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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  • This commment is unpublished.
    TheOldMan · 9 years ago
    It seems to me that the "best" medevac system is to have multiple available systems and to use to correct one for the particular situation. Sure there will be overlap and inefficency but it is better to have more than you need than to need more than you have.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matt · 9 years ago
    MERT really takes 0 minutes? Thats not very good, surely they could make it faster somehow. Also the MERT carries blood where as Pedros don't so if the distance is far enough to balance out the time MERTs should be used for amputations etc.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andrew · 9 years ago
    What if an asset has meets these requirements:

    1) Launches in less than 10 min after notification.

    2) Is located at a forward base closer to the where the fight is happening than other platforms (say less than a 10 min flight)

    ) They can have the wounded on a surgical table less than 0 min after the call is received.

    If that is the scenario, is MERT still better when it takes them 0 min to launch and an additional 10-20 min to arrive where the wounded are bleeding?

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