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U.S. Defense Institute for Medical Operations share techniques with our partners in Uruguay

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  • By Tech Sgt. Roy Santana
  • 4th Combat Camera Squadron
Uruguayan military medics and Defense Institute for Medical Operation Team members participating in Operation Southern Partner shared vast knowledge in a mutually beneficial information exchange Nov 3.

Operation Southern Partner, into its second week, is an all-new, in-depth subject matter exchange emphasizing partnership, cooperation and sharing of information with partner nation military members in Latin America. OSP has 70 Airman, one soldier and one Canadian officer in four locations throughout South America: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.

Major Jeremy Lloyd, an emergency room physician, and his 4-man-team called DIMO met with about 50 Uruguayan army, navy and air force medics at the school of health of the armed forces Montevideo, Uruguay. There was a broad cross section of experts ranging from general practitioners, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists as well as a few civilian doctors working at the nearby military hospital.

"We hope to enhance our knowledge of operational medicine through this exchange," Major Lloyd said. "The Uruguayan medics have first hand experience because of their involvement in conflicts in the Congo, Haiti and various U.N. peace keeping missions."

To echo those sentiments, Uruguayan Colonel Roberto Correa, secretary general of the school said, "We believe this exchange will be positive for you as well as for us." Colonel Correa went on to add, "We have over 5,000 soldiers in 16 countries around the world. Other countries come to Uruguay to absorb the knowledge from us."

There was plenty of note taking, interactive discussions and comparisons of certain procedures such as treatment of Tension Pneumothorax, commonly called sucking chest wound. A team of translators using wireless headphones for each participant allowed simultaneous translation of the presentations given by both U.S. and host nation medics allowing free flowing dialog.

The audience was asked to share their experiences with traumatic accidents, how they handled the situation, and in further hindsight what they could have done better.

Also participating in the exchange was Uruguayan Doctor Berta Rodao, a civilian and general medicine practitioner. She is also studying Anesthesiology at the university in Montevideo.

"I feel like I will benefit from this exchange from what I've seen so far," Dr. Rodao said. "I am learning the manner of good leadership, organization and structure from the North Americans."

The four day exchange will culminate with a mass casualty exercise for all participants using stage makeup and trauma simulations testing and demonstrating each person's professional abilities."

During a presentation given by Uruguayan medic, 2nd Lieutenant Marco Pouso, only in Spanish could it be said, "Lo que oigo lo olvida, lo que leo lo recuerdo, lo que hago lo aprendo, lo que enseño-lo sé." Translated to mean, "What I hear I forget, what I read I remember, what I do I learn, what I teach...I know."

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