Life in a forward resuscitation surgical suite

Annual Meeting attendees can visit a forward resuscitation surgical suite (FRSS), just like the ones used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Located in the lobby of the San Diego Convention Center, the surgical suite is a third-generation set-up and includes new, improved overhead lighting, so critical for working on the wounded.

FRSS units are deployed anywhere from 250 yards to 2 miles out from combat. They are equipped to handle up to 16 cases before needing to be re-supplied. Supplies are moved by helicopter or armored truck. The FRSS is designed to be quickly set up or moved. The 10-person medical team is expected to set up the tent, generators, lighting, equipment, and supplies in an hour, but teams have done it in half that time.

FRSS units serve a Role 2 mission: stabilization, damage control, and life over limbs. They provide a transition point between first contact and definitive care hospitals, such as in Landstuhl, Germany.

On Thursday, HM2 Alexander Moreno and HM3 Aaron Friedlander of the 1st Medical Batallion provided information to meeting attendees about the FRSS. The two Navy field hospital corpsmen, serving the Marine Corps, were in Afghanistan from April to November 2010, and are now stationed at Camp Pendleton.