The Football Association of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FFM) is the latest national association to stage a UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP) workshop as part of UEFA's drive to transmit vital medical good practice and harmonise care across Europe. Expertise is being passed down through the UEFA member national associations in a series of cascaded courses.
The workshop at Skopje's emergency medical skills education and training centre was attended by 22 national-team doctors, and was led by Dr Ilija Stoilov, chairman of the FFM medical committee. Dr Stoilov worked with seven instructors who hold the advanced life support qualification issued by the European Resuscitation Council (ERC). Each doctor present was given training on how to assess and treat critically ill or injured players, as well as on the treatment of players suffering cardiac arrest – the latter treatment according to ERC guidelines.
All participants welcomed the high standard of the course and training equipment, and agreed that the core elements of successful medical care are not only good skills and knowledge, but also the minimum medical requirements which UEFA has introduced for all UEFA competitions. Each doctor successfully completed all parts of the course, including a multiple-choice question paper as well as practical scenario testing comprising the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillators (AED) and on-field stabilisation techniques – log roll, spinal board, cervical collar and trauma case management.
"If the aims of the course are to teach effective treatment techniques, share real football experiences and identify best practice, then the workshop was a complete success, as confirmed by all participants," said Dr Stoilov. "Many thanks to UEFA for providing educational material of excellent quality, both templates and tools."
The FDEP was launched in 2011 with the objective of disseminating advice and information concerning the work undertaken by the modern football doctor. Topics include emergency treatment of players, roles and responsibilities of the football medic, diagnosis and treatment of injuries, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, and anti-doping. Content has been developed in conjunction with the UEFA Medical Committee and sports medicine experts.
Programme content is being filtered down through the member associations via the hosting of events at national level. Consequently, national association medical representatives are being helped to transfer the knowledge shared in senior international football down to the medical staff and club doctors at all levels.
UEFA is lending medical emergency training kit and is supplying educational tools such as technical handbooks, as well as providing trained course delegates to offer invaluable advice, and an extensive online platform with learning facilities.
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