WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) —
Imagine a kitchen without a countertop or a garage without a space for its tools and nothing but the floor as a workspace. This is how Ground Surgical Teams (GSTs) have worked for years, but engineers from the 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW), part of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), are addressing this issue. Two 711th HPW teams created a prototype of a more efficient workstation for clinicians to use in austere environments to significantly improve patient care.
“A GST is an expeditionary force that typically is deployed to a very austere environment to treat critical casualty patients and stabilize them for further definitive care,” said Dr. Gregory Burnett, Lead Engineer, Product Development Branch, 711th HPW Airman Biosciences Division.
Accordingly, anything the GST needs for stabilizing patients must be brought with them, meaning these teams sometimes work with little to no resources, such as tables, hooks, and other common equipment in austere environments.