Iraqi Medical Personnel Learn Advanced Pre-Hospital Care

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By SPC Burney, 3IBCT PAO
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April 23, 2009

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3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

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CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq – Focusing on quickly transporting patients to the nearest hospital for treatment and stabilization is an excellent, reachable goal – but, after all this effort, what if they die en route?

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Soldiers of 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division partnered with the Iraqi Ministry of Health to provide a series of training events geared toward creating an emergency medical system program and improving efficiency in pre-hospital care for civilian health professionals from the Tikrit General Hospital and 4th Iraqi Army Division medical personnel.

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"Our focus of pre-hospital care will definitely save a lot of lives and give our medical professionals a lot of help as we go out and provide health service to our people in Salah ad-Din," said an Iraqi civilian medical provider.

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The medical training, which is taught in a train-the-trainer forum, is five weeks long, and is taught two days per week for Iraqi medical personnel. About 10-15 Iraqi health care providers attend a typical session.

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"Iraqi medical professionals are really good at hospital care. An area of improvement for them is their on-site treatment," said Capt. Ulue Porter, company commander, Co. C, 325th Bde Support Bn, 3rd Inf Bde Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div.

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"When an improvised explosive device or suicide bomber goes off within the city, and Iraqi citizens are injured, it’s the immediate amount and quality of care that needs to be performed at the site of injury that makes all the difference in saving lives. This is where we are assisting Iraqi medical personnel," he continued.

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The partnership between Coalition Forces and the Iraqi Ministry of Health to facilitate training for the Iraqi health care provider’s emergency medical technician team started in the beginning of March, according to Staff Sgt. Grace David, noncommissioned officer in charge of medical training and education, 325 BSB.

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The hands-on training regimen consists of initial scene and patient assessment, to include proper scene evaluation procedures before providing medical treatment, proper patient loading procedures, and ongoing assessment of patients en route to the hospital.

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Iraqi medical technicians also learned pain assessment techniques, surgical techniques, how to handle motor vehicle accidents, blast injuries, IED injuries and are challenged through exercises geared toward improving effective mass casualty procedures.

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"Every time these Iraqi professionals return from a previous training session, they explain to me that they have applied the knowledge learned in their medical procedures and have benefited from the experience. This is the rewarding aspect of my job – I get to see the results of my labor," said David.

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The Iraqi participants expressed similar sentiments regarding this valuable training opportunity.

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"The training that we are being provided will definitely show its worth when I return to our Iraqi Soldiers. This is my seventh training opportunity which makes me well rounded in providing the type of care to assist my fellow Soldiers when they are in need," said Cpl. Muhamed, Iraqi medic, 4th Motor Transportation Regiment, 4th IA Div.

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