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Air Force medical team accompanied president to Cuba

Air Force medical team accompanied to Cuba
Phillip Swarts, Air Force Times 12:10 a.m. EDT April 2, 2016

When the presidential motorcade travels around Washington, D.C., the
president’s limo and Secret Service SUVs are always accompanied by an

It’s a precaution that, should the worst happen, the president will
never be too far from immediate medical care.

So when President Barack Obama took an historic trip to Cuba in March,
the government sent emergency medical services along with him. That duty
fell to the Air Force and the 59th Medical Wing, out of Joint Base San
Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

The unit sent a team of five medical specialists who turned a C-17
Globemaster III into a flying .

“[We] can basically turn the aircraft, in this case a C-17, into a
flying operating room,” said Maj. David Matteson, an anesthesiologist
with the team, in an Air Force press release. “We bring the full
hospital to the patient.”

According to Col. Mark Ervin, the 59th’s Operational Medicine chief, the
team is “capable of providing intensive care, emergency room trauma
assessment, blood banking and trauma surgery at a moment’s notice in
support of the presidential visit.”

The Tactical Critical Care Evacuation Team-Enhanced (TCCET-E) consists
of five members: a trauma surgeon, anesthesiologist, emergency medicine
physician, emergency medicine nurse, and an operating room technician,
who are all trained to perform delicate surgery while flying in an
aircraft, the Air Force release said.

And the team is able to unpack all its equipment and be ready to perform
surgery in three minutes once they’re onboard the plane, Ervin said.

The need for the team grew out of treating troops wounded in
counter-terrorism operations.

“Many studies of combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that
the amount of time it takes for a seriously injured casualty to get to
the operating table is directly linked to the likelihood of survival,”
Ervin said in the release. “TCCET-E is designed to rapidly deliver
lifesaving trauma and surgical care to some of the most remote and
medically austere environments.”

Fortunately, the team was able to return home from Cuba without having
to put their skills to the test.

Source: Air Force medical team accompanied president to Cuba –

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