MERT

#2
Published: 00:33, 1 March 2015 | Updated: 12:38, 7 March 2015
 
#3
She spent 6 years in theatre and personally pulled 600 people from the frontline? That's when I stopped reading. Medical person didn't know she would be dealing with injured soldiers? Money whore!
 
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Forastero

LE
Moderator
#5
RAF hero nurse attacks shocking MOD planning in Afghanistan

She's right in everything she says from what I've heard

But should she not bear some responsibility for the situation?
Not really, she's a clinical deliverer not a policy maker. They rarely have the ability to do something about it there and then, they'll rely on others to sort it for them. If you take what she has said at face value she managed to have some influence in persuading senior clinical staff to allow blood and plasma to be carried on the MERT.
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#6
So medical staff have lost the decision making processes to decide "you know what? Next time I'll take some whole blood and plasma with us?" Basic Tom medics could have worked that one out after one trip.......
 
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#7
This at the end of the article:

"An earlier version of this article said Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar had been critical of military leaders over a lack of preparations for the conflict. We have been asked to point out that she made no such criticisms of the leadership."
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#8
In fact medical staff have been smashing kit into vehicles acting as ambulances since Bodicea was a full screw, I find this hard to believe. Even when the bird was acting in other roles and maybe needed to be empty.... Carry it.
 
#9
This at the end of the article:

"An earlier version of this article said Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar had been critical of military leaders over a lack of preparations for the conflict. We have been asked to point out that she made no such criticisms of the leadership."
Any resemblance this article may have had to the truth is purely coincidental, and should not be relied upon....
 
#10
Not really, she's a clinical deliverer not a policy maker. They rarely have the ability to do something about it there and then, they'll rely on others to sort it for them. If you take what she has said at face value she managed to have some influence in persuading senior clinical staff to allow blood and plasma to be carried on the MERT.
It does say she was both OC and an SO.

She does say she had to take accountability, if she was OC she was responsible for preparing the guys (or not) and rostering (through others).
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
Even back in '82 they were trying to solve/solving the problem (extract from Capt S Hughes personal account of the Falklands Campaign - Paradata)

"In the bar (where, in the evenings, so much of the multi discipline discussion and planning was done) D.W., M.J.(one of our para anaethetists), and I addressed the problem. Why not go back in the history of fluid replacement to rectal infusion - the administration of fluids by an enema technique? We didnt know how effective this technique would be, we couldn't find any really scientific evidence. But it was a technique that could be taught to everyone, and it would at least motivate the soldiers to carry the 1lb bags of fluid. (If they didnt think it was of personal use they might 'bin' the bags.)
Subsequently the weight of military medical opinion came down against rectal infusion as being ineffective. But we needed to motivate the soldiers to believe that this fluid was for him and he wasn't just carrying the medics' load for them. It is funny now but that attitude did not pervade at the time. One 2 Para officer had a long argument with M.J. as to why I was making the soldiers carry my fluids for me. The same officer learnt the hard way, after nearly losing his life to a schrapnel fragment in his liver. After Goose Green, everyone wanted his bag of fluid and I and my medics were no longer 'idle knackers'....

25-30 years on no-one 'twigged' that maybe a flying ambulance might need saline/Hartmanns/plasma/whole blood??? Pull the other one love.
 

Tyk

War Hero
#12
It does seem pretty odd to me. As mentioned the military medics know what's likely to be on their callout list.

For I can't imagine how many years, ambulances have carried kit for emergency fluid restoration, in a combat situation where there are bound to be things going bang and high speed projectiles flying about having to do fluid replacement isn't exactly unlikely.

It makes bugger all sense to me that a field medic doesn't carry the kit let alone in something as FOGB as a Chinook.
 
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Forastero

LE
Moderator
#13
It does say she was both OC and an SO.

She does say she had to take accountability, if she was OC she was responsible for preparing the guys (or not) and rostering (through others).
As in all walks of military life, if someone senior says no you tend not to do the thing that they say no to. I'm sure someone would notice if six units of blood went walkies without permission.
 
#17
Any resemblance this article may have had to the truth is purely coincidental, and should not be relied upon....
Yup. That article smells funny. What sort of injuries were they expecting, ffs? Why couldn't doctors point out a need for plasma there and then? How did people 'burn out and quit' on tour? How were medics so severely stretched for so long? The article implies that she was doing it 7 years... really? And 600 guys is almost one a day for four tours..Hmm. No comment.

It's also all the casualties listed as 'serious', whatever that might mean, and 1/3 of all hospital admissions through combat.

British dead and wounded in Afghanistan, month by month
 
#18
Yup. That article smells funny. What sort of injuries were they expecting, ffs?
In terms of the type of injuries, I think that she was referring to people surviving injuries that previously would have meant they died at the scene, during evacuation or shortly after arriving at hospital.

I don't think that before Bastion anyone had seen more traumatic injuries in live patients, or as many. I heard it said that one would see more serious trauma in a 3-month tour in the Role 3 than a trauma surgeon would see in an entire career.

Why couldn't doctors point out a need for plasma there and then?
Because the thinking, both in military and civilian medicine, was that blood was something that was only used in hospital. It generally takes ages for new ideas to be adopted. Take, for example, civilian air ambulances. Started in Germany in the mid-60s, only reached here in the very late 80s/early 90s, and still not funded as part of the NHS.

Then there's cost; before UORs these things might be considered, but then discarded on the grounds that they might not be used.

How did people 'burn out and quit' on tour?
A number of paramedics left after tours - I don't think anyone had a major drama during a tour.

How were medics so severely stretched for so long?
Train a limited number of paramedics; then cut the numbers training during Herrick for money-saving; utilise the ones you have on back to back tours in the busiest trauma system in the world; sit back and watch them leave for less stressful, better paid jobs outside. Or long-term MH-related sickness.

The article implies that she was doing it 7 years... really? And 600 guys is almost one a day for four tours..Hmm. No comment.
MERT can carry four patients. They often did several missions in a 24-hour period. There were times when there seemed to be a never-ending stream of casualties coming in - both our side, en forces and civilians. I don't think it's an unrealistic number, allowing for DM journalistic embroidery. In one month on my last tour we saw over 20 patients with bilateral traumatic amputations.

But of course, if you think you could do better....
 
#20
"At one point both the MERT teams were working 24 hours a day for ten days without a break"

I don't entirely buy this claim. It would imply no sleep for ten days, which is barely credible. Nobody denies the commitment, dedication and professionalism of the MERT - but I suspect that this includes time "on call" (and asleep) - certainly in 2007 (on H6 at least) the MERT was rarely tasked during the dark hours.
 

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