Book Review: Paradise General; The Nightingale of Mosul –

When Americans think about wartime medicine, “MASH” reruns and the comic antics of Hot Lips Houlihan and Hawkeye Pierce are likely to come to mind. A decidedly more authentic view can be found in “Paradise General” and “The Nightingale of Mosul,” books by a real-life Army surgeon, Dr. Dave Hnida, and an Army nurse, Col. Susan Luz. Both authors served in Iraq during some of the bloodiest days of the war in 2006 and 2007.

via Book Review: Paradise General; The Nightingale of Mosul –

So, my summer book list is set…

via He who Shall Not be Named…

Soldiers’ Angels Germany: DUSTOFF Association Flight Medic of the Year

Recently SSG Matthew Kinney was named Flight Medic of the Year at the DUSTOFF Association and AMEC Conference for his actions on Oct. 16, 2008, and for which he was also awarded the Silver Star.

via Soldiers’ Angels Germany: DUSTOFF Association Flight Medic of the Year.

Wow.  Just reading the citation impressed me.  There are heroes in this world.

via Mudville Gazette

CNN Video about Emergency Departments in Afghanistan

Wow, nice (and a big target).

Good for the service for thinking about this (and acting on it).

Wounded Soldiers Have Increased Odds of Survival –

A nice WSJ article on how forward treatment of combat casualties has become possible.  Kudos to these deployed docs, and to the military that invests the time, money and effort to make things like this happen.

Dr. York, an interventional radiologist who usually performs surgery at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., is especially skilled at treating internal injuries. His type of surgery—using X-rays and imaging equipment to guide catheters through veins to perform micro-operations—is comparatively rare in emergency rooms. But in the cramped Kandahar hospital, it is critical to saving lives.

via Wounded Soldiers Have Increased Odds of Survival –

Probably the worlds’ only front-line (literally) Interventional Radiologist.

HT: he who shall not be named.

  Doc Gurley – Haiti Journey: Hitting the ground — Doc Gurley

Doc Gurley – Haiti Journey: Hitting the ground — Doc Gurley.

Doc Gurley’s in Haiti.  Will be fun to follow her. | Call me corpsman, call me ‘Doc’

Perhaps to the surprise of some, I won’t blast President Barack Obama on his inability to pronounce the word “corpsman” (which he pronounced “corpse man”). Instead, I’d like to take the opportunity to give much-needed praise to Navy/Fleet Marine corpsmen who are, as you will see, a special breed of warriors.

via | Call me corpsman, call me ‘Doc’.

Nice article by a former Corpsman.

Military increases availability of morning-after pill –

Washington (CNN) — All U.S. military health facilities around the world will now carry the emergency contraception pill known as Plan B One-Step, according to a new Department of Defense policy.

The decision to carry the pill, often referred to as the morning-after pill, was based on a recommendation by the Pentagon's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, an advisory panel made up of medical professionals from the military services, Pentagon officials said Friday.

Many military hospitals already carry the pill, but the new action means it will become a standard part of every medical facility's stock of drugs, including those on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the officials said.

via Military increases availability of morning-after pill –

Mostly right, I’d say.  I do wish it was OTC (for installations large enough to have a store of some sort) and not force women into Medical for it (it’s OTC in the US), but it’s better than not having it.

RealClearPolitics – Video – Obama Mispronounces “Corpsman” At Prayer Breakfast

RealClearPolitics – Video – Obama Mispronounces “Corpsman” At Prayer Breakfast.

And, I don’t care.  Yes, he mispronounced a word I think he should have known, or asked about.  He didn’t, and that’s just one of many things I wish he’d done differently.  Who cares.

He did recognize the service of this corpsman (pronounced cor-man), and to me that’s what matters.

Thank you Navy Corpsmen: what you do matters, and you’re appreciated.

Bumped: Project Valour-IT Today through November 11th

Victory! Team Marine got to the Goal first! (But keep giving…) 11/10/09 @ 1524

Bumped to the top.  Still a good idea.

Give Here.  Pick any team

(but I’m on the Marine team…)

Here’s a worthy project, supporting wounded troops with technology to help their recovery.  Soldiers’ Angels has been running this for at least the past 3 years (and somehow I didn’t participate last year, for which I am duly ashamed).

Please read about what they do, and how you can contribute.

Soldiers'_Angels Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries.  Technology supplied includes:

  • Voice-controlled Laptops – Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.
  • Wii Video Game Systems – Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).
  • Personal GPS – Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.

I joined the Marine Team.  Yeah, my Uniform said US Navy, but 4/5 of my AD time was with the grunts, and that’s where my interests lie.

Should you want to participate, there are other services represented, and you can join any team here.

And give to whichever team you wish, jut give.

