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NEWS | May 14, 2014

Expeditionary Medical Support: Medical Care Anywhere

By Senior Airman Desiree Economides 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

 A major typhoon hits the Pacific, wiping out towns, destroying homes and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in need of medical care.

This scenario is not unlikely in the dynamic climate of the Pacific region, which is why the 374th Medical Group tested its capabilities in setting up an Expeditionary Medical Support May 14, during a Samurai Readiness Inspection at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

EMEDS is a full service medical facility and team that is deployable to any location that may need assistance; however, it can also be used as a mobile hospital annex to augment major situations at Yokota as well.

Lt. Col. Chris Estridge, 374th Medical Support Squadron commander, said the expeditionary set-up provides his medical team with many capabilities. A tent can be used as an operating room, a 25-person in-patient bed facility or to support outpatient care.

"This system gives us a capability to treat patients in a fast matter should we be needed in a wartime environment or a contingency," Estridge said.

When an incident requires medical assistance, the first to arrive is a Mobile Forward Surgical Team consisting of an anesthesia provider, an orthopedic surgeon, and emergency room doctor, an operating room nurse and a general surgeon. This team, along with all the equipment required to provide care, is known as an EMEDS +10. Given the magnitude of the situation, EMEDS of varying sizes can be sent to deliver care.

"Once it is set up, the first team would separate and starts taking in patients like an emergency room," said Maj. Michael Dixon, 374th Medical Surgical Squadron Anesthesia Element chief. "As we build more tents, we add more capabilities."

In addition to exercising their capabilities, the team also became more familiar with each other and improved their teamwork skills.

"This is a good opportunity for members of the team to get together, to get to know each other, as we may deploy together, so it's a good opportunity to build that camaraderie and learn from each other," said Estridge.

Dixon said in addition to the practice and relationship building, seeing the capabilities made available by an EMEDS was impressive. The mobile operating room with anesthesia and operating beds allows for complete surgeries.

"A lot of people think it is small care, like urgent care, but we can actually do full-on surgical services in an EMEDS tent," Dixon said.

No matter where a disaster strikes, the 374 MDG is prepared to provide medical support to those who need it.



This article was originally published at: http://www.yokota.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123410851

- PACOM: (posted May 14 2014) -

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