Where are the Docs, Nurses, Medics ?

  1. OK... have been thinking about this the past few days since Baghdad's liberation... perhaps I could get some feedback.

    In our military planning of the war, we surely must know/expect numerous (if not massive) civilian casualties, even with the most precise weapons and all the care taken to avoid this.

    My question, then, is could we not plan ahead for the inevitable results and incorporate a large team of military and/or civilian medical personnel into the immediate postliberation phase of the war?

    I see that the hospitals there are sooooooo understaffed and underequipped, and now looters are even taking what few medical supplies are available, even hospital beds. This breaks my heart.
    There are so many civilians desparately needing medical intervention, innocents who have been caught up in the crossfire and bombings. I understand this is all the horrible side to war... but while we plan on how many troops will be needed to go in and do their job, could we not also plan on how many medical ppl will be needed to assist the poor souls affected ?

    We plan for humanitarian aid to be sent in, and interim leadership, and consider so many other aspects. Have we given enough consideration to THIS? Do we send in medical supplies to these few hospitals who are attempting to serve so many? Should we not be sending in medical teams to work alongside their docs ands nurses to help and heal the wounded? I think there should be a whole UNIT of nothing but included in the warplan for just this purpose.

    I know we have teams in the field who have been caring for Iraqi civilians, and that's truly wonderful. But what about the cities now? They are flooded with severly injured men, women, and children... and I feel we should be providing far more assistance with that part of the war as well. Sending in meds, supplies, personnel.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    THANK YOU! This thread is very important.

    Is there a plan?
    Now is the time for the USA to shine. Preventable death is unthinkable to this nurse.
    Perhaps we have a plan the media has not covered yet.
    If not NOW is that time!
    I have sent petitions to the White House and elected officials.
    Any ideas? Worst result of action would be to ask for what is already in the works. I believe our military nurses and caregivers will be glad to help.
    One Doctor said in an interview that children will die if cleanliness, food, and antibiotics are not replenished now!
  4. by   oramar
    I have heard them say that the possibility of violence is keeping aid workers away. As the situation stablizes more should move into the area. Just now on MSNBC I heard them say that first bunches of medical people should start to move in tomorrow.
  5. by   jnette
    I heard about the looters keeping staff away as well, but it was not their workers I was referring to. I was hoping that WE would have many, many medical staff incorporated into the immediate postwar plan to insert into those areas needing it most. They, too, are part of our military, and should be used as part of the whole scheme, as the fighting troops are.

    As Spacenurse said, this is our time to shine...what better opportunity to show them we DO indeed care, than to have a LARGE team of medical staff ready and waiting to go in? Along with shipments of medicals supplies, which IMO should already be there as part of the plan.

    I hope you are right Oramar. I hope this is already beginning to happen.
  6. by   aus nurse
  7. by   Mkue
    Thank you for that article aus nurse
  8. by   jnette
    Yeah, what MKUE said.
  9. by   MtnMan
    The Navy fleet hospital out of Pensacola FL is up and running already. My brother in law is eith fleethospital 15(Portsmouth VA) that is in the process of setting up in or near Baghdad for civilian aid. I received an email from my sis yesterday stating that there is also a Spanish organization setting up in Baghdad right now. They are there and seeing paients. Have no fear that is what they do, just keep in mind that CNN will always show the worst.

    Navy corpsman: usually a long haired, beard wearin', sloppy sailor who will crawl through the very gates of hell to save his marines. Chesty Puller USMC ret.
  10. by   semstr
    This is exactly what many, many people, who know their way around strategical and logistic planning, were afraid about.
    That the coaltion forces would win this war, well honestly, no wonder, with the +++++ in equipment, (wo)menforces, FOOD etc.

    But now is the most important time to show the people of Iraq, why they were bombed by their liberators.
    Not just in the hospitals, but also in the musea etc. Invaluable things were stolen, as was the case in 1991 already, why wasn't it possible to plan this better?

    Why is the US, still against an UN involvement?
    Here, trucks loaded with medicins, blankets, food etc. are waiting for transport, they would go under UN-protections, but they are not allowed into Iraq.
    For those of you, who know German, look under the links:
    www.kurier.at or www.orf.at
  11. by   jnette
    Thanx for the links, Semstr. Lots of interesting reading there.

