Team TATRC Participates at Annual SOMSA Conference
June 29, 2018 | Download PDF
Eight members from Team TATRC participated in this year’s Special Operations Medical Association’s Scientific Assembly (SOMSA) in Charlotte, North Carolina from 14 – 17 May. In addition to attending a multitude of outstanding and militarily relevant plenary and break-out sessions, TATRC personnel provided direct support for Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medic training sessions and oversight of the SOMSA Research venues for both oral presentations, as well as scientific posters.
Members from TATRC’s Medical Intelligent Systems Lab (MISL) combined forces with the Medical Modeling, Simulation and Visualization (MMSV) team and partnered with LTC Jeremy Pamplin, an Internal Medicine Physician at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), and MAJ William Vasios, a Physician Assistant at Special Operations Command Africa, to host a demonstration of tele-surgical capabilities during the Prolonged Field Care (PFC) educational session. TATRC’s team members included Carl Manemeit, James Beach, Thomas Bigott, Larry Markins and Rebecca Lee from MISL and Mr. Geoffrey Miller, Lab Manager and Research Scientist for MMSV. During the demonstration, Dr. Pamplin provided remote tele-surgical consultation to guide MAJ Vasios in performance of an escharotomy on a simulated patient using video teleconference capabilities broadcast through high bandwidth Mobile Ad Hoc Network radios. This simulation and demonstration addressed the very real needs of military medical providers operating in a PFC environment. An escharotomy is “a surgical incision of the eschar and superficial fascia of the chest or a circumferentially burned limb in order to permit the cut edges to separate and restore blood flow to unburned tissue. Edema may form beneath the inelastic eschar of a full-thickness burn and compress arteries, thus impairing blood flow and necessitating an escharotomy. The incision is protected from infection with the same antimicrobial agent being used on the burn wound.” The demonstration, conducted as part of the education session, helped to highlight realistic scenario in which tele-surgical capabilities could be used to help augment a remote provider’s skillset and confidence in performance of a procedure. Mr. Miller noted that, “the demonstration also highlights the substantial yet underused capability of telemedicine platforms to provide opportunities for training, skill sustainment and assessment over great distances, linking remote providers with expert mentors across the Military Health System.”
Also during this year’s SOMSA, Dr. Gary Gilbert, Research Scientist and Lab Lead for TATRC’s MISL completed his two year term on the SOMA Board of Directors and transitioned to SOMA Research Committee Chair. Those new responsibilities included chairing the research oral presentations venue, coordinating and overseeing the judging of both the oral research presentations and the scientific posters, and assisting the SOMA President in presenting the awards. This years’ awards included plaques presented for the Best Research Oral Presentation and Best Poster, as well as one-year SOMA memberships for the Best Oral Presentation and Best Poster presented by an SOF medic. “Judging some 23 excellent oral presentations and 40 posters was really tough,” said Dr. Gilbert, “thank goodness for the willing assistance and help from a volunteer team of judges that included Dr. Francis McVeigh, TATRC’s Science Director and Lead for the Virtual Health Support Office; Dr. Jose Salinas, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research; TATRC alumnus, Dr. Ron Poropatich, University of Pittsburgh Medical School; and LTC Jeremy Pamplin, MAMC, and TATRC’s Incoming Deputy Director.”
He concluded, “TATRC personnel greatly benefitted from the many first-rate and relevant talks on all aspects of current and future SOF medicine to include current and future research and acquisition strategies and SOMSA provided significant opportunities for interaction with SOF medical providers and operators. The medic operator vignettes and lessoned learned are always most beneficial to our continued understanding of the research challenges associated with the SOF operational environment. The operational telemedicine presentation by LTC Jeremy Pamplin, supported technically by TATRC personnel at the PFC tutorial, was well received by the SOF operators and providers.”
This article was published in the June 2018 issue of the TATRC Times.