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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Devil Docs learn life-saving contingency for casualties

By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | August 09, 2012

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Corpsmen assist an acting casualty and a simulated infant. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8.

Corpsmen assist an acting casualty and a simulated infant. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Corpsmen transport an acting casualty and a simulation infant to a secure location for treatment. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8.

Corpsmen transport an acting casualty and a simulation infant to a secure location for treatment. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Surgeons perform an exploratory laparotomy on a patient during a training simulation at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness.

Surgeons perform an exploratory laparotomy on a patient during a training simulation at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 8. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Corpsmen monitor the vital signs of a simulated casualty during a training exercise. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 1.

Corpsmen monitor the vital signs of a simulated casualty during a training exercise. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 1. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Lt. Cmdr. Jenny Burkett, an intensive care unit nurse attached to 1st Medical Bn., monitors a ventilator during a training exercise. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 1.

Lt. Cmdr. Jenny Burkett, an intensive care unit nurse attached to 1st Medical Bn., monitors a ventilator during a training exercise. A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness at Camp Pendleton's Tango Training Area, Aug 1. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --  In the aftermath of an unexpected disaster, mass casualties are a common occurrence for first responders.

A Pre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course was held at the Charlie Company Warehouse and Camp Pendleton’s Tango Training Area, to ensure medical operational forces maintain clinical sustainment and combat readiness.

"I can tell you this much, there hasn't ever been any training like this before," said Cmdr. Tuan Hoang, a general surgeon with 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Medical Battalion.

The course, developed to reflect the most common mass casualty situations seen in recent combat environments, was the first time surgical teams from Charlie Surgical Company, 1st Med Bn. had a chance to work together.

"A lot of the team's cohesion comes from training like this," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan C. Poper, a surgical technologist attached to Charlie Surgical Co. 1st Med. Bn., 1st MLG.

During the simulation, units experienced six casualties from a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, patients were evaluated and treated based on the severity of their injuries.

One patient, after receiving an exploratory laparotomy, was discovered to have internal bleeding from a liver laceration, a life threatening injury, said Cmdr. Bill Haggerson, a general surgeon with 1st Med Bn.

Approximately 60 corpsmen from Charlie Company participated in the exercise in preparation of their upcoming deployment, said Hoang.

"What this training is attempting to do is introduce medical issues, treatment plans and medical knowledge that is specific to the theater that they will be going to," said Cmdr. Gerald Platt, an emergency physician attached to the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

The training began, Aug. 1, with lectures covering subjects like massive transfusion protocols, operational ultrasounds and the trauma triad of death; That information was applied a week later during the mass casualty simulation, Aug. 8.

With 60 percent of the participating corpsmen being introduced to the Marine Corps side of medicine for the first time and the various dynamics of being on a deployment, there are a lot of stressful and confusing issues to be addressed before a team works a full capacity, said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Beale, a critical care nurse and company commander with Alpha Surgical Company, 1st Med Bn.

"You really don't want those first ten patients to be practice," said Platt. "If we can simulate that practice here, before they deploy, and get that team working efficiently then those first ten patients really benefit."

Image1st Marine Logistics Group Image1st Medical Battalion ImageCharlie Surgical Company ImageCmdr. Bill Haggerson ImageCmdr. Gerald ImageCmdr. Tuan Hoang Imagemass casualties Imagemedical operational forces ImagePetty Officer 2nd Class Ryan C. Poper ImagePre-deployment Mass Casualty Care Course

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