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News | June 25, 2008

Corpsmen teach medical skills to Iraqis

By Cpl. Tyler Barstow , 1st Marine Logistics Group

Cmdr. Kevin D. Buckley demonstrates the use of a portable ultrasound device to visiting Iraqi medical officers from Camp Habbaniyah.
Cmdr. Kevin D. Buckley demonstrates the use of a portable ultrasound device to visiting Iraqi medical officers from Camp Habbaniyah.

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq (June 27, 2008) – Navy doctors and corpsmen at Camp Taqaddum are partnering with Iraqis to show them their medical know-how and teach them the uses of their new equipment.

Five Iraqi army medical officers from Camp Habbaniyah visited Camp Taqaddum Surgical, 1st Supply Battalion (Reinforced), 1st Marine Logistics Group, June 20 to discuss a partnership and tour the building.

A new hospital has been constructed at Camp Habbaniyah, but the facility needs a properly trained staff to operate in the new building with an understanding of the equipment they will use.

“TQ Surgical is developing a training program to share our experience in treating combat casualties with Iraqis,” explained Lt. Cmdr. Frank Dos Santos, emergency medical physician with TQ Surgical, 1st Supply Bn. (Rein), 1st Marine Logistics Group.

The staff at TQ Surgical showed the five Iraqi officers various life saving techniques and demonstrated the proper use of the new equipment.

Maj. Tahseen Muallah, a medical officer from Camp Habbaniyah, was impressed with the tour of the facility and the prospect of further training with the staff and equipment.

“We’d be happy to take professional courses and we’d be happy to push Iraqi patients to the Iraqi side,” Muallah said. “We’d (like) to take that responsibility.”

This training is to better prepare the Iraqi medical personnel to take care of their own by teaching them basic trauma skills.

“They’re energetic and want to be here,” said Cmdr. Kevin D. Buckley, the officer in charge of the Shock Trauma Platoon. “Hopefully, they’ll be able to take back what they learned.”

Buckley, from Livingston, N.J., demonstrated what TQ Surgical had to offer during the “Corpsman Olympics,” a friendly competition that provided training to the medical staff and gave the Iraqis a chance to see the staff and equipment in action.

Moving from different stations at twenty minute intervals, the staff checked for pulses with ultrasound technology, inserted IVs, drew blood and performed a variety of other medical tasks. The Iraqis observed the procedures and learned as much as they could before the time ran out.

“There’s mutual excitement about the possibility of developing a medical partnership,” Dos Santos said.

With the experience and equipment TQ Surgical has, Dos Santos plans to work out a partnership with the Iraqis to train them so they can better provide emergency medical care for injured Iraqis in the future.

“From what I saw today, they’re smart and excited about taking care of each other,” Dos Santos said.