Michael's Dispatches

MEDEVAC Issues: Video

08 November 2012

Some parts of this video are inaccurate.  For instance, saying that the British MERT system for medical evacuation is widely seen as the best model, is false.  Often you see in Afghanistan – and I have seen with myself – that MERT is far slower because they take longer to launch their CH-47 helicopter.  They might take 30 minutes to launch, when Dustoff or Pedro can launch in six minutes.

Many of the wounds occur very close to the trauma hospitals.  There are times when USAF Pedro, or Army Dustoff, can scoop the casualties and have the patients back to the hospital before MERT even launches.  This is a fact.

Another fact is that there is no “best” system.  This is like saying there is a “best” treatment, when you do not even know the wound.  If the patient is close to the hospital, and the helicopter has to fight its way into the LZ, Air Force Pedro will by far be the best.  If the patient is very far away, and there is no need to go in guns blazing, MERT probably will be best.  There simply is no “best.”

At least they are working the issue:

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