Story and Photos by
Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – On June 19, Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Valdez, a flight medic from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, taught MEDEVAC skills to Afghan National Army Soldier, Kushmal Muslimyar, a flight medic with the Kandahar Air Wing on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. As part of medical training, Coalition Forces have been training Afghan flight medics in the proper procedures for receiving a patient and providing treatment in flight.
Coalition Forces have been training Afghan Forces to conduct independent operations. Since the start of transitioning operations, Afghans have been trained in aviation maintenance, ground maintenance, air assault operation and medical treatment.
During the training session, Muslimyar was shown how to receive, assess, and administer care to patients who are in flight to a medical facility. The first aspect covered properly assessing the patient. “The assessment is very important,” said Valdez, originally from Phoenix, Ariz. “It is the basis for everything we need to do for a patient. In order to perform an accurate assessment, we conduct a systematic approach to checking the patient.”
The assessment is a visual inspection for bleeding or noticeable injuries followed by a tactile inspection for unseen injuries or bleeding from head to toe. Also during the assessment, the patient might have to be rolled onto their side to check the back for injuries in the event bleeding was noticed.
“Every part is important; the learning, teaching, and treating the patient,” said Muslimyar. “This course is more in depth than the training we previously had. This is the first time I get to receive this training on an important part of our mission.”
After the hands-on instruction of assessing a patient was complete, next Muslimyar was trained on how to receive a patient after landing, load the patient, and administer proper care in the aircraft. To simulate receiving a patient, he received information on casualty wounds and previously conducted care. Using the information, he gave instructions to the training crew on how the patient should be loaded. Muslimyar began his assessment of the patient and hooked up a defibrillator to record the vital signs and output levels of the patient while in the back of a UH-60 Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter.
“He was already familiar with the defibrillator, but not
familiar with what it can do,” said Valdez. “There are a lot of functions they don’t touch on the machine. I showed him the different sizes of pressure cuffs, what each component does and where to apply it to the patient.”
Next the training was taken indoors to better explain the readings on the defibrillator’s monitor. This was to teach Muslimyar what to look for when administering aid to a patient.
“During your assessment you get feedback from the body. Our training is progressive because one subject leads to the next. One of the most important things to remember is that all patients are different,” Valdez said.
C/3-25, 25th CAB has been conducting flight medic training to prepare Afghan flight medics to treat other Afghans in need during MEDEVAC mission since January. Future training will involve using the Afghan Soldier’s supplies and go further in depth with treatment, and reactions to medications.