SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean military medical personnel rehearsed lifesaving medical treatments during the 23rd Asia Pacific Military Medicine Conference July 10 at the Millennium Seoul Hilton.

Republic of Korea medical personnel, in teams of four, rehearsed emergency medical decision-making in complex injuries, including obstructed airways, profuse bleeding, neck and spine injuries, severed limbs and other battlefield injuries military personnel find themselves treating.

"They are learning to make treatment decisions in complex cases, where time is short, and they're learning why those decisions are critical," said Dr. Chang Hyun-Soo, an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine.

After the hands-on exercise, an instructor went through the scenario step-by-step and discussed the diagnosis and treatment decisions made by group members, with group discussions on alternative options and ramifications.

"It was really interesting to use and experience the state-of-the-art dummies and equipment," said Capt. Hwang Yu-Gyeong, ROK Army. "I found the training really useful, not just for me, but for all of us."

South Korean conference attendees said that the conference allows militaries to share best-practices and lessons learned in an increasingly complex environment where treatment providers must consider everything from emerging infectious diseases, implications of natural and manmade disasters, to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks and post-deployment health for peacekeeping operations.

"Many of the biggest health problems we face transcend national borders," said Maj. Han Ja-Gyeong, ROK Army. "Conferences help build the relationships needed to make a lasting difference as we take on long-term issues."

Hosted by U.S. Army Pacific and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces Medical Command, the conference brought together experts to tackle a wide variety of health issues confronting military forces in the Asia Pacific region.

"Materials from the U.S. military are excellent and very useful, since they are based on real-life incidents," said Han. "They will help our military medicine system in Korea."

Special areas of interest for the conference included nursing, veterinary medicine and noncommissioned officer development.