Los Angeles Times Examines Program at County-USC Medical Center To Train Navy Medical Personnel
The Los Angeles Times today examines a program at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in which U.S. Navy medics, nurses and other medical personnel train at the hospital to prepare for a potential war with Iraq. Navy medical personnel who participate in the program work in the emergency room, operating room and intensive care unit at County-USC for one month and treat trauma patients with injuries that would "resemble what military medical teams might see in battle," the Times reports. To date, 75 Navy medical personnel have completed the program. The Navy established the program at County-USC because decades without a "sustained conflict" have left the U.S. military with a "severe shortage" of physicians and nurses with battlefield experience, the Times reports. "Now the inner city trauma room has much more trauma experience than the military hospital," Dale Smith, chair of the medical military history department at the Uniformed Services University, said. The County-USC emergency room treats more than 7,000 patients each year, 2,000 of whom have sustained "penetrating trauma," such as a gunshot or knife wound, the Times reports. The Navy selected County-USC from 64 other civilian trauma centers for the program. John Newman, a Navy surgeon who participated in the program, said, "It's a shame that Los Angeles has so much violence, but from a training standpoint -- fantastic" (Becerra, Los Angeles Times, 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.