Army medics give troops in Basra "the best care they can"

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Army medics give troops in Basra "the best care they can"

Post by Guest on Tue 18 Mar 2008, 5:22 pm

The support offered by UK Medical Group inside and outside Basra's Contingency Operating Base (COB) allows for the worst-case scenario, so no matter how bad things get, life-saving procedures can be started as quickly as possible. Report by Karen Thomas.

In southern Iraq, specially adapted Bulldog vehicles, the latest battlefield injury treatments and a state-of-the-art hospital with hi-tech diagnostic equipment are all at the disposal of wounded troops.

Emergency first aid - First step to recovery
Combat medical technicians Privates "Shaggy" Ronson and Dexter Brown, Royal Army Medical Corps, travel outside the Contingency Operating Base in the back of a Bulldog vehicle modified as an ambulance in direct support of soldiers on operations. They are ready to take medical charge of an emergency, deal with the injury, stabilise the casualty and get them back to the hospital and into the hands of the specialists. They put their own lives at risk to save those of the troops.

Private "Shaggy" Ronson, RAMC, said:

"I was out with 5 Rifles at the Shatt Al-Arab Hotel on TELIC 8, which was my first tour. I was attached to the infantry so I got a lot of experience as an infanteer as well as medically. There were so many casualties and LCpl Dennis Brady, RAMC, was killed.

"I also treated Cpl Mark Sutcliffe, 2 R Anglian [who lost his leg in an RPG attack], so it was good to see him having gone through rehabilitation and now doing things."

Private Dexter Brown, RAMC, said:

"It's my first tour. It's enlightening and I was shaking at first to see someone hurt. At the time I got on with the job but afterwards it dawns on you that people die out here.

"It becomes real to you. It does build your confidence but you do learn every time you are called out. For example, I have been called to a road traffic accident and seen something new but we have the training to deal with it."

From ER to OR
Whisked from the back of the Bulldog or ambulance if the casualty is on the COB the patient is calmly but rapidly passed into the emergency room of the hospital. The priority is keeping the casualty stable as their wounds and injuries are assessed and the best course of treatment is decided.

A top-notch team of experienced trauma surgeons are on hand for serious and penetrating wounds. Medics in the intensive therapy unit (ITU) watch over the acutely ill and injured to see them out of danger and set them firmly on the road to recovery. The hospital is also equipped with a CT scanner, a 24-hour service that sends images via satellite phone to a diagnostic centre for a rapid assessment of the extent and nature of the injury.

Corporal Christina Hall,Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corp (QARANC), ITU nurse, said:

"This is my second tour but it's much the same as TELIC 5 when I was at Shaibah Logistic Base. It can be quite demanding with the patients in a bad way, which is why we do specialist training we're ready for anything. I enjoy being here with a lot of people and looking after the patients but I hope I won't be dealing with too many."

The consultant-led teams have brought advanced and focused treatment very close to the point at which the soldier gets wounded or hurt. Major Tess Grieves, QARANC and Officer Commanding of the hospital, described her team, led by 1 Close Support Medical Regiment, as a "robust, joined-up organisation":

"It's great to know you've got fantastic staff working for you," she said. "And it's also a morale boost for the guys out on the ground to know we are looking after their comrades and giving them the best care that we can."

Source: MOD -


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