Our Army Docs and A Story of Heroism

Degree Creep, Indeed

  It was a shot heard ’round the PA world.advanceforpa

The U.S. Army and Baylor University created a stir when they announced their PA clinical doctorate degree residency program in emergency medicine at the Physician Assistant Education Association forum in Tucson, Ariz., in November 2007.

Doctorate degrees have been increasing among health care professionals for more than a decade. Audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and pharmacy, for example, have all moved to the entry-level doctorate degree. The nurse practitioner profession adopted the entry-level doctorate degree in 2006, and the DNP will be mandated for all advanced practice nursing graduates by 2015.

Even though the specter of doctorate degrees has been hanging over the PA profession for years, the formal announcement of the Army program brought the controversy to the forefront. News of the Army’s program roiled educators at the PAEA forum and sparked furious debate about clinical doctorate degrees and PAs

It’s a very well-written article, and the included sidebar points out one of the biggest problems with a ‘midlevel doctorate’ for PA’s: they’re dependent on their relationship with Physicians in a way NP’s definitely aren’t.  No support for this from docs=real problems for the PA programs (and not just the doctoral programs, all of them).

We live in interesting times.

You’ve got to be alive to be inconvenienced

That’s one of my favorite medical aphorisms, taught to me by Dr. Peacock in El Paso.  He was one of the trauma surgeons there, and it nicely summed up an approach to medical care in the acutely traumatized.


I thought that when I read this:

Army halts use of battlefield first aid item after test found it might cause blood clots

By PAULINE JELINEK | Associated Press Writer

10:25 PM CST, December 23, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — Until more testing can be done, Army medics are being told to stop using a new product just sent to the war front to help control bleeding among wounded troops.

Officials were in the process of distributing some 17,000 packets of WoundStat, granules that are poured into wounds when special bandages, tourniquets or other efforts won’t work. But a recent study showed that, if used directly on injured blood vessels, the granules may lead to harmful blood clots, officials said Tuesday.

To recap: a medication to be used as essentially a last resort when a trauma patient is bleeding to death cannot be used because …it might cause blood clots.  Bleeding that cannot be controlled with direct pressure, tourniquets or the newer ‘combat gauze’ with pro-coagulants built in. 

I have to say that, were it me in that situation, I’d risk some clots elsewhere to get clots to keep me from literally bleeding out.  But that’s just me.

It’s commendable the Army takes the medical care of its troops seriously, but there’s a disconnect in this case.

HPSP now a LOT more lucrative

That’s a much better deal than I got…

Military sweetens the deal to entice medical students

A beefed-up scholarship program now offers a $20,000 signing bonus as well as full tuition and an increased monthly stipend.

By Myrle Croasdale, AMNews staff. July 7,

Katie Doyle could have borrowed $200,000 to get through medical school. Instead, when she enters Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this fall, she won’t borrow a dime.

Doyle accepted a military scholarship that will pay her tuition, books and other school fees. A monthly stipend will cover living expenses. The scholarship, called the Health Professions Scholarship Program, or HPSP, also comes with a new $20,000 signing bonus.

…, Congress authorized the three branches to bolster their recruitment packages, resulting in the $20,000 bonus, along with a $300 hike in the scholarship’s monthly stipend, which is now $1,900. The money comes from military appropriations earmarked for medical corps recruitment. In 2007, the Air Force recruited 211 medical school students; the Army, 242; and the Navy, which also recruits for the Marines, 181.

That’s got to be a BIG shortfall for the Navy.  My Intern class in San Diego had over 100, and that was only one of two big NAVHOPS’s, with several smaller facilities.  Thus, the enticements.

A reminder: the Navy HPSP Wki

The Navy HPSP Wiki – NavyHPSPWiki

Niels Olson is a medical student at Tulane, and also a Navy Line Officer now going to med school through HPSP.

He’s done prospective students a HUGE service by creating a Navy HPSP Wiki, which he describes as:

The Navy HPSP Wiki – NavyHPSPWiki
This wiki is here to collect and disseminate information about Navy HPSP, whatever you’ve got, we want. Organized. The big ticket on the google group seems to be clerkships, but add what you got, where ever you can.

It’s up and running, and it’s about time something like this was started. Good for Niels, and now I finally have a good resource to refer the emails I get to for more current information.

BZ: USS Ronald Reagan

ABC News: Dramatic Sea Rescue: Sick Teen Saved

Laura Montero never thought her fun cruise to Mexico would end on a U.S. naval carrier surrounded by 3,000 sailors.The 14-year-old owes her life to the men and women of the USS Ronald Reagan, one of the largest aircraft carriers in the Navy, who saved her in a mission worthy of Hollywood script.

Montero was aboard the Dawn Princess cruise ship off the coast of Baja, Mexico, Saturday when her appendix burst.

“It was a matter of life and death so it wasn’t very good at all,” said Montero’s mother, Trudy LaField.

The crew of the Dawn Princess put out an SOS, and the U.S. Navy heeded the call.