Orthopedic Solutions to Surgical Access (OSSA) is a misnomer.
At its genesis, founders Geri and Barry Messinger thought their reach would be limited to the Orthopedic department. But as they walked the halls of the San Marcos National Hospital, they couldn’t help but notice the various other departments that were in need of improvement.
If you were to take a stroll through the San Marcos National Hospital you would see OSSA’s fingerprints in just about every department and cog within the hospital. From the purchase of industrial washers and driers used to care for the hospital’s linens to the creation of the only Clubfoot clinic in the whole of the department of San Marcos, OSSA is involved in every aspect of the hospital. Since its origin, OSSA has exclusively focused on improving departments and systems within the hospital. Yet seeing as how the treatment of one’s health shouldn’t always start once they’re in the hospital, OSSA has begun shifting its focus.
In March of 2018, OSSA began training hospital personnel in CPR. Prior to OSSA training, only a handful of hospital personnel were CPR-trained. However, since the CPR training initiative began 127 hospital employees have been trained. Training hospital staff is well and good, however, if CPR is only administered once a patient in need of CPR reaches the hospital, it’s too late.
This is why OSSA has reached out to firefighters that work within the San Marcos department. Thus far a total of 110 firefighters have been trained by OSSA’s own Doctor Romeo Tereta. Dr. Tereta received his CPR certification via the American Health Association, which is just one of two organizations permitted to certify in CPR. At a cost of approximately $100 for certification, this basic CPR course is not a viable option for firefighters, nurses, or even doctors.
While OSSA doesn’t have the authority to certify, it can still provide firefighters with the CPR training they need the save lives. Equipped with 6 adult manikins, 6 infant manikins, 4 child manikins, Advanced life support and procedure-specific specialty manikins, training manuals and videos, CPR masks, 6 training defibrillators, and a video projection equipment, OSSA is able to provide these unsung first responders with the CPR training they need.
Thus far firefighters from every fire station in the department have received both CPR training and have learned the Heimlich maneuver thanks to OSSA. It’s only a matter of team before every firefighter in the department has received CPR training, but this isn’t enough.
OSSA has recently sponsored four firefighters and our own Doctor Tereta to become certified in Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS). As first responders, San Marcos firefighters must learn how to assess and manage prevalent medical conditions with accuracy swiftly and within a brief period of time.
After having become certified, these firefighters will then be able to teach fellow firefighters that cannot afford to make the 6 hours journey to Guatemala City and pay $150 for the AMLS course. As with every OSSA training project, the goal is to make training accessible and affordable for all. In the future OSSA endeavors to train local police and members of the military stationed locally.