Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life in a Forward Surgical Team

Life in a FST (Foward Surgical Team) is often describe as hours and hours of boredom followed by moments of chaos and terror. The patients we receive are "fresh." In other words, they've been recently injured. It is not uncommon for the patients to arrive with IO (intraosseous) access because the medics were unable to obtain IV access. Sometimes we get a 30 minutes heads-up, sometimes it's 5 minutes. The injuries are often profound. More often than not, I intubate and anesthetize the patient within moments of arrival in order to ameliorate his pain and allow for a thorough examination of his wounds. As I alluded to in a previous post, IED injuries are complex and challenging to treat. Unlike a gunshot wound (GSW), IED injuries tend to have a "peppering" pattern with multiple areas of penetration. Also, many of these penetrating wounds can potentially be life-threatening. Our job, as a FST, is to resuscitate and stabilize the patient in the immediate aftermath of injury. Often this requires emergent surgical intervention. Most penetrating wounds to the abdomen, chest, and neck require surgical exploration. The orthopedic injuries caused by IEDs can be devastating and often require external fixation by our orthopedic surgeon. Our goal is to stabilize the patient for expeditious evacuation to a more definitive level of care.

On a personal note, I am in good spirits and doing well. I'm getting into the routine here. I try to run almost everyday and I am reading more than I have in years. I'm almost done with season two of Breaking Bad and I talk to my family almost every day. I've learned quickly that the key to staying sharp is being mentally and physically active.

Thank you for reading.

Most of the 1980th FST Health Care Providers. Steak and lobster night!
My roommate: Major Campbell, MD. His hobbies include getting haircuts and receiving mail.

Major Randall Moore, CRNA
1980th Forward Surgical Team
FOB Sharana, Afghanistan

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Thanks for your blog. I hope that you are safe and mentally and physically well.
    When my husband was stationed in Iraq with an IED team he videotaped himself reading stories and then sent the DVD and the books to our kids. They loved it and still watch "Daddy Reads Stories" even though he is home now.
    Thank you for your work and care!