News: STP sailors pass on lessons learned in Afghanistan
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – For sailors training to be part of a mobile emergency room, known as a Shock Trauma Platoon, every day can be a new experience and a lesson in saving lives.
To prepare for their upcoming deployment this fall, sailors with Bravo Company, 1st Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, are learning from their counterparts who returned from Afghanistan within the last year. As part of their training, they helped set up a Shock Trauma Platoon here, July 14.
“The big hospitals are few and far between in Afghanistan,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kirk R. Atkinson, instructor, Advanced Training Group, 1st Med. Bn., CLR-15, 1st MLG. “The [areas of operation] are getting bigger, and the mobility of STPs means we can give care in any area experiencing combat.”
When a coalition service member gets injured on the battlefield, the first level of care is the corpsman, who is usually on the scene, but without larger medical equipment, the care he provides can sometimes be only enough to keep his patient alive just a little while longer. Once the causality is evacuated, he is taken to an STP to be stabilized.
To prepare the less experienced sailors for saving lives, ATG trains Bravo Company on basic corpsman skills and things that are unique to STPs, such as setting up a small complex of tents to be used as a field hospital.
“[ATG is] getting them familiar with popping up tents,” said Lt. Kelly A. Trout, officer in charge, ATG, 1st Medical Bn. “They’ve done a couple evolutions, but this is when they are able to view the STP working as a team. They are learning from the ones who have done it before, in theater.”
According to Trout, a STP can begin operating on a patient almost immediately after arriving on a forward operating base, but that requires a lot of practice because setting up an emergency room can be intricate.
“It’s complex in that there’s a lot of moving parts,” said Trout, 36, from Central Point, Ore. “However, doctrine says you can unload everything, set up tents and treat your first patient within one hour.”
Within one hour, the sailors have to set up their tents, generators, and all the tools used in the operating rooms. Depending on the surrounding area, the STP may need to be even faster than that. Once set up, the corpsmen and doctors are ready to begin saving lives.
“You could be working on something like a twisted ankle one minute to a quadruple amputee you’re fighting to keep alive the next, said Atkinson, 25, from Aubrey, Texas. “If you have competent corpsmen like you do in Med. Battalion, the situation could be made simple.”
Date Posted:07.19.2011 16:04
Location:CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
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