation to the basketball camp participants on how to deploy an AED with trainee equipment and mannequins. Camp participants were captivated and quickly grasped the importance of the medical device.
Director of the TCI Government Department of Sports, Jarrett Forbes expressed appreciation for the major donation. Forbes stated: “On behalf of the Department of Sports, Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, we wish to extend a big thank you to Doctor Shukla and InterHealth Canada for making this venture possible. Users of the facility can be assured that the department has a valuable device that can save lives and our staff are trained to use an AED. If anything occurs while using the facility, call 911, call for help, and request an AED. Once the building is open, staff are present who are trained to use the device.”
InterHealth Canada Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Nikira John steered the AED handover and gave remarks on behalf of the organization. John revealed that another special entity would be the recipient of a similar AED donation in the near future. The health care company’s visiting consultant Cardiologist, Doctor Shukla also stated: “There is a higher incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in higher congregation locations and providing access to these types of medical equipment and understanding their usage can save lives in an unfortunate case.”
The second component of the initiative featured a health discussion. During the 1-on-1 with the young basketball camp participants, Doctor Shukla emphasized measures to prevent and identify health issues at an early age. Hydration measures are often underappreciated. Therefore, Doctor Shukla stressed the significance of adequate nutrition, active lifestyles to avoid obesity and appropriate hydration in a humid country especially given the high levels of exertion associated with athletic games. Pre-game and post-game health management is essential to avoid any musculoskeletal injuries, and these include warm-up exercises and annual screenings, stated Doctor Shukla.
The program is the Don Kelbrick’s Drills and Skills Basketball Camp and is hosted by the Edward C Gartland Youth Centre in conjunction with the TCI Government Department of Sports.