CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Sailors with Medical Logistics Company, 4th Medical Battalion, and 2nd Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marines Logistics group trained with a new device for the Portable Patient Transport Life Support System program here Nov. 5 to 7. The training was coordinated by the Combat Support Systems (CSS) program management office of Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC).
PPTLSS was designed as a lightweight, mobile replacement for the current bulky life support systems used for serious injuries. A ventilator, physiological monitor, suction device, oxygen tanks, and a platform to mount the equipment and secure it to the litter weigh more than 200 pounds together, while PPTLSS weighs approximately 55 pounds and can be carried by a single person.
Although service members will still bring oxygen tanks with them, the number is reduced from 12 to four, which presents a much lower risk when the device is placed aboard transport aircraft.
“The best thing about this equipment is that it takes five systems and it integrates them into a single device,” said Shannon Eby, a CSS project officer. “It allows easier access to the patient, so if there’s a problem and the nurse has to attend to the patient while they’re en route, [he or she can].”
The first day of training consisted of classes on the operation of the equipment for the sailors of 2nd and 4th Medical Bn. The second and third days prepared sailors with MedLog for the scheduled 90-day, 180-day and 365-day upkeep, as well as any unscheduled maintenance.
“Our goal is that once [the sailors] get in the field, they’ll be comfortable using the system, being able to identify and troubleshoot problems and perform basic scheduled maintenance tasks as far as changing filters and certain components that have shorter lifespans and need to be replaced to keep the system operational,” said Derek Watt, a Toronto, Canada, native and manager of testing for the defense contractor supporting CSS.
The PPTLSS allows ease of use and mobility in one of the most crucial times for a casualty after receiving a serious injury. It can easily be transferred from the ground, to a vehicle, to an aircraft and provide monitoring and support for several hours.
“I think it’s going to be a great piece of gear,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler W. Harris, a Norwood, Mo., native, and field medical technician with 2nd Medical Bn. “Once we transfer over a patient, we won’t have to grab five systems – just this one and we’ll take off. It’s going to greatly impact the mission.”