Combat Wounds Simulation

Armed ForcesDefenseHealthColleges and UniversitiesRush University Medical CenterEdward Ward

Combat in Chicago. Illinois Army and Air Guard medics simulating conditions on the battlefield ... to help them seal their skills to treat wounds fast.

The sounds of battle: choppers, weapons and the wounded.

"I got one here."

But the patients are life-like simulators, the smoke all around from a machine and the sounds from a radio. Still these Illinois National Guard medics get real training.

Dr. Edward Ward, Rush University Medical Center, Emergency Department Medical Director: "If you've never seen something this horrible before, it's very difficult to keep a clear head and be the leader and save a life."

So Rush University Medical Center created a battleground and a mobile medical unit. First medics assess, stabalize.

"I found a good vein!"

And transport victims.

"Are you guys ready to move ... cuz we'll go!"

Once in a stable environment they begin treating burns, blunt trauma and breathing obstructions.

"Blink twice if you can breathe on your own."

The simulators can do just that. They blink and they moan.

Simulator Patient: "Ow. I feel bad."

The responses are all coming from behind the wall where Rush doctors are watching the medics progress on television.

Samantha Mocaby, Army Medic: "It was definitely a real good refresher because I didn't realize how much information I had lost."

Trained more than a year ago and back at work in civilian jobs many National Guard members are a little rusty. As they prepare for deployment to Afghanistan they need an update.

Joseph Nykoluk, Army Medic: "We actually got to administer i.v.'s, give certain drugs if we felt necessary."

Dr. Ward: "Try to teach them lifesaving procedures they might be able to apply in the field in combat and in civilian situations and also to desensitize them to some of the gory horrible things they may be exposed to."

some things I actually learned here that I didn't know before.

Most of the Army healthcare specialists are basic paramedics. Some took the course before then went into the war zone. They came back to the hospital and gave feedback for improvement ... a class that may prove critical in combat.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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