Medical staff at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, recently saved the life of a local 3-month-old child who was suffering from a severe infection. The child's father brought him to a forward operating base, where it was arranged for the baby to be evacuated to Kirkuk for care. Though the 506th Expeditionary Medical Squadron doesn't routinely care for civilians, much less infants, an exception was made because of the immediacy of care needed in this case.
"The Army physician at the FOB immediately recognized that the infant was within 24 hours of dying from infection and bleeding," said Col. (Dr.) Brian Peyton, 506th EMEDS. "They transferred him here via dustoff."
When the medical staff first discovered they had an infant heading their way, they immediately started evaluating their capabilities. They found a wealth of experience, including Maj. (Dr.) Paul Morton, emergency physician, who treats children back in the states; Capt. (Dr.) Scott Janus, an anesthesiologist who recently completed training including pediatric cardiac anesthesia and family physician Maj. (Dr.) Claire Shervanik. Additionally, Capt. Dawn Graham, a nurse with pediatric intensive care unit experience, had already put together pediatric ICU equipment when she arrived in the AOR, in case the need arose. Once the infant arrived, the 506th EMEDS team began working to save his life.
"The first task was to place, intravenous lines and stabilize him,' said Col. (Dr.) Steve Chambers, 506th EMEDS commander. We gave him fluids, blood and antibiotics and prepared him for surgery all while taking cover during an alarm red."
The team determined that the...