Burn Flight Team Instructs CSH Staff on Burn Patient Care
The Burn Flight Team from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, trained members of the 21st Combat Support Hospital on the emergency care of burn patients at Ft. Hood, Texas, March 19-21.
CSH personnel will deploy later this year to support overseas contingency operations where they may need to care for burn patients.
"This training will not make us experts in burn care, but can provide us the insight that can help us care for a burn patient effectively," said Maj. Michael Plueger, a critical care nurse with the CSH.
The training included classroom presentations on a number of critical care topics including the emergency care of burn patients, burn resuscitation and the use of the Burn Navigator, an algorithm-based decision assist system used to manage the fluid resuscitation of a severely burned patient. Instructors presented information on managing a patient with an inhalation injury, and preparing a burn patient for transport. Team members also served as subject matter experts and provided guidance during a hands-on field training exercise.
"Burn patients have specific needs that if not addressed appropriately can cause detrimental results," said Maj. Michael P. Meissel, Burn Intensive Care Unit critical care registered nurse and BFT chief nurse. "We want to emphasize these needs and highlight the resources available to units to provide the right care at the right time."
Meissel added that BFT's involvement in the exercise was essential because the lessons learned in recent conflicts have led to improved outcomes for burn patients.
"I hope the CSH knows they have the Burn Center and the USAISR Clinical Practice Guidelines as resources available 24/7," said Meissel.
BFTs are composed of five team members assigned to a burn intensive care unit including a general surgeon trained in burn and surgical critical care services, a critical care registered nurse, a licensed vocational nurse, a certified respiratory therapist, and an operations noncommissioned officer.
Burn Center Chief of Nurses, Lt. Col. Paul Mittelsteadt noted that the training serves the USAISR mission of advancing combat casualty care.
"It's not all research. Sometimes it's assessing practical applications derived from combat casualty care research," said Mittelsteadt.
BFTs have been deployed throughout the world since 1951 to provide expertise in burn care and transporting burn casualties to the burn center. This has been crucial in saving hundreds of lives on and off the battlefield.