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Anyone who has ever conducted fieldwork knows that sometimes things do not go according to plan. Being prepared for the worst-case scenario, a traumatic injury, is a crucial skill that can save lives in the field, where access to emergency medical care is often out of reach.

As part of Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou’s Predator Ecology and Conservation Lab’s Shark Handling Workshop, the Medina Aquarius Program held its first trauma class for researchers at FIU. The class provides an in-depth discussion on traumatic injuries and hands-on training on important skills such as, taking vital signs, proper tourniquet application, the use of hemostatic agents, and responding to bleeding and shock.

The class includes training simulations using training aids and a moulage kit to create injuries that look realistic. This offers students the real-world experience of dealing with traumatic injuries so that if they ever need to use these skills in the field they are prepared.

The first class was a great success.The students and staff who participated were: David Kochan, Melanie Esch, Sarah Luongo, Carlos Perez, Virginia Fourqurean, Jessica Quinlan, Cindy Gonzalez, Devanshi Kasana, Katie Flowers, Laura Garcia, Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou, and Dr. Kirk Gastich.

In collaboration with the Predator Ecology and Conservation Lab, the Medina Aquarius Program plans on conducting this class annually. If you are interested in this training, please contact FIU, Diving Safety Officer, Roger Garcia and Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou for more information on scheduling and pricing.

Special thanks to the Medina Aquarius Program staff, Henry Stark, Otto Rutten, Mark Hulsbeck and Sean Moore, who acted as patients during the training simulations.

Additional thanks to Dr. Demian Chapman and Dr. Micheal Heithaus, the Dean of the College of Arts, Science, & Education, for supporting this new class.