DVIDS – News – LRMC wins unique partnership in German Trauma Network

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest US trauma center overseas, was recently welcomed into the German Society for Trauma Surgery, or Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie – DGU, becoming the first US trauma center in coalition with a network foreign trauma. Exclusive membership partners LRMC with German trauma centers to improve interoperability and coordination of patient care across Germany.

Developed in the mid-twentieth century, the DGU aims to advance the comprehensive and sustained promotion of scientific, practical, professional, and interdisciplinary activities in the field of trauma, particularly trauma surgery. The main efforts focus on training, treatment, quality assurance, medical education and optimizing patient safety.

“The certification has a direct impact for our patients, our beneficiaries and the family (LRMC) because if the patients end up (in areas far from the LRMC) and they have a major accident, they will most likely be transported to a center of German trauma,” says Army Lt. Col. Eric Ahnfeldt, deputy director of the trauma program at LRMC. “With the recent certification, instead of just being another trauma patient who speaks English, (the patient) can be assigned an American trauma doctor from LRMC to interact with host country doctors, receive updates regarding care and (the patient) can expect all the quality measures (patient safety) that we have in the United States. Eventually, the patient will also be transferred to LRMC as part of this trauma network.

LRMC is the evacuation and treatment center for all wounded U.S. service members, U.S. civilians, and members of the 56 coalition forces serving across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, supporting four commands of fighters in the process. The hospital was recently verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, following the Level III designation for approximately eight years and was previously a Level I Trauma Center prior to that, largely because of the victims of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“(Joining the DGU) is an important step forward as it helps LRMC fully fulfill its primary mission as the primary casualty receiving center for this half of the globe for the U.S. military,” said Colonel Jean-Claude D’Alleyrand. , Director of Surgical Services at LRMC. “In order to fulfill this mission, we must be nimble and respond to any stream of casualties, whether it is a handful or dozens. Part of that means being able to extend our capabilities beyond our own walls, and that means involving our host country partners.

In August 2021, LRMC’s response to a mass casualty event was tested in a real-life situation during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which also led to mass evacuations of Afghan civilians. Meanwhile, Ramstein Air Base, located less than eight miles from the LRMC, played a vital role in the evacuation efforts. As planned, the LRMC supported medical operations, including inpatient and trauma treatment. In addition to the 35,000 Afghan evacuees who passed through Ramstein Air Base, the LRMC’s capabilities were also tested following the August 26 Kabul attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghan civilians, so that more than 20 American soldiers and Afghan civilians were evacuated. at the LRMC.

“During our response to the influx of patients from (withdrawal) and in particular the large influx of patients from (Kabul), we were incredibly lucky to have friends and neighbors in the form of our German counterparts “, recalls D “Alleyrand. “I think we responded exceptionally well, essentially flawless, but we were very dependent on the support, assistance and friendship of our local counterparts. They provided everything we asked for and really extended the hand of friendship when we were going through a very dark hour.

The partnerships formed during Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome have opened the door to more discussions for formal collaboration between US and German medical establishments.

Not only does the partnership help Americans impacted by trauma while living abroad, but membership also benefits medical personnel at the U.S. military treatment facility and German trauma centers, as recently demonstrated a virtual medical education presentation by a host nation specialist to US physicians. .

“We don’t just work with these trauma centers, we participate in quality assurance measures, ensuring that (patients) receive the world-class care they deserve,” said Ahnfeldt, who is also chief of surgical services for the 519th Hospital Center, 30th Medical Brigade.

Additionally, because the DGU is methodically divided into regions based on state trauma systems, LRMC’s unique location between the German states of Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland allows for greater collaboration between German medical centers.

“We are fortunate enough, due to our unique location, unique mission, and unique clientele (US service members) to be in two trauma systems, which is certainly a first for German trauma centers,” D’Alleyrand said.







Date taken: 18.02.2022
Date posted: 18.02.2022 03:50
Story ID: 414911
Location: LANDSTUHL, RP, DE





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