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NTTC Trauma Instructors Provide Trauma Training to Role-3 Deployers

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120117-19

From Navy Medicine Support Command Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course Sailors attended a lecture Jan. 16 at the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI) at Camp Pendleton, Calif., designed to familiarize them with injuries they could see at the busiest military trauma hospital.

Medical personnel attending the NEMTI-sponsored Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course, a two-week effort designed to foster teamwork, and build and hone medical skills specific to what U.S. military medical professionals might expect while on their nine-month deployment to the Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, received theater-specific briefings from Navy Trauma Training Center Orthopedic Surgeon Capt. Eric Pagenkopf, MC, who served in Iraq.

"All of us at NTTC are specialists in the trauma that we do, and we're augmenting the NEMTI course to try and get these guys up to speed," he said. "What we do here in the States and what we do downrange is significantly different, because the wounds are significantly different and if you understand these sorts of things up front, it can help you later on."

The Navy Trauma Training Center's mission is to provide trauma care experience and knowledge to Navy medical professionals before they are deployed to combat missions or other military operations. The NTTC at the Los Angeles County University of Southern California (LAC USC) Medical Center course is designed to provide Navy officer and enlisted medical personnel specializing in trauma care the chance to work together as a team. Navy students work side-by-side with LAC USC Medical Center trauma staff, where an average of 20 major penetrating and blunt trauma wounds and injuries are treated daily and more than 7,000 cases annually. The flow of seriously injured patients roughly approximates the types and numbers of injuries Navy trauma teams might see in battlefield conditions.

Class attendees received an in-depth brief from Pagenkopf, describing the various types of injuries that have become common at the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital. Pagenkopf said the sometimes relative inexperience of deploying medical personnel can be offset by training such as what the nearly 200 medical and support staff scheduled to deploy to Kandahar Role 3 Hospital later this year are currently receiving.

"A lot of these guys have never deployed before, so they've never seen these wounds," he said. It's dramatically different than what we see in the states. It's different than the medicine we're used to practicing, so getting these guys as prepared for it as possible helps them save lives. [Training such as this has been] very effective because the guys that started these programs 10 years ago have made a significant impact on the survival rate, and part of that is due to training, getting these guys ready before they go."

Service members completing the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course, which began Jan. 7 and is scheduled to conclude Jan. 21, will next complete military requirements at training sites such as Fort Dix, N.J., or Fort Jackson, S.C.

NEMTI, the premier U.S. Navy training facility for expeditionary medicine, reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Fla., and Navy Medicine Support Command (NMSC), headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. NEMTI, NMOTC and NMSC are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

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