By Spc. Angel D. Martinez
113th Mobile public affairs detachment
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — In a war zone, casualties happen. Military medics and doctors have to be up-to-date in medical procedures and use of equipment in order to save lives.
That is why the 566th Area Support Medical Company is upgrading several areas of the Witmer Troop Medical Clinic here, to give better service to the thousands of soldiers on the base camp.
“The trauma room was functional, but not to the best that it could be set up,” said Capt. Nathan T. Boykin, an orthopedic physician’s assistant from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash., who serves in western Baghdad attached to 566th Area Support Medical Company. “I decided to take it as a project to do while we’re here and make it more functional and up-to-date for the treatment of casualties,”
In an effort to keep the medical clinic up-to-date, one defibrillator on each of the two beds in the trauma room and another on a crash cart to roll wherever it is needed are part of the room’s setup. That was probably the biggest upgrade, said Boykin.
“Before, we had one table in the center with a ‘Life Pack 10’ (an older defibrillator model), so if we had two patients who needed to be shocked, we only had one machine to do it,” said Boykin.
Another upgrade in the trauma room is the trauma beds. Now the beds are not just litters, but trauma tables on which the litters and other medical apparatus can be hooked onto conveniently for better access by medics when treating patients. These trauma tables also allow for fluid drainage.
Although only two patients can be seen simultaneously in the clinic’s trauma room, the clinic has five additional exam rooms for less critical patients.
The clinic also has its own laboratory, an X-ray room and a behavioral health specialist, as part of the team, for combat stress-related needs.
Sometimes casualties have to be treated on the move, and that is when speed and precision are needed. Most military ambulances have cases with supplies high inside the vehicle’s interior. These supplies are usually needed quickly, so Boykin came up with some changes inside his ambulances, as well.