JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center medics exchanged best practices with more than 40 Honduran Red Cross volunteers and paramedics during a four-hour pre-hospital training course July 22. The event was part of a Medical Readiness Exercise conducted from July 19-27 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The training was a combination of scenario-based discussion and hands-on practical exercises.

"We had them show us their procedures and processes using their equipment," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Presley Aroca, 68W Sustainment noncommissioned officer in charge. "Then we showed them our processes and procedures and we had a bridge of communication."

One of the key concepts discussed during the exchange was "A-B-C" or "Airway, Breathing, Circulation." This has been a widely accepted protocol developed as a memory aid for rescuers performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is also used as a reminder of the priorities for assessment and treatment of patients in many acute medical and trauma situations.

A change from A-B-C to C-A-B (Chest compressions, Airway, Breathing) for adults, children and infants, excluding newborns was recommended in the 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care.

Other discussions included the use of tourniquets for severe bleeding.

"It is important to stop the bleeding first in order to save a life," Aroca said.

Other techniques discussed were patient assessment, pressure dressings for hemorrhaging, airway breathing and circulation.

Aroca said the feedback he received from the Honduran medical professionals was very positive.

"They told us the training was valuable, because now they can see that there are other techniques and processes they are able to implement into their routines," Aroca said.

"After seeing their faces, knowing that they were excited to be there and motivated to participate, it was very fulfilling for all of us."

This was the first time BAMC personnel conducted pre-hospital training in Honduras, but the hope is to expand this type of training and exchange of best practices in the future.