Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care (BASIC)

By Dr. Kevin Brown (published online on 1st Jan 2016)

Why did you do the course?
During my time in Emergency Medicine I realised I wanted to know more about the intensive care management of the really sick patients who would soon get swooped away to intensive care after I had seen them in the ED. I particularly wanted to expand my knowledge on non-invasive ventilation and practice with ventilators, as you get fairly limited exposure to this in work.

Who is the course aimed at?
The course is aimed at junior trainees. Most when I did it were EM trainees, a few were first year anaesthetics and there was a GP trainee as well. Most were doing it for interest or because their training meant a stint in ICU.

Give a brief overview of the course
The course is 2 days. There is a manual to read before attending, which covers mostly respiratory physiology and ABGs. There are lectures each morning before lunch and then the class breaks off into different groups of 4 or 5 people for practical sessions. These include ventilator practice, ABG scenarios, airway management, electrolyte disturbances and a session on transporting the intubated and ventilated patient.

There is an MCQ to pass at the end but no practical assessment. The MCQ can be tricky, but working through the manual usually covers most of the difficult questions.

Would you recommend the course?
Yes. This is a great introduction for those with pretty much no experience of intensive care. The faculty were all great and very approachable. Everything is taught in a very relaxed atmosphere and was exactly what I wanted form an introductory course.

When is the course usually run and how much did it cost?
I did the course through the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who run the course internationally in different venues, so there are several courses throughout the year and it’s just a matter of picking one that suits you. The course is roughly £200 but you have to factor in travel and accommodation costs as well.

Where can we find more information?

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