Today, military combat medical care is the best it has ever been. Regulated U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation (AE) is one important reason. The Theater Validating Flight Surgeon (TVFS) validates that a patient is ready for flight. Two TVFSs’ experiences, successively deployed in 2007, are the focus of this study. A unique operational worksheet used to manage the AE queue was used for approximately 5 months. A descriptive analysis of the worksheet’s 1,389 patients found the majority male (94%), median age 30 years, and mostly Army enlisted soldiers (63%). U.S. civilians made up 9%. Battle Injury (55%) surpassed Disease, Non-Battle Injury (45%); most frequently seen were extremity injuries (73%) and cardiac illness (31%), respectively. Common to both Battle Injury and Disease, Nonbattle Injury were several TVFS prescriptions including no “remain overnights” (79%), head of bed elevation (78%), cabin altitude restriction (57%), no stops (44%), Critical Care Air Transport Team (27%), and supplemental oxygen (22%). This study is a first look at the TVFS experience and it offers up an initial accounting of the TVFS clinical and prescriptive practices. It is also a jumping point for future TVFS investigations using the available AE databases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health