Medical supplies in the battle field.

Personally, I like military science fiction. If I had a clue about how to write good military stories, I would. I don’t know what it is about them that I like, but if I can find one, I will read it.

That being said, any information that I can find on  how they provide medical aid in the battlefield is also interesting, because someday it’ll be in my military sci-fi novel. And after America has spent so many years in Iraq, they have found some very interesting methods of helping an injured soldier get from the battlefield to the home alive.

Disclaimer really quick: All this random facts are from my student nursing convention notes I took in February, where we had a speaking who helped implement  some of the recent medical changes in Iraq.  So if they aren’t right, I’m sorry, but feel free to correct me so everyone has accurate information. I have not ever been in the battlefield, nor will I probably ever be. (And before you have any nasty thoughts about me not wanting to be, the US government won’t let me enlist, so it’s not by my own choice.)

First of all, the uniforms have built in tourniquets, so instead of people needing to pull out a tourniquet and put it on, you can just pull a string and let it tie up. They encourage people to do this as soon as there might be a problem, and the tourniquet can stay on for up to six hours, I’m thinking without much tissue damage.

There is also an Israeli bandage it is called. This is rather simple so far as I understand. The injured person can place the bandage padding on the arm, then wrap it around the arm once, lace it through a thing so then it can wrap back on itself and be pulled tightly.

Fluid loss is one of the most serious concerns of anyone injured in the field. In order to combat this, they trained everyone to insert an IV so they can provide saline while in the battlefield.

If a person loses the pulse in his/her wrist, that usually means the top number in the blood pressure is less than 90. If you don’t know anything about the blood pressure, that is really, really bad.

There are five levels of where an injured soldier is in, and they vary from least safest, to most safest.

  • level one: This is the front line. An EMT would be the person’s medical provider at this time.
  • Level two: this is when they pull back slightly, so patient is in slight safety, and can stabilize him/her for transport.
  • Level Three: a place of safety, where they can do more serious surgeries.
  • LEvel Four: out of the country that the current war is in. this location can vary, but it is basically safe.
  • Level five: When the injured solder is back home.

Lastly, there is this drug called Factor IA I think, that’ll stop microscopic bleeding that they can’t find. This is really good, if you have microscopic bleeding, but it is also about $5000 a shot. The dosage is based on the INR, and the INR is a blood test that’ll check how well a person is clotting.

So, that’s about all I have. I hope that encourages your creative juices.


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About Abigail

I'm an elementary education major at a college in the Midwest. I might graduate as early as December '13 but more likely May '14. I write when I can. I also knit on occasion, draw, do homework and contradict teachers to make people think. :)

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