Journal: Combat Medicine–The Good and the Bad

07 Health, Cultural Intelligence, Military, Officers Call
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The rapidly emerging/evolving new field medical doctrine is usually termed Tactical Combat Casualty Care.  Not sure how fast it will migrate to civilian sector due to litigation risks.

Washington Post  October 17, 2010  Pg. 1

By David Brown, at Forward Operating Base Wilson

EXTRACT GOOD:  Gone from their repertoire are difficult or time-consuming maneuvers, such as routinely hanging bags of intravenous fluids. On the ground, medics no longer carry stethoscopes or blood pressure cuffs. They are trained instead to evaluate a patient’s status by observation and pulse, to tolerate abnormal vital signs such as low blood pressure, to let the patient position himself if he’s having trouble breathing – and above all to have a heightened awareness that too much medicine can endanger the mission and still not save the patient.

EXTRACT BAD: But something has happened in the usually smooth communication between dispatch center, aircraft and hospital. No ambulance pulls up to the helicopter. Reece and Helfrich wait.  They wait.  The pilots radio the dispatcher that they’ve arrived with a critically injured soldier. Reece and Helfrich, helmeted and inaudible, gesture wildly to people outside the emergency room door to come over.  Two other patients have also recently arrived. But that’s not the problem. There’s an available ambulance 100 yards away. But it doesn’t move.

Phi Beta Iota: What has been done in TACTICAL combat medicine in the ten years of constant war has been nothing short of sensational and inspiring.  NOTE that it is not just technology, but HUMAN enhancement. This has NOT characterized the rest of the US military nor the rest of the US Government which has the added disadvantage of not having the funding nor the education-intelligence-research mindset needed to enter the 21st Century.