Thursday, September 8, 2011

"The Tempo of Trauma"

The new trauma tempo seems to be hanging around. Last night I was woken up at 2:30AM by our XO for 2 ANA soldiers that were being medevac to us.  Reports suggested they were involved in some sort of guarding activity when they were sprayed with AK-47 rounds by insurgents in our local area.  The surgical team was mobilized and we waited for their arrival.  After 20 minutes Charlie Company brought them to us and our work began.  Surprisingly only one of the two had severe injuries which is where most of our attention was directed. This soldier had multiple gunshot wounds to his arms and legs. After our trauma resuscitation and evaluation were amazed to find that no major bone trauma was present and even with 1 ½ inch holes in his arms and leg soft tissue his pulses were present; that was not expected and obvious someone ethereal was watching over him.  There was nothing orthopedically specific for me to do that Mike M could not handle so I headed back to my shack to sleep; thankfully I did.
6:00AM and yet another waking knock at my door.  One of our sergeants informed me that Charlie Company had a stat consult for a U.S. soldier with a shoulder dislocation.  I wearily got out of my bird nest and headed out the door. The diagnosis was surprisingly correct and after anesthesia woke up to sedate the soldier I performed a closed reduction of his shoulder and placed him in a sling. Afterwards I attempted a third round of sleep but failed so I headed to the DFAC for breakfast and got ready for morning report. Once I got there I was informed a U.S. soldier was going to be medevac to our FST for a combat firefight sustained knee injury. They were unsure of an actual ETA because the LZ (landing zone) was still hot and until some fashion of safety is present the medevac rotary crew they could not leave. Joe and I went to work out while we were waiting. When we got back there was still no word on an ETA. We did learn that the injury which was initially described to use a “deformed knee” was actually stable with a low likely hood of fracture; likely ligamentous, so the adrenaline dropped some.  Finally after hours of waiting, the soldier (who was actually from Special Forces) showed up for me to examine him.  I learned he was a SF commando; he looked and acted every bit the part; bearded, tattooed, in phenomenal shape, and an underlining chip on his shoulder. Fortunately, he was very gracious toward me for seeing him.  I went through my orthopedic exam, made my diagnosis and treatment plan which I discussed with him and the SF medic. He will see me again in the near future for reevaluation. 
The remainder of the day was uneventful except for some orthopedic consults from Charlie Company; nothing too significant. Darkness is starting to set in and a nighttime of unknown with it. I’ll talk to you soon.

P.S. I’m thinking of you honeyJ


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