News: 3rd Medical Battalion sailors enhance capabilities
Story by Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano
OKINAWA, Japan - In a combat zone, when rounds fly, chaos will ensue and injuries are likely to occur. When service members are wounded in the line of duty, it is critical to have a skilled medical force that can rapidly and properly provide the treatment necessary to save a life and ensure the best recovery scenario possible.
Sailors with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, participated in a forward resuscitative care course July 29 - Aug. 1 at the Simulated Trauma Advanced Training Center, Camp Foster.
The objective of the course was to familiarize corpsman in the areas of collecting, clearing, treating, holding and evacuating casualties in the Navy’s forward-deployed echelon, while in support of Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerricson B. Peralta, an instructor with the center and hospital corpsman with the battalion.
“The forward resuscitative surgical system is an eight-person team, composed of two general surgeons, two surgical technicians, a basic corpsman, an intensive care unit nurse, an independent duty corpsman, and an anesthesiologist,” said Peralta.
An experienced team can assemble an FRSS in approximately one hour.
“The system is equipped to carry-out 18 surgeries in a 48-hour time span without a resupply,” said Peralta. “The surgical procedures executed in an FRSS depend on the number of casualties, resources available, current tactical situation and the patient’s physiologic status.”
A shock trauma platoon is attached to each FRSS to assist with initial resuscitation and triage.
“In the FRSS, we prefer life over limb,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles D. Baker, an anesthesiologist assigned to the battalion. “We want to have certainty that our injured are stabilized prior to moving them to a higher level of care.”
The STP also increases the FRSS’s ability to hold and sustain patients following a procedure, as it acts as a basic operating area for the injured that are postoperatively stable, according to Baker.
During a scenario, the corpsmen worked as a cohesive unit to provide medical attention quickly and efficiently to the mock victims.
“The medical staff is composed of various ranks and medical job fields,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Alyssa D. Glaze, a corpsman with the battalion. “However, in this field when we are treating patients, our lines of communication stay open regardless of who is working together.”
Continuous training and dedication of each service member allows for an expedient, operational-ready unit, according to Glaze.
“I love what I do, and I am honored to play a part for III MEF in enhancing our capabilities that can be employed in a (deployed) or garrison environment, so we can treat injured service members under pressure quickly and flawlessly,” said Glaze.