DePold GD. 08(4). 25 - 26. (Journal Article)
It is difficult for Special Operations Forces (SOF) to provide meaningful long-term medical solutions for the indigenous population in their area of operation (AO). Limited time, equipment, supplies, the inability to follow-up, and re-exposure to disease are common obstacles to effective local national patient care. Poor vision due to uncorrected refractive errors has a significant negative impact on quality of life in under-developed countries. New eyewear technology will give SOF Medics the ability to provide definitive care for this chronic, burdensome condition which will benefit both patient and mission.
Murphy C. 08(4). 27 - 29. (Journal Article)
Recently a select group of Special Operations medical providers have carried fresh thawed human plasma as a resuscitative fluid on the battlefield at the evacuation phase of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and in rare occasions at the tactical field care phase of TCCC. Plasma in certain circumstances should be considered as an adjunct to treatment of coagulapathic battlefield casualties. Plasma does however have limitations due to logistical constraints. The long term solution is to develop a field stable variant of plasma which would make this life-saving fluid available to a broader range of care providers. Recent studies have shown that the development of lyophilized plasma is feasible.
Civil Affairs has a long history of helping ease the impact of war on a civilian population. To this end, providing medical care and education to a civilian population is beneficial. When these can be provided by host nation assets instead of solely by U.S. Forces, the benefits are exponential. Examined here is a summary of how a Civil Affairs team accomplished these goals in the Philippines during the spring of 2007.
Emergency ultrasound is gaining ground as a powerful diagnostic tool in the hospital setting. With ever-expanding indications, validated with scientific studies, it has become an accepted and relied-upon technology with daily use in emergency departments, and surgical and critical care settings around the world. Additionally, with the current worldwide combat operations and the resultant deployment of far-forward medical assets, the technology's use outside of the standard hospital setting has been demonstrated. This technology, however, has had limited use outside the forward surgical or medical officer-positioned assets, despite being standard equipment with some Special Operations units. We hope to stimulate discussion about its use in Special Operations medicine by educating the reader to the possibilities of this technology, and suggesting a reasonable training and fielding plan for its optimal use.