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    USTRANSCOM: Delivering care to warfighters, bringing heroes home

    Ultimate Caduceus 2024

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Anita Chebahtah | Air Force Capt. Genesis Santos, Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, prepares an IV...... read more read more



    Story by Iain Page 

    U.S. Transportation Command

    The Defense Department’s patient movement system ensures the expedited transport and en route medical care of service members — anywhere, any time.

    U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is at the heart of this global system, providing the logistical and medical expertise necessary to sustain America’s injured and ill warfighters.

    Within USTRANSCOM are three Theater-Specific Patient Movement Requirements Centers (TPMRC) -- TPMRC-Americas (TPMRC-A), based in Illinois; TPMRC-East (TPMRC-E), based in Germany; and TPMRC-West (TPMRC-W), based in Hawaii.

    Navy Chief Petty Officer Garrett Banner, a TPMRC-A superintendent, said USTRANSCOM’s mission as the Defense Department’s single manager for global patient movement is vital to ensuring warfighters receive the care they need.

    “[We] regulate the movement of patients by air, sea and land,” Banner said. “This oversight allows us to manage the entire patient movement process effectively, ensuring continuous care from the point of injury to the medical treatment facility.”

    The patient movement system comprises several interdependent functions, including specialized Aeromedical Evacuation and Critical Care Air Transport Teams capable of providing intensive care while airborne and numerous patient distribution hubs worldwide that support this life-saving mission.

    The overall process begins with a medical authority initiating a patient movement request through the USTRANSCOM Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES).

    Anthony Ross, Defense Health Agency liaison officer at USTRANSCOM, said, “TRAC2ES provides [us] intrinsic visibility, supports retrospective analysis, and ensures that a patient’s medical record flows from the point of generation back through the system.”

    The appropriate TPMRC then receives and validates the request. During this validation process, a flight surgeon assesses if the individual is fit for fixed-wing transport. If cleared, the flight surgeon ensures the availability of an attending physician and a hospital bed at the destination. They also address flight specifics, including altitude restrictions, patient positioning, and special equipment needs.

    Additionally, the servicing TPMRC coordinates further support, such as en route care and ground transportation to the receiving medical treatment facility.

    Air Force Col. Christopher Backus, USTRANSCOM command surgeon, stated stressing and testing the patient movement process is essential to ensuring readiness and to improving it. One way is through exercises like Ultimate Caduceus, which brings DOD and interagency partners together to practice patient movement in a controlled setting.

    “Ultimate Caduceus provides an invaluable opportunity to test our systems and procedures, ensuring we are prepared for actual missions,” Backus said. “This allows us to experiment, try new things, and add value to the mission from both the operator and higher headquarters standpoint.”

    Planned and hosted by USTRANSCOM, Ultimate Caduceus 2024 began June 10, with a focus on intra-theater patient movement within the Indo-Pacific region, inter-theater movement back to the continental United States, and subsequent patient distribution within the continental United States.

    Banner added that Ultimate Caduceus provides them with a benchmark on how well the aeromedical evacuation system works under pressure.

    “This exercise is a stress test to see what we are currently capable of handling and provides insight on opportunities to enhance readiness in areas of diminished capacity,” Banner said. “Additionally, on the individual service member level, it serves as an introduction to the [aeromedical evacuation] system that some members of the joint warfighter team may not have yet experienced in their career.”

    Backus noted that Ultimate Caduceus shows the world what America’s premier medical professionals can do and “the lengths we’ll go to ensure our warfighters receive the care they need and bring them home.”


    Date Taken: 06.24.2024
    Date Posted: 06.24.2024 17:08
    Story ID: 474721
    Location: US

    Web Views: 62,961
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