Speicher MV, McGowan J, Pruett S, Shurden J, Bianchi W, Kibler A. 23(1). 114 - 116. (Journal Article)
Trauma casualty care has historically been the cornerstone of special operations military medical training. A recent case of myocardial infarction at a remote base of operations in Africa highlights the importance of foundational medical knowledge and training. A 54-year-old government contractor supporting operations in the AFRICOM area of responsibility (AOR) presented to the Role 1 medic with substernal chest pain with onset during exercise. Abnormal rhythm strips concerning for ischemia were obtained from his monitors. A MEDEVAC to a Role 2 facility was arranged and executed. At the Role 2 a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) was diagnosed. The patient was emergently evacuated on a lengthy flight to a civilian Role 4 treatment facility for definitive care. He was found to have a 99% occlusion of the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery, as well as a 75% occlusion of the posterior coronary artery and a chronic 100% occlusion of the circumflex artery. The LAD and posterior arteries were stented, and the patient made a favorable recovery. This case highlights the importance of preparedness for medical emergencies and care of medically critical patients in remote and austere locations.