Skip to comments.Iraqi nurses learn to fight ... diseases
Posted on 08/02/2006 6:08:44 PM PDT by SandRat
Regimental Combat Team-7,
1st Marine Division
CAMP AL QAIM -- Iraqi nurses and corpsmen will soon be able to treat patients for diseases, thanks to U.S. military physicians serving in this region along the Iraqi-Syrian border.
Navy doctors provided Iraqis two days of training designed to teach them how to treat patients for parasites like hook worms. The microbial pests have caused a variety of health problems in locals here, including mental retardation and anemia in children.
The Iraqi medical personnel were also given training in crucial life-saving skills for treating casualties in combat, such as suturing wounds and ways to stop severe blood loss.
Several hours of classroom time and practical application was devoted to teach nearly a dozen Iraqi Soldiers how to provide emergency trauma care for patients in a combat zone.
Probably the most important step while providing emergency-trauma care is to immediately stop the bleeding, said Navy Cdr. Tara J. Zieber, the medical director for the surgical suite here.
Blood loss caused by combat wounds, such as gun shot wounds and shrapnel from roadside bombs, is the top killer of Coalition and Iraqi military forces in Iraq.
Zieber said her team of doctors treat about 30 Iraqis per month, including victims of insurgent suicide bombers. Just last month, doctors were able to save five Iraqi Police officers from bleeding to death after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest at a police station in the Iraqi-Syrian border city of Husaybah.
Navy Cdr. Charles S. Blackadar, an emergency medical provider from Bremerton, Wash., said that while the training is important, there's still a shortage of medical facilities and supplies.
"We are doing what we can to get them training so they can do their job and we can start to transition out of here, Blackadar said.
He said the next step in improving the regions medical care is medical support from the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
Regional tribal leaders and sheiks have voiced concerns over diseases stemming from the lack of clean drinking water. At monthly meetings with U.S. Marine leaders, the local men have asked the provincial governor, Maamoon Sami Rasheed al-Awani, to build a hospital.
During a visit to Husaybah earlier this month, Rasheed told local mayors and sheiks that the construction of a hospital in the region is a top priority.
Health problems caused by parasites have caused an abundance of anemia in women and children, Zieber said. But he added that, with new supplies, hook worms could be eliminated in just over a month.
A Navy doctor said she noticed an abundance of anemia in locals when she saw children eating dirt – a clear sign of the disorder.
Last month, U.S. military physicians and corpsmen spent two days traveling through Euphrates River villages, providing free medical evaluations to locals. They evaluated more than 100 Iraqis and found that more than 80 percent had skin rashes and muscular pain – all treatable with over-the-counter drugs, the medics said.
Tribal sheiks have expressed their concerns to the provincial government on health issues and said they hoped Rasheed will hold true to his word to build a hospital.
We have (needed) a bigger hospital for many months now, said a 32-year-old Iraqi nurse who declined to give her name.
The government has only promised to help us but we have heard only promises here.
For more serious cases, Iraqis near the Syrian border must travel to a larger health facility hundreds of miles away.
These are the first steps in giving the Iraqis medical training to treat their own Soldiers and Im definitely glad to be a part of it, said Blackadar.
I hope in the near future the Iraqi government can establish a bigger plan to address their health care issues.
Iraqi Nurses learn Combat Care.
I hope they are 4 year RN's working on the masters degree (sarc)....it seems if one is anything less in this country like a 2 0r 3 year RN or and heaven forbid an LPN you are considered worthless in the health care system....