March 28, 2006

Medical amazements...

Fascinating article on the new medial skills of our military doctors and nurses. I was struck by the way the Air Force has turned C-17's into flying hospitals...

...On a recent C-17 medical evacuation flight from Balad to Landstuhl, 32 patients rested comfortably, many of them in litters stacked three high on aluminum racks. Among them: burn patients; an amputee; soldiers with broken bones, a shoulder sprain and back injuries; one with a blood disorder; two psychiatric cases; and a servicemember stricken with lung cancer. Two in critical condition were hooked to ventilators.

Like flight attendants, the nurses, medical technicians and doctors circulated throughout the plane, offering water, oxygen and medication to relieve the pain. They also kept a close eye on monitors.

"The civilians are always amazed at how we do this," said Air Force Reserve Maj. Ken Winslow, 49, a flight nurse from Issaquah, Wash.

About 65 hours after he was shot — and after a stop in Germany — Mundo arrived at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington. From there, he headed to Walter Reed....

Other things:

....Made with an extract from shrimp cells, the HemCon bandage creates a tight bond that stopped the bleeding almost instantly. Seconds later, Mundo, 24 — a widower from Colorado Springs and the father of two young girls — was airlifted to the Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, 10 miles away. He got there in five minutes....

....A portable heart-lung machine developed in Germany and not yet approved for use by U.S. doctors is helping wounded soldiers breathe.It is small — not much larger than a laptop computer — and connects to blood vessels in the groin to filter out poisonous carbon dioxide while filtering in oxygen. Military doctors in Balad also are using an expensive clotting drug, licensed for use on hemophiliacs, to help stem massive hemorrhaging in troops torn apart by roadside bombs....
Posted by John Weidner at March 28, 2006 6:55 AM
Weblog by John Weidner