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Defence Force helps launch surgical boot camp

Armed New Zealand Defence Force personnel provided a dramatic feature at the New Zealand Association of General Surgeons’ annual conference in March at Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre.

In a simulated medical evacuation outside Claudelands, surgeons assembled to watch a demonstration of trauma assessment and response in battle field conditions after an enemy attack.  Senior medical personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force were on hand to discuss assessment strategies and the management of injured soldiers with the surgeons after the event. 

While there are clear differences between civilian and military trauma situations, the need to make a swift diagnosis with limited resources is directly relevant to hospital surgeons, particularly those working in smaller rural centres.  Conference delegates were particularly interested in the different perspective brought by the Defence Force, including the military understanding of the psychological impacts of trauma.

Aside from trauma surgery, this year’s conference also focused on acute upper gastrointestinal, another topic of broad relevance to conference delegates from all parts of New Zealand’s medical system.  Keynote speakers from Britain and Australia were complemented by a number ofNew   Zealand presenters covering diagnostic and management challenges and recent surgery advances. 

The Association of General Surgeons meet annually in different locations and this year was its first visit to Claudelands.  The venue’s facilities received enthusiastic endorsement from the surgeons who attended.

Workz4U Limited Conference Manager, Lynda Booth commented, “Claudelands was perfectly configured for our conference.  Most of the time delegates were together in plenary meetings but the facility had distinct areas that were appropriate for professional presenters and participants to use in break-out sessions,” Booth added.

The General Surgeons’ conference will be followed by several medical conferences at Claudelands, including the annual scientific meeting of the New Zealand Pain Society and the annual conferences of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Science and the Institute of Medical Radiation Technology.

These conferences reflect the importance Hamilton plays in the national medical system.  As a level one national trauma centre,WaikatoHospitalhas the highest throughput of blunt trauma patients in the country and also plays an important role as a teaching hospital.

Murray Jeffrey, Director of Business Development for Hamilton City’s Event Facilities,   said “these conferences illustrate the region’s strength in the healthcare and medical sector and we are proud to be able to host these events at Claudelands.”