Practicing Tactical EMS on the “Cut Suit”

Innovative simulator allows first responders to practice a full range of tactical EMS procedures

 

 
 
 

Shannon Pieper | | Friday, November 9, 2012

GALLERIES

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Practicing Tactical EMS on the “Cut Suit”

At the recent HALO Counterterrorism Summit, the “cut suit” medical simulator was used in a counterterrorism training demonstration.
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First responders, military special ops and government counterterrorism personnel gathered for the HALO Corporation’s Counterterrorism Summit last week in San Diego. Although the overall attendee and exhibitor attendance took a big hit from Superstorm Sandy, which prevented many people from traveling, one highly attended event was the Downed Pilot Rescue, conducted by the training company Strategic Operations.

Led by a president with 35 years in the film industry and an executive vice president who flew 243 combat missions in Vietnam, Strategic Operations creates what it terms “hyper-realistic” training. It combines Hollywood battlefield special effects, combat wound effects, medical simulation systems and role players to produce an environment that is so close to real that participants react with the stress and fear of a live event—and thus learn valuable lessons about how to react under combat. The company has provided training support to more than 600,000 military personnel, but it is also branching into the public safety sector, as evidenced by the HALO event and a recent training with the San Diego Fire Department.

The HALO training demonstration featured a “developing-world” (think Afghanistan) village, constructed specifically for the training, as well as a team of actors who impersonated villagers and insurgents. Former Navy SEALs formed the airborne quick reaction force (QRF), and members of San Diego-area SWAT formed the force that eventually took over the village.

The scenario: A downed pilot is trapped in the village. The QRF parachutes into the village to attempt to extract the downed pilot while the opposition force fires rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and small arms fire at them. The quick reaction force fights off the opposition, fights its way into the village, locates and administers aid to the pilot, extracts him and leaves.

A key component of the demonstration involved the QRF administering medical care to the downed pilot. This training featured the use of the “cut suit,” which is an incredibly realistic suit worn by the victim that allows first responders to perform medical care procedures. And we’re not talking simple things like applying bandages. The cut suit allows for the practice of:

  • Extremity tourniquet application and hemorrhage control
  • Extremity arterial hemorrhage clamping
  • Needle and Surgical Chricothyroidotomy
  • Bilateral Chest Needle Thoracentesis
  • Surgical Chest Tube Thoracotomy
  • Surgical incisions to the thoracic and abdominal cavity with venous bleeding
  • Thoracotomy & intra-thoracic exploration and hemorrhage control of gross organ structures
  • Laporotomy & intra-abdominal exploration and hemorrhage control of gross organ structures
  • Suturing or stapling of gross organs & skin in all locations
  • Urinary catheterization and bladder tap
  • Peripheral IV access

Strategic Operations’ website lists the following features of the cut suit:

  • The system can be worn during intensely physical scenarios at the point of injury
  • The system weighs approximately 30 lbs (approximately equivalent to a current defense issued, fully-loaded individual body armor)
  • Body armor, uniform, clothing and equipment is not only don-able over the system but usable
  • The system allows for interaction with a live patient during the emergency assessment and treatment process
  • The skin and organs are user repairable, allowing for multiple uses per unit (well beyond fifty repairs to fully lacerated skin)
  • Interchangeable organs, variable rate beating heart and variable blood flow
  • Wounds created by the user
  • Breakable and repairable bones (ribs & sternum)

Check out the photos from this unique demonstration and let us know what you think: How does your training match up? Would EMS benefit from “hyper-realistic” training?



Practicing Tactical EMS on the “Cut Suit”

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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

The downed pilot’s cover is blown when insurgents find him hiding in one of the village structures. They capture him and take him to another building, where he suffers critical injuries. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

The quick reaction force finds the pilot and helps him out of the structure in which he’d been held. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

Once the quick reaction force has rescued the pilot, they must immediately provide medical care to save his life. The pilot is wearing a “cut suit” that allows first responders to practice tactical EMS in the most realistic of conditions. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

The cut suit allows first responder to practice such complicated procedures as emergency tracheotomy, IV insertion, catheterization and more. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

A medic practices inserting a chest tube using the cut suit. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

The cut suit allows first responders to use the full range of their kits, practicing multiple procedures in one training. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

Also used in the training: a digital triage pen that records and stores the patient’s triage information, allowing for wireless transmit of the patient’s information. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

The team helps the downed pilot to the evac area. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

A close-up view of the cut suit. Photo Bob Graham


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Practicing Tactical EMS on the "Cut Suit"

Another Strategic Operations product is called “blast pants,” and was created to train field medics on how to stop bleeding from an inguinal injury, such as a traumatic groin injury (groin injuries are increasingly common in combat). Photo Bob Graham



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, WMD and Terrorism, MCI Special Topics, tactical medicine, Strategic Operations, Simulation, military, hyper-realistic, HALO, cut suit, counterterrorism

 
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