From World War I to our current military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, medical imaging technology utilized in battlefield settings has vastly improved and evolved over the years. This has led to the transition of the equipment made available to the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM), military radiographer, and radiologist to assist in the triage and diagnosis of battlefield-related injuries. Medical treatment facilities close to the battlefield usually have available the following medical imaging modalities: ultrasound, digital radiography, and teleradiology. Whether it is in the battlefield or an offsite triage facility; one’s first responder exper¬tise from the stateside clinical setting to the combat zone requires intensive training, sharp technical skills, the ability to think outside the box, and, above all, bravery. As advancements have occurred over the decades in military armament and technology, so too have changes in the types of equipment the SOCM has access to, and what additional tools might be available to them in the future.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Discuss the history and training regimen of a military Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM), and the echelons of care used by SOCMs.
- Describe the various medical imaging modalities utilized in triaging injuries that occur in a battlefield arena, including the role of ultrasound, radiography, and teleradiology in combat radiology.
- Discuss the various equipment and medications that SOCMs have available in their field medical back pack to both triage and treat combatants.
- Identify potential new technology changes and miniaturization of equipment that may play a role in the future of combat medicine and battlefield radiology.
Categories: Ultrasound, Digital Radiography