Chicago hospital prepares Navy medics for trauma care

A Chicago hospital now serves as the training ground for Navy doctors, nurses and medics to learn how to treat trauma wounds, the Associated Press reports.

The program, launched this spring at The John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, gives military medical teams experience dealing with penetrating wounds, inserting IVs in emergencies and other techniques needed in combat areas, the article states.

The trauma training program is one of two that exists in the United States. The other is located at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. They serve an unmet need in the Navy, which doesn't have any trauma training facilities in the country.

Chicago is a good training ground because of the constant gun violence in troubled neighborhoods on Chicago's South and West sides, the AP reports. Last year Stroger treated 600 gunshot victims, 260 people with stab wounds, and nearly 900 people injured in traffic accidents.

Medics learn how to treat patients shot in the chest, abdomen and pelvis--important as bullets and shrapnel sometimes find gaps in soldiers' body armor, according to the article. Although Navy medics rarely see wounds from small-caliber handguns and there are no improved explosive devices (IEDs) exploding in Chicago, officials say there are parallels between the injuries inflicted by both devices.

"Land mines and IEDs ... and high-speed car crashes can cause similar types of injuries," Faran Bokhari, M.D., the head of Stroger's trauma department who helped establish the partnership with the Navy, told the AP. "So we need to do hemorrhage control here or there."

The hospital recently treated a gunshot victim with injuries that caused the same type of massive infection inflicted by roadside bombs in Afghanistan, according to the article. The infection from the gunshot is what often forces surgeons to amputate limbs or parts of them as the infection advances.

"What we do here with him," Bokhari, said, "will be translatable to what they do on the front lines."

To learn more:
- read the AP story via ABC News

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