    I can understand the concerns over the loss of national treasures, but truly, I don't feel this should be America's primary concern. I feel more that is is a choice that the Iraqis themselves have made..(to loot, etc.) I can understand the initial looting as well, not that I justify it, but I do understand it. I believe they are now stepping in to end it themselves, which is a good thing.

    But my PRIMARY concern is not for the loss of treasures, but human life.

    I see that other countries are acting to addresse this issue, and we are as well... but my original thoughts which prompted me to start this thread were more along the lines of "shouldn't we have had a plan in place from the "pre-war" phase already, to be able to respond immediately to the inevitable consequenses of the bombings and artillery? Should our own forces(and by this I mean our 'medical forces') not be expected to be part of the immediate post-liberation phase.. ready, AVAILABLE, and waiting just outside the door to step right in and assisit?"

    This might sound bad, or even be taken wrong, but I have to ask...(because it's been in my head and I'm seeking clarification)
    ...do we use our troops to just go in for "the kill"? We have troops that are "healers" as well. Not out on a ship somewhere, or waiting in the wings. To me, they should have been right up there with the third infantry, ready to jump into action and get right into those hospitals with backup supplies and medical personnel, rolling up their sleeves and helping to save these injured citizens.

    I know this might sound naive or idealistic on my part, and be that as it may, I don't see why this couldn't be incorporated as part of the warplan. It would make sense to me. The main idea.. no delay. No having to wait on other countries' assistance, or aid waiting at the borders, or on ships, etc., etc., etc. But right there up front with the infantry troops.

    Just my thoughts anyway.
  12. by   semstr
    Jnette, of course human life is more important, no question about it! (although a lot of these treasures were "einmalig")

    I can't understand this hesitating either, but as I wrote before, that is exactly what worried many people, among them diplomats, too.
    Not only this war had to be planned, but the aftermath even better.
  13. by   jnette
    Semstr, I think that if we did more ( to stop the looting, and other types of ensuing chaos) we would be placing ourselves at risk of being labeled "occupiers" and we are diligently trying to avoid this perception.

    But as far as the medical assistance, yes, I believe we should have our troops at the READY.. not wait to first find out how bad things are in teh city hospitals, but to have anticipated that from the get-go, and had a plan in place, and medical "troops" up front
    and going in right after the place was secured. I'm far from a military planner, I know, and that is why I have asked this question to begin with. It just would make so much sense to me. Our troops consist of more than infantry ... now let's get in and save some lives caused by this war. We've got troops for that, too !
  14. by   WashYaHands
    Apparently our military heath care personnel are very busy, as I have not heard from my loved one who is a career Army PA since the war began.

    I'm posting this article rather than a link because you'd have to sign into the site to read it. It was published in the Washington Post.

    Saturday, April 12, 2003; 5:20 AM

    By Rosalind Russell

    KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) - Two U.S. C-130 transport planes flew medical supplies from Kuwait to Baghdad late on Friday to help strapped hospitals cope with casualties from the U.S.-led assault on the Iraqi capital.

    The 20 tons of supplies donated by the Kuwaiti government were among the first badly needed equipment and medicines to reach Baghdad since U.S. forces took control of the city on Wednesday.

    Supplies included first aid equipment to treat war wounded, mobile operating theaters, insulin and baby milk.

    Small photographs of some of the 600-plus Kuwaitis who went missing during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990-1991 were stuck to the side of the aid packages.

    Kuwaiti Health Minister Mohammad al-Jarallah, watching the supplies being loaded at Kuwait military airport, said more medical assistance and food aid would follow.

    "Whenever the situation settles and we receive a request from the coalition, we are ready to send more help, even medical personnel to help the people of Iraq," he said.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Friday that Baghdad's health system had all but collapsed because of combat damage, looting and anarchy.

    The Geneva-based agency demanded U.S.-led forces rapidly restore order as was their duty under the Geneva Conventions and organize protection of medical units and staff.

    Here is another link to centcom news regarding military health care operations.

    Centcom News