Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Nurse-led research aims to improve battlefield medicine

Image of Military nurses working on a simulated patient in a helicopter. U.S. Army Maj. Jacob MacGregor (right) certified nurse anesthetist for the 541st Forward Surgical Team (Airborne), prepares an IV bag while Staff Sgt. Jolene Davis (kneeling left) flight medic for C Company, "Northstar Dustoff," 2-211th Aviation Regiment (Air Ambulance), performs a casualty assessment on a simulated casualty, U.S. Navy Operations Specialist 2nd Class Niretzy Hill, PRT tactical operations center watch-stander, while in flight on a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter during medical evacuation training on FOB Farah, Jan. 9. (Photo by Navy Chief Hospital Corpman Josh Ives.)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Research and Innovation | Nursing in the Military Health System | Readiness Capabilities

As the Department of Defense prepares for future military operations in the multi-domain environment, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) is working to develop solutions for the challenges of prolonged field care, particularly burn casualties, which are expected to be a major concern on the future battlefield.

“The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) is made up primarily of research and clinical arms. Together, one of their goals is to create novel solutions to optimize survival and functional recovery of burn casualties. This is achieved through expert analysis, multidisciplinary care, and translational research,” said Army nurse scientist Lt. Col. Christopher VanFosson, Ph.D., MHA, RN, NEA-BC, AN.

In detailing the mission and vision of the USAISR during the November Medical Museum Science Café, held virtually by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, VanFosson discussed how nurse-led research studies seek to improve military readiness in combat medicine. The museum is a division of the Defense Health Agency Research and Development Directorate.

To prepare for future conflicts within the multi-domain battlefield (air, land, maritime, space, and cyberspace), VanFosson and his team study ways to improve outcomes for a variety of operations, including continuing communications, injuries from new weapons systems, medical evacuation and prolonged care on the battlefield.

“One way the USAISR is trying to provide solutions for the multi-domain environment is through the U.S. Army Burn Center’s pre-deployment training. Burn care and the long-term sequela of burn injury are major concerns for the future battlefield,” said VanFosson.

According to VanFosson, due to the expected increase in burn-related injuries caused by new weaponry, burn management may become a large part of the care provided by combat medics in the future. Using the burn patient as a universal trauma model, the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center is an ideal training platform for medics to gain pre-combat trauma exposure and experience for the multi-domain battlefield.

In his presentation, VanFosson listed a variety of studies and papers that helped to inform clinical readiness and training based on outcomes seen in the Burn Center and in Afghanistan. For example, one paper in 2012 (Registered Nurses as Permanent Members of Medical Evacuation Crews: The Critical Link) argued for the use of registered nurses as permanent members of medical evacuation crews instead of retraining Army flight medics.

“Lieutenant Colonel Wissemann and I argued that transitioning Army flight medics to paramedics would not achieve the Army’s patient care goals because the active duty flight paramedics would not be able to achieve the exposure and practice that their reserve component counterparts could. However, Army nurses that function in ERs and ICUs on a daily basis had the requisite knowledge, skills, and ability to achieve [this],” said VanFosson.

The results of these studies directly impacted clinical readiness (a term expounded upon during the presentation) efforts in a variety of ways. They have informed Joint Trauma System clinical practice guidelines, highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of clinical readiness training, provided medical planners with better understanding of Role 2 (limited access to hospital facilities) surgical unit capabilities, supported the need for critical care nurses on medical evacuation flights, and finally, pushed for the continued use of the TIP-TOP/Clinical Transition Framework across the Defense Health Agency for clinical competency and consistency.

“We appreciate Lieutenant Colonel VanFosson’s contribution to our science café program,” said Andrea Schierkolk, the museum’s Public Programs Manager. “NMHM is honored to share accounts of triumphs and challenges in military medicine and we look forward to learning more about what’s happening in military medicine when the series resumes in January 2021.”

You also may be interested in...

Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment

Article Around MHS
7/1/2022
Military medical personnel in rescue drill

Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, participate in Crusader Challenge 2022.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Final Days in Afghanistan: Lab Techs Stepped Up to Support Withdrawal

Article
6/30/2022
Final Days in Afghanistan Lab Techs Stepped Up to Support Withdrawal

“Prior to the attack, teams were preparing to leave the area. Suddenly, everything changed, and our main goal shifted from COVID-19 support to blood supply and triage.”

