Proceeding with Caution

The biggest lesson for us from this week is that information on medical evacuation and procedures to access it exist — but the root of the problem is how to organize & update information so that it is actually used in a way that cuts down on-the-field med evac logistics planning time. Our interviewees shed some light on it below:


  1. Ron Aplin, Technical Liaison at Teleflex Inc.

Provided an experience-based perspective on designing and bringing to market medical products for use by military beneficiaries

  • Whenever you are designing products for military beneficiaries, you need to try your best to relive their daily lives because it’s so different from product design in civilian world
  • Example is sterilized equipment- put a lot of effort into that for civilian medical products but you see that for medical equipment in the military, soldiers will strip off all the packaging and toss it into their bags
  • 3F’s: Form, Fit, and Function and consequences of not fulfilling that
  • The worst case scenarios are hearing customer complaints from military customers because of the heightened circumstances in which your product failed


  1. Estban Barfknekt, Sergeant First Class

Medical evacuation is a complicated, multi-step process but the toughest part is working with local facilities in austere environments.

  • Go to a hospital and they don’t trust you because you don’t have the “Doctor” title in front of your name, don’t understand your capabilities, don’t trust US military
  • In the field planning (contingencies/surprises) done by putting in information requests with JMRC: Joint Multinational Readiness Center where all info of regional resources is aggregated
    • When this isn’t enough, next step is contacting US embassies or in-person scoping out
  • Medic training is needed to provide quality of life care (beyond just maintaining a life) for lower level officers


  1. Ham, Sergeant First Class

Discussed how important a higher level of care is when the medic has done all they can do.

  • “We always look into certain areas where there’s medical clinics, do follow-ons with other teams, when we’re replacing teams, we have a hospital or clinic here” – Discussed the importance of going out and talking to local medical personnel and how visiting these clinics and hospitals and providing them with some assistance goes a long way.
  • Medics never stop being medics.
  • Going out to clinics is one of the most time consuming ventures


  1. CPT Joe

Brought up a great point about not being able to access medical evacuation or medical facilities while in enemy territory.

  • From an 18A’s perspective, a medic’s main role is knowing how to deal with a casualty and the 18A needs to make sure the medic saves that person’s life. Second job of a medic is to teach partner forces how they deal with injuries and illnesses.
  • From an 18A perspective, by spending time on setup (3-4 hours for basic medical equipment to 8 hours for something more extensive), they are giving up doing assessments on partner forces or training partner forces.


  1. Stephen, Ret. Army Surgeon

Discussed his experience in Vietnam working as an army surgeon in three different capacities.

  • No road and no boats and therefore had to always take the helicopter 30-50 miles from the next highest levels of care, making it difficult when weather conditions were bad
  • Transportation was very important; when you’re thinking about major trauma, need to consider the “golden hour” and getting the patient to the right facility within an hour can save the patient
  • Major injuries require a team approach, cannot rely on just one doctor and it can take 16 hours to get a seriously injured patient stabilized


  1. Rose Ann, Ret. Army Reserves Nurse

Discussed how she would set up and take down a “blow-up hospital” every weekend and how difficult it is for one person to do alone.

  • Set-up of mobile hospitals would take 4-5 hours, unload all the cases and it would be ready to set up patients – super heavy material, huge wooden boxes, used a large area of land to set up. Everyone kind of knew where everything was supposed to go – no plan.
  • 4-5 hours again to take down, wasn’t part of repacking or loading up but said it probably also took hours. However, this set-up and take-down took about the whole company – 50 people.


  1. Darrell Owens, PA

Discussed a similar product: JRAMP, that exists using a Google Earth overlay, however this product is classified, unsure of its accessibility/efficiency

  • The medical planner is responsible for the logistics organization of med evac and keep what is essentially a spreadsheet of contacts of all US medical personnel and those of partner forces (usually French in regions like Africa)
  • JRAMP has to be updated through chain of command, lengthy process


  1. Jarred Coughlin, 18D MarSOC SOCM trainee IP SO

Planning logistics alongside providing medical care is cumbersome. An app to access evacuation database could ease the process of making plans when new situations arise

  • Wishes usually to have done better job with diagnosis and documentation after patient is moved to higher care
  • Medical decision making time is slowed down when logistics have to be organized/approved
  • Data security is a concern for the training period of implementing such a device  


  1. Rosie Chamberlain, 18D SOCM trainee TIP SO

Evacuation app could help with documentation, but could take away more time from medical care instead of giving more time for it?

  • Documentation is a big problem in a time of chaos and confusion
  • In general, are carrying 70-90 lbs of gear so any solution needs to be light and easily transported


  1. Esteban Ruiz Sarc, Navy SWCC SOCM Medic

Provided insights on technical hurdles, i.e. solution has to be interoperable with current tech.

  • Logistics are a huge strain, usually takes 20-30 minutes to organize them
  • Barriers to implementation would include: funding, testing, translatability, ease of use


Advisor interviews with Jared Dunnmon and Dillon Buckner are scheduled for next week.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 at 6:27 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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