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MEDEL serves the masses

Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element treat three simulated trauma patients during a mass-casualty exercise Aug. 13 at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The goal of the exercise is to dertermine how all facets of MEDEL would respond to an incident on base, from accountability and communications to treatment. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shaun Emery.

Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element treat three simulated trauma patients during a mass-casualty exercise Aug. 13 at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The goal of the exercise is to dertermine how all facets of MEDEL would respond to an incident on base, from accountability and communications to treatment. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shaun Emery.

Members of Joint Task Force Bravo's Medical Element rush a simulated patient from the helocpter landing zone during a mass-causalty exercise Aug 13 at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shaun Emery.

Members of Joint Task Force Bravo's Medical Element rush a simulated patient from the helocpter landing zone during a mass-causalty exercise Aug 13 at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shaun Emery.

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- During a readiness exercise here Aug. 13, members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element demonstrated the ability to mobilize their forces, assess patients and provide quick and proper medical care, should an incident occur at Soto Cano Air Base.

The goals of the mass casualty exercise, according to Army Capt. Marta Artiga, MEDEL acting company commander, were accountability procedures, command and control procedures, patient assessment and treatment and determining if MEDEL had the necessary equipment to handle the situation,.

"When a scenario like this occurs, we need to be sure we have to capability to offer the best medical care possible," said Captain Artiga. "From the time personnel are notified to the time we get patients treated, it's important everything goes smoothly."

The day-long exercise began with a Mobile Surgical Team reporting the scene of a simulated aircraft accident. With the help of the 1st Battalion 228th Aviation Regiment here, the MST can transport equipment, tents or vehicles to the scene. Once there, the goal is to stabilize patients and prepare them for transport.

Once the MST members stabilized the wounded, a simulated air-evacuation transported patients to the medical facility. Upon arrival, medical personnel rushed to meet the patients and assess their injuries.

"Triage is very important," said Captain Artiga. "In our facility we have the ability to treat up to three trauma patients. By assessing and prioritizing the injuries we can determine which patients are in the most need of care."

With the patients triaged, medical team members began transporting them inside the facility where teams of doctors, physician assistants, nurses, X-ray technicians and surgeons worked together to treat the patients.

"Exercises like this enhance teamwork and confidence in our ability to care for our patients," said Capt. William Ingram, MEDEL physician assistant. "All facets of the hospital are working together to ensure we can effectively get them the definitive care they need."

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