Combat & Casualty Care

Q4 2016

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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COMMANDER'S CORNER I do believe however, that we need to look at the personal dimen- sion; the human dimension. I spent nine months in Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq in 2003 and then 15 months in Afghanistan from October 2007 to early 2008 as a Forward Surgical Team commander. And also, three years in different capacities at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, so I do have a lot of experience as a trauma surgeon at Role 2, 3 and 4. My experience tells me we can do better. I believe we need to take a hard look at preventable deaths and our outcomes when it comes to the most severely wounded on the battlefield. Are we pro- viding the medical and surgical care required at the or near the point of injury? This is not just a time to surgery issue. It is also a capability issue. Do our forward surgical assets have the capabilities required to achieve the expected outcomes? Do our hospitals? I believe if we analyze the data we have collected over the past three years, we will be able to quantify the risk of mortality based on the available capability. So, we will be taking a look at battlefield surgery from the perspective of preventable deaths for the next two years at least. C&CC: What are some key areas of focus and how is the USAISR addressing these? COL Nessen: The ISR has five directorates and 12 Task Areas that cover diverse areas of research ranging from wound specific treatment for burns and blast injury to blood transfusion and dental trauma. To give you some idea of the scope of the research we are doing, consider the ISR had 104 poster and podium presentations presented at the Military Health System Research Symposium last summer. The quality of the research is impressive and continues to advance our understanding of battlefield injuries. We will continue to study blood transfusion, antibiotic efficacy, tissue rejection after transplant, burn injury and many other topics. The ISR has over 700 personnel and the number of research protocols and ongoing projects are numerous, so it is impossible to talk about them all here, but I will say you never know where the next breakthrough will come from and I want to be careful to identify "key areas of focus" because I believe everyone working at ISR is doing important work and I want them to know that. I have never worked in an organization that was more enthusiastic and motivated than the ISR. Everyone understands the importance of their work and it reflects in the esprit de corps that permeates the organization. C&CC: In terms of field surgical technique, how is the USAISR assisting in taking progress learned in house and applying it to field combat scenarios? COL Nessen: It is an interesting question and it depends I think on what you consider our house. The Burn Center is part of the ISR and the research questions driven by our care burn victims obviously have a direct correlation to battlefield injury. Our outcomes from our service COL Nessen, right, as a Lt. Col. and commander of the 541st (Airborne) Forward Surgical Team and surgical team members in Afghanistan while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (USAISR) 14 | Combat & Casualty Care | Winter 2016/2017

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