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NEWS | Feb. 29, 2016

MUSC surgeons train military medics

By Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton 628th Air Base Wing/Public Affairs

Members of the 628th Medical Group met with two trauma surgeons from the Medical University of  South Carolina on Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C., on Feb. 17, 2016.

The special guests coordinated with 628th MDG leadership to provide proper suture training to the medical group's Airmen.

Suturing is a stitch or series of stitches done to secure the edges of a surgical or traumatic wound. Through the development of medical practice there are numerous styles and techniques for suturing depending on different treatment situations.
Additionally, the surgeons provided guidance on the appropriate treatment of hemorrhage injuries. The training addressed pre-deployment requirements and overall mission readiness.

"We have an opportunity from a community perspective to really work together in order to train our men and women and make sure that there is an equivalent skill set so that when they are deployed they have the right training to take care of their sick patients," said Dr. Joseph Sakran, MUSC assistant professor of surgery.

To hone these manual skills on a medium closely resembling human tissue, the 628th MDG Airmen used pig's feet, a common practice in the civilian medical field according to Sakran.

"We were able to do some hands on suturing which is nice because I don't get to do that a lot in my career field," Airman 1st Class Paul Colella, 628th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, a participant in the event said. "Learning how to tie (sutures) correctly was a fun experience for me because I have always had a hard time; so I got to enhance my ability with that."

According to Sakran and Lt. Col. Brian Neese, 628th MDOS commander, the joint training effort was the first time the 628th MDG and MUSC have collaborated.

"Essentially, what we're trying to establish is in-roads with the community. This isn't necessarily a medical issue but a base-wide issue; a desire to link up in common areas with organizations within the community," said Neese. "For example, organizations like MUSC also train their medical professionals. We do a lot of the same training, so if we can link up, we could save resources for both entities and also increase the amount of learning. This is an opportunity to bring in professionals from MUSC to train our medics in the specific readiness skills that they will use when they deploy."

Thanks to this training event, the surgeons were able to experience something new.

"I'll make time for collaboration like this anytime," said Dr. Brent Jewett, MUSC trauma critical care fellow. "The difference between working with the civilian medical field and these guys is tremendous. The attitude as well as the level of respect here is unmatched. We will definitely come back out here whenever asked."