Devil Docs

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on CNN.com that the Navy has developed and deployed a forward surgical capability. That’s great news, and I look forward to their publications in the future as to their effectiveness, mortality and infection rates. I actually would not hold a modestly increased mortality rate against them, as they’re going to get very injured combatants, the most injured of whom might have died on the way to a more remote OR.

According to Dr. Gupta:

In this mobile operating room — a tent that can be set up or torn down in less than an hour — it’s not unusual for these doctors — Navy personnel who work for the Marines Corps — to perform surgery on their enemy.
(snip)
Monday was the first time the Frontline Resuscitative Surgical Suite has been used, and doctors began treating some of the first patients coming from the front line.

Dr. Gupta did a creditable job of describing the facility but wasn’t given enough room to explain the odd title: Devil Docs?

In WW I, at the battle of Belleau Wood, not only did the USMC distinguish itself in combat, but they won the grudging admiration of their German enemy, who reportedly stated they fought like ‘Teufelhunden’, or Devil Dogs. The Marines liked the sobriquet and adopted it as a nickname, often greeting each other as such. The Devil Docs is a natural extension, applied to the US Navy medical personnel who proudly serve in the Green Machine.

It’s a terrific capability, and I hope it save a lot of lives. I’m rooting for our Devil Docs, the Corpsmen and Physicians alike.


Comments

  1. DR. ILIANA PEREZ says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO DE DEVIL DOCS AND ALL THE TEAM THAT WORKS WITH THEM (SPECIALLY TO SURGICAL NURSE LT. PAUL KEN JENNINGS) BECAUSE OF THIS BRAVE WORK THAT THEY ARE DOING OVER THERE, I’M ORTHOPAEDIC AND TRAUMATOLOGY SURGEON, AND I UNDERSTAND HOW HARD IS MAINTAINING FOCUSED WITH ALL THAT SURROUNDING STRESS LIKE THE WAR IS.
    I ADMIRE ALL OF YOU GUYS!!!
    KEN, KEEP FOCUS, KEEP SAFE
    SEE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU
    DR PEREZ PULIDO

  2. Kathie English says:

    What an ajustment to make from the OR to the battlefield! The challenges must be enormous.
    America is grateful and proud of all the Devil Docs….and we are overwhelmed with pride for our Devil Doc…LCDR David English.
    We love you….stay safe.
    Mom

  3. Hello All,
    The FRSS that the medics are using is pretty high tech. They found our company, Estill Medical Technologies, because we make the iv and blood warmer they are using called the Thermal Angel. The Thermal Angel is only 9 ounces and runs on batteries. You might see it taped to the patient’s arm when they are showing IV usage on all the news footage. If anyone would like info, check out our website at http://www.thermalangel.com

    Thanks!
    Jay Lopez
    Chief Operating Officer
    Estill Medical Technologies, Inc.

  4. Richard A Perry says:

    Not since the days of being treated in the BAS have I seen the military use its medical resources in such close combat support. Congratulations to all the officers and corpsmen (women now too) for a job well done.

    CWO Richard A. Perry, USN (Retired)

  5. Jovette says:

    I am a surgical nurse and after seeing the cnn program on the ‘devil docs’ i would love to be able to become a pen pal with someone from that unit…i was a first responder to the Okla city bombing and just feel the need to reach out.

  6. Deepak Agrawal says:

    Hi,
    Congratulations to all devil docs. I am currently a second year resident in medicine and would really like an opportunity to volunteer with them. Does anybody know how?
    dagrawal@post.harvard.edu

  7. GruntDoc says:

    Dear Dr. Agrawal,
    It’s easy to get strated. Call your nearest Navy Recruiter, and tell them you need to speak to the Officer Recruiter for the Medical Corps. They won’t know who that is immediately (it’s rare), but they’ll put you in touch.

    Good Luck!