An aero-medical evacuation team works with health specialists on board who include general practitioners, emergency specialists, a surgeon, an anaesthetist, retrieval specialist, nursing officers, a radiographer, theatre technician, a laboratory technician, a pharmacist and a range of medical assistants.
Medical care is critical when the Australian Defence Force goes on operations so it is vital to ensure personnel are ready and able to act as needed.
The tri-service medical team onboard HMAS Canberra was put through its paces during an exercise as part of the SEA SERIES being held in the waters of North Queensland.
The medical team supports the amphibious ready element from point of injury ashore through to hospital care onboard Canberra.
The exercise gave the health team an opportunity to test their casualty evacuation 'CASEVAC' process, with a realistic rehearsal based on a motor vehicle accident involving two critically injured patients.
Medical Officer, Commander Ross Mills, planned the exercise in conjunction with 2nd Close Health Company, Maritime Operational Health Team and Canberra’s on-board medical team.
“The aero-medical evacuation team flew to the accident site in an MRH90 and collected the ‘patients’, returning them to the ship.
“They required resuscitation en route and were handed over to the specialist trauma team in the ship’s primary care receiving centre,” Commander Mills said.
“This was a very worthwhile exercise, demonstrating that the CASEVAC system will work well when it is needed,” he said.
For the aero-medical evacuation team, this success sets it up to provide critical care for future amphibious exercises and operations.