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Four-legged Major Brings Joy to Brooke Army Medical Center

Article Around MHS
6/23/2022
Labrador facility dogs at ceremony

Brooke Army Medical Center commissioned a new, four-legged staff member with a penchant for spreading joy to the rank of United States Army major during a ceremony June 6.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Conditions and Treatments

How Drones Will Transform Battlefield Medicine – and Save Lives

Article
6/23/2022
Drones carrying fresh blood products to wounded troops on the front lines may be critical for military medicine in a conflict against a "near-peer" adversary.

Emerging technology may use drones to deliver blood products for wounded troops on the front lines of combat. That capability may be critical in a "near-peer" conflict.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Army, Navy Public Health Officials Collect Weapon System-related Health Hazard Data in Support of Blast Overpressure Exposure Assessment

Article Around MHS
6/21/2022
Military personnel by M777 Howitzer

A team of scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center recently traveled to Fort Carson to conduct a Joint Service Member Occupational Health Assessment, also known as a JSOHA, of the M777 Howitzer—a weapon that is routinely used in military training and combat operations.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

DGMC Trains Medics on TCCC, Boost Readiness for Next Battle

Article Around MHS
6/9/2022
Military medical personnel in classroom

Medics at David Grant USAF Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, California, are being trained monthly during a week-long course on tactical combat casualty care in an Air Force-wide initiative to standardize medical readiness training for all service members.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

How Military Medicine Is Preparing for the Next Conflict

Article
6/8/2022
As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations.

As the Pentagon prepares today’s force for a “near-peer” fight against a large military adversary, the Military Health System is challenged to provide life-saving support for large-scale and dispersed operations. That’s especially true for the medics supporting troops on the front lines.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Care Technology

BDAACH Enhances Its Surgical Capability Through Robotic Surgical System

Article Around MHS
6/6/2022
Surgical hospital

Three years of dedication to activating the robotic surgical system in the Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital (BDAACH) finally came to fruition on May 16, 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Research and Innovation

Army Doctor Earns Top Honors at Air Assault School at Fort Campbell

Article
6/3/2022
Army Doctor Earns Top Honors at Air Assault School at Fort Campbell

This Army doctor finished at the top of his class at the Air Assault School at Fort Campbell. It's a 10-day course that is both physically and academically challenging, teaching soldiers the foundations of heliborne operations to include troop transportation, sling loaded cargo and equipment transportation, medical and casualty evacuation operations, and air assault operations.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Medical Readiness Key to Lead-Wing Deployment

Article Around MHS
6/2/2022
2rd OMRS medical insignia patch

Air Combat Command has tasked the 23rd Wing to be Lead-Wing ready in October of 2022 and medically preparing Airmen for a Lead-Wing deployment is no small feat.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

378th Medical Partnerships Sustain Life and Mission

Article Around MHS
6/1/2022
Military medical personnel perform mock emergency care

Air Force medical contingency response team members, with the 378th Expeditionary Medical Squadron, perform mock emergency medical care for a simulated casualty at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Warrior Care

Multiservice medical providers, medics take on dive injuries, treatments

Article Around MHS
5/31/2022
Military personnel in pool for training

A group of medical providers and medics recently spent two weeks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Dive Center here learning how to treat patients who may have suffered a dive injury.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Warrior Care

Future of Nursing: Telehealth, More Innovation and Maybe Some Robots

Article
5/13/2022
Second Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse, briefs Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander, and other base leadership on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at the Keesler Medical Center June 16, 2017. (Photo: Kemberly Groue, U.S. Air Force)

The future of nursing is here due in part to changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Coronavirus

Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

Photo
5/12/2022
Iraq Bomb Attack Led Soldier to Pursue Medical Career

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Maxwell (Left) and U.S. Capt. Brian Ahern, medical personnel assigned to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recovery team, check the pulse of a local villager during excavation operations in the Houaphan province, Laos, Feb. 5, 2019. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael O'Neal)

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness

Army Public Health Nurse offers thank you to nurses across Army: Reminder of where we came from

Article Around MHS
5/9/2022
Military personnel on infographic

U.S. Army Public Health Center thanks all Army Public Health Nurses for the hard work and dedication you show to the communities you serve every day. 

Recommended Content:

Nursing in the Military Health System | Nurses Week Toolkit: United In Service, Rooted in Strength
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 16
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 03, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.