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Preparing Army Medics For Combat Injuries

Armen Hareyan's picture

Illinois National Guard 708th Ground Ambulance Medical Company participated in trauma and life-support training at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to prepare for the treatment of military casualties.

In a unique partnership between Rush and the Illinois National Guard, approximately 70 soldiers took part in an intensive training session May 21-24. The goal of the training is to expose the soldiers to more hands-on training before they encounter trauma in the field.

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The workshop focuses on the types of injuries the medical company will see in combat, namely blast and burn injuries. It also deals with the important issue of initial psychological impact of trauma to help overcome the emotional barriers of dealing with casualties. The course consists of classroom training, simulation lab exercises, advanced trauma laboratory training, and observing a level I trauma center.

"Medical personnel in the Illinois Army National Guard, like in the civilian sector, continuously receive medical training. The training at Rush further prepares our medics for situations they may experience in our deployment," said Capt. James Dodd, Illinois Army National Guard 708th Ground Ambulance Medical Company commander.

Training is intended to augment what has already been provided to the medics through the military. The training course at Rush focuses on basic trauma response, which includes airway management, bleeding control, initial management of burns, spinal motion restriction, extremity immobilization and traction splint application. Medics also receive advanced training in trauma response leadership, advanced airway management, needle chest decompression, fluid resuscitation, and advanced life support. The medical soldiers receive International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) certification at the conclusion of the training.

Participants also receive hands-on training in the Rush University Simulation Laboratory. The lab offers life-sized computer-controlled