Medevac crews in Afghanistan increase en-route patient care
January 4, 2013
By Capt. Richard Barker
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Jan. 4, 2013) -- During the course of the last several months, two Medevac companies in Task Force Hammerhead, Company C, 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, and Company C, 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment, Army National Guard, have participated in a trial program developed by the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, or CAB, that enables flight medics to administer blood products to wounded Soldiers during the Soldiers' en-route flight care and movement to a medical facility.
The 3-25th General Support Aviation Battalion, 25th CAB, is the first conventional Medevac unit anywhere in the Army to conduct this mission.
"Specifically we implemented a new blood transfusion process for critically-injured patients on Medevac aircraft," said Capt. Nathaniel Bastian, a Forward Support Medevac platoon leader of C, 3-25.
As of December 2012, 80 medical patients have received blood products through the program, which is currently operating at five locations in southern Afghanistan.
More than 60 percent of casualties in Regional Command-South, known as RC-South, are caused by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and gunshot wounds. These types of injuries cause patients to lose a large amount of blood. As a result, the patient's chances of survival are increased by an immediate replenishment of blood plasma and red blood cells prior to their arrival at the next level of medical treatment.
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