I was on a medic kick for most of 2003, learning everything I could about tactical medicine and treating battlefield wounds. I suppose that's a natural progression when you've done about as much training in shooting, moving, and communicating as your unit can support. One of the things I came across is the emerging respect for the "Compton ambalamps service". This is essentially throwing your homie in the ghetto sled and getting his black ass to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Many ER doctors and high-ranking medics have agreed that this may be a much better method in most battlefield injury situations than trying to stabilize a patient and wait for MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) to arrive, considering the relative lack of facilities on a pick up site.
The theory is that by performing the basic lifesaving steps (clear and maintain airway, control bleeding, prevent or control shock) while moving to the hospital, you can get the patient to a higher level of care much more quickly, thus reducing time in that "golden hour" that the patient goes without proper treatment. ERs are equipped with all the training and equipment that EMS/medics are, plus more.
So now a couple points and questions for the members here. These aren't questions I am necessarily asking for answers to, although if you have something useful, by all means, contribute.
1- Do you have an aid kit that is suitable for treating gunshot wounds, large lacerations, open (compound) fractures, serious burns, arterial bleeding, and penetrating chest wounds?
2- Do you have the basic first aid training for these serious types of injuries? Do you know how to make and apply a torniquet? How about a pressure dressing? How about a splint?
3- Do you know how to properly evaluate a casualty? Symptoms of a pentrating chest wound? Symptoms of a closed head injury? What is the difference between arterial and veinous bleeding?
4- Do you know how to recognize the symptoms of shock? Do you know how to best postition a casualty who is exhibiting these signs? When do you not use the shock position? What steps do you take to help prevent or treat shock?
5- Do you know how to open an airway? Do you know rescue breathing?
Red Cross first aid training is a good start, but they don't have much in the way of tactical medicine or treatment of severe trauma, as there aren't many babysitters and lifeguards who have to deal with gunshot wounds.
I know lengthy posts don't usually get much attention, and this one is kinda long already, so I'll break it into a couple posts to make sure you ADD-types stay with me.
"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
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