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    Afghan National Army medics make major improvements to brigade aid station in Sangin

    Afghan National Army medics make major improvements to brigade aid station in Sangin

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Bryan Peterson | An Afghan National Army physician's assistant with the 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Bryan Peterson 

    Regional Command Southwest

    SANGIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan - An Aug. 26 Afghan National Civil Order Police patrol hit an improvised explosive device in Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, resulting in three injuries. Two were assessed as routine, with one as an urgent.

    The policemen were taken to Forward Operating Base Nolay. The urgent casualty sustained an open-skull fracture with great amounts of blood loss, requiring immediate attention, eventually needing an air medical evacuation to Camp Bastion. All three patients were treated simultaneously in the 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, Brigade Aid Station at the FOB.

    Across the hall in the recovery ward were five Afghan National Army soldiers; some recovering from injuries sustained during combat, while others were awaiting transport to a higher echelon of care at Camp Shorabak, an ANA base adjacent to Camp Leatherneck in the province.

    Four months ago, simultaneously treating three injured policemen, while five ANA soldiers were recovering in an adjacent room, would not have been possible at the Nolay BAS.

    The old BAS was nearly the size of about two average sheds that can be purchased at a home improvement store. At the time, the medics would assess everything from casualties to routine sick call in the small, wooden shack. Becoming crowded at times, the medics would have to visit with the patients outside, not making for an ideal situation.

    “We didn’t have separate areas where we could treat the wounded and soldiers who became ill,” said Ghanizadah. “Sometimes, we would get wounded soldiers coming in while we were treating another soldier who was sick. Then, the focus became to help fix the injuries.”

    Back in April, with the “fighting season” looming, Afghan National Army Lt. Abdulhaq Ghanizadah, a physician’s assistant at the BAS, added he and his medics knew their BAS would need more room for casualties.

    The FOB rests just south of the infamous “green zone," which is an area where British soldiers and U.S. Marines have seen some of the deadliest fighting against the enemies of Afghanistan, during the war’s 12-year span.

    Due to the continuation of fighting in the district, the brigade’s Security Force Assistance Advisor Team medical advisors and their Afghan counterparts saw a need to increase medical support.

    “We saw a need for them to upgrade their facility,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Chad Scott, the 2nd Brigade SFAAT medical advisor and a Northbridge, Mass., native. “The soldiers also saw that need, but they needed to find their own solution.”

    Ghanizadah said he and his medics “only had one month” for a new BAS to be built and it had to include rooms for sick call, dental, pharmacy, two wards and trauma.

    Using brigade assets, the BAS medical personnel built the new facility the following month and had it operational within three weeks – the soldiers’ needs became fruition. The new BAS, measuring 25 feet wide by 100 feet long, has four trauma tables, 10 beds in the recovery ward, a pharmacy, doctor-patient office and a dental office. Since April, the BAS added 13 medics, bringing the total to 21.

    “Everything is better,” said Ghanizadah. “After we built this new facility, we started to operate better. Nobody is ever in each other’s way and the wounded and sick are able to get better treatment. When we have wounded come in, they are able to rest in the ward to recover or wait for transportation to a more advanced medical facility.”

    Scott said the medics are becoming more proficient and independent.

    He noted the medics’ initiative is “showing more and more” each time he and his corpsmen interact with his ANA counterparts. He said the extra personnel greatly added to the medics’ quality of care.

    “It’s amazing what they have done and where they’ve come from in the nine months we’ve been here,” the Northbridge, Mass., native said. “The new BAS works for the Afghans. We saw the need for a bigger BAS, but they came up with it and did it all on their own. They are a motivated group and gained that motivation through the training we provided and the successes they accomplished. They knew they could do this on their own and we are impressed with what they’ve built.”



    Date Taken: 09.02.2013
    Date Posted: 09.02.2013 02:18
    Story ID: 112962
    Location: SANGIN DISTRICT, AF 
    Hometown: NORTHBRIDGE, MA, US

    Web Views: 376
    Downloads: 0