EU Naval Force Warship HSwMS Carlskrona Conducts Medical Evacuation ExerciseApril 22, 2013 - 14:46
Participation in the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operation Atalanta, off the coast of Somalia, is not without risk. When operating far away from hospitals and other necessary resources, the ships in the operation need to rely on the medical competence at sea.
The Swedish warship HSwMS Carlskrona has a “Role 2LM” medical capacity. This means that the ship has the capability to perform stabilising surgery, damage control and perform intensive care for 2-3 patients, for up to 72 hours. There are 4 senior doctors and 7 nurses serving within the ship’s medical department.
Earlier this month, HMS Carlskrona conducted an exercise practising a medical evacuation whilst at sea. One member of the ship’s company played the part of a sailor who had fallen badly, causing a broken pelvic bone with extensive bleeding inside the abdomen.
After two days, once the patient is sufficiently stable, the decision is taken to move the patient to a hospital ashore for further care and rehabilitation. The medical department prepares the patient, and many of Carlskrona’s crew lend a helping hand to move the patient to the helicopter deck where the ship’s helicopter is waiting.
“This time it was just an exercise. It is important to practice the organisation so that it works when, and if, it becomes a reality”, says Åke Karlbom, senior medical officer onboard HMS Carlskrona.
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