By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Bruce Cummins, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs
Navy Medicine professionals attended and presented at one of the largest trauma and surgical conferences on the West Coast May 15-16 at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California.
The 21st Annual 2014 University of Southern California (USC) Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care Symposium, included a guest- and host-faculty of more than 40 trauma and critical care experts delivering lectures, plenary sessions, panel discussions and keynote addresses.
Cmdr. Peter Hammer, MD, FACS, MC, a Navy Trauma Training Center (NTTC) instructor, Keck School of Medicine (USC) clinical assistant professor of surgery, and a symposium military session moderator, said the event served as a mechanism for military medical professionals to interact with their civilian counterparts, exchange ideas and familiarize others with one of Navy Medicine’s premier training platforms.
“The symposium provided a great opportunity for us as providers to hear about the newest trends in trauma care,” said Hammer. “We heard from some of the most widely published trauma surgeons from around the county right here in our backyard.”
NTTC, a collaborative effort with the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center, provides U.S. Navy and allied personnel the opportunity to train in a realistic setting. LAC+USC Medical Center is just east of downtown Los Angeles, and conducts more than 25,000 trauma evaluations and more than 6,000 trauma admissions annually. Hammer said the types of injuries NTTC students see can closely approximate wounds sustained in an operational military setting.
“Although it can be difficult to mimic battlefield injuries, the acuity and diversity of injuries that the NTTC rotators see at LAC+USC can help teach the fundamentals of the assessment of the trauma patient, no matter how severely they are injured,” Hammer said.
NTTC is committed to providing didactic and clinical trauma exposure that enhances personal and team knowledge and skills. The course is designed to afford rotators the opportunity to work alongside LAC+USC and NTTC staff as teams caring for critically ill and injured patients. The 21-day training schedule includes clinical shifts, formal didactics, case discussions, simulator training, and fresh tissue dissection labs.
Navy presenters at the two-day Symposium presented three separate topics on issues relevant to both military and civilian medical professionals. NTTC Instructor Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Tadlock presented a session on freeze-dried plasma; Hammer presented a session on topical hemostatics; and NTTC Instructor Cmdr. Michael Kearns presented a session on thromboelastography in trauma resuscitation.
“Advances in the care of the injured patient that are developed in response to battlefield casualties can have a direct impact on the care of injured person back here in the states,” said Hammer.
Hammer added that the symposium presented a perfect arena for Continuing Medical Education credits for physicians, nurses and health care professionals.
“It is important that the skills we use to care for the injured patient are continually practiced and maintained so that in the event of another conflict, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he said.
The Navy Trauma Training Center is a component of the Naval Expeditionary Medical Institute (NEMTI) in Camp Pendleton, California. NTTC and NEMTI both report to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Florida, which is a component of Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC), the Navy’s single point of accountability for formal medical education and training.
NTTC, NEMTI, NMOTC and NMETC are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.