U.K. Surgeon General Is Bringing Combat Medicine Home

By Angus Batey
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
September 09, 2013
Credit: Cpl. Ashley E. Santy/U.S. Marine Corps

Critical injury care is among the biggest success stories of British military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A range of measures, from mandating the use of tourniquets to employing Chinook helicopters to deliver medical emergency response teams (MERT), has brought a higher echelon of care closer to the battlefield than ever before. AW&ST Contributing Editor Angus Batey discussed the challenges of the transition from combat to contingency with the surgeon general of the U.K. Defense Ministry, Air Marshal Paul Evans (far left, above).

Air Marshal Paul Evans

Surgeon General, U.K. Defense Medical Services

Born: 1954

Education: Qualified as medical doctor, 1978; Diploma in aviation medicine, 1987; RAF Staff College, 1996; Royal College of Defense Studies, 2004.

Background: Commissioned into the medical branch of the RAF in 1975; positions include medico-legal advisor to the director general of RAF Medical Services, medical officer for clinical policy and healthcare director, Surgeon General's department.

Defense Technology: How can the medical gains made in Afghanistan be sustained once combat operations end?

Evans: Defense medical services are at their peak in times of war and major conflict. You will always get an element of skill fade [afterward]. What you've got to do is minimize it. And I think there are a number of ways to do that. The first thing is you must log lessons learned, and, while I can't replicate Afghanistan in the U.K., we have to look at what else might be available to maintain the skills as best we can.

What role would simulation play in this?

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