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Forward Surgical Teams (1995)

If an injured person receives advanced medical care within the first hour after injury, the chances of survival and recovery go up exponentially. Historically, 10 to 15 percent of wounded in action require surgical intervention to control hemorrhage and provide stabilization for evacuation. Highly mobile surgical teams deployed far forward near the fighting allow this to happen.

The forward surgical team:

  • Provides versatility, expandability and deployability.
  • Deploys in the area of a maneuver brigade or armored cavalry regiment.
  • Typically includes 20 staff members organized into four functional areas: triage-trauma management, surgery, recovery and administration/operations.
  • Can provide initial surgery on two operating tables, and up to six hours of postoperative care for a maximum of eight patients at a time.
  • Can treat major chest and abdominal wounds, continuing hemorrhage, severe shock, compromised airway or respiratory distress, amputations, major organ fractures, crush injuries, and acutely deteriorating consciousness with closed head wounds.
  • May be attached to a combat support hospital to provide additional surgical capability.
  • Forward surgical teams maintain skills and learn teamwork by treating patients during rotations at the Army Trauma Training Center, working in association with the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla.