By Staff Sgt. Wilson A. Rivera 359th Theater Tactical Signal BrigadeJuly 27, 2010
FORT GORDON, Ga. (July 17, 2010) - Combat wounds, battle scars, burns, scrapes, and fractures are products of artists and role players tasked to replicate a variety of different medical injury scenarios with the use of live-role players during DoD's largest medical training exercise July 15 - 19 held at Fort Gordon, Ga., and other locations.
Soldiers assigned to B Company, 345th Combat Support Hospital from St. Petersburg, Fla., spent 30 minutes to several hours preparing patients with simulated injuries sustained through combat or different conflicts to be sent out to the battlefield. Outgoing simulated combat casualties have an injury sheet describing the plan of action for care, which is placed in their left pocket.
"This gives me a chance to see what wounds really look like down range and know what to expect," said Spc. Michael Velez, an information technology analyst, who is trained in manufacturing different casualty scenarios from scratch.
Corresponding injuries are cosmetically put on patients using makeup, clay, and different colored foundations to match the patients' skin tone. The clay is molded to whatever shape and any type of lacerations or gunshot wounds. Two types of blood are used, thick, thin and cauterized blood. Various colors are used such as purples and browns to show bruising, and yellow for bruises that have started to heal.
"This is a lot of fun," said Spc. Kyana Stewart, a pharmacy technician. "This is the first time I have done any type of makeup and being able to create something that is so life like is totally awesome.
Observers/trainers supervised medics make on-the-spot decisions while they made assessments on simulated wounded patients. Simulations create a better understanding of how to take care of a patient, which is a huge benefit compared to the classroom, said Pfc. Greg Newton, an X-ray technician. Some of the actors are good and keep the medics thinking on their feet.
"It gives you that real life experience because it's something you can't learn on a computer," said Stewart.