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Design Innovations | Logistics Innovations | Medical | New Systems Tech | Other Corporation | Transformation | Transport & Utility | USA

New Litter System Next Step in USAF Aeromedical Transformation?

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SLS(click to view full) US aeromedical evacuation has changed. Forward-based units or helicopters are still the primary link from the battlefield during the “golden hour” that follows major trauma. Once a patient has been stabilized, however, more advanced care at more advanced facilities may be needed. For several decades, the USA had a fleet of dedicated aircraft, the last being its DC-9 derived C-9A “Florence Nightningale” fleet. In its place is a new approach devised by USAF Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., the Air Force surgeon general until 2002. The idea is that every USAF Air Mobility Command aircraft can become an aeromedical aircraft, as newly arrived aircraft on the tarmac are loaded with about 800 pounds of gear and supplies per patient and diverted to hospitals like Landstuhl in Germany. Instead of waiting for days to stabilize a patient, outbound flights are sometimes coordinated while a patient is still in surgery. The result? Lower average cargo volume and weight statistics for US transport aircraft missions, and a 90% survival rate for troops injured in current operations. In Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the rate was about 75%. On to the next step in quality improvement, which could have […]

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