Our Air Force contingent is quickly winding down their deployment. Their reliefs are expected to arrive by mid January. They are quite excited at the prospect of going home.
We continue to perform humanitarian work as we are able. Dave, our orthopedist, and Kat, our plastic surgeon, have been busy trying to save the arm of fourteen year old boy with an infected bone, known as osteomyelitis, in his arm. His infection is so advanced that the interior bone was essentially pus. Osteomyelitis that advanced is virtually unknown in the West because it would have been treated much earlier. So much so that Dave was having trouble finding any similar case reports in the medical literature to help guide treatment. Compounding his difficulties was our lack of ability to perform certain diagnostic tests such as a CT scan or bacterial cultures. Nevertheless, Dave was committed to providing the best care that he could provide. We took the boy to the OR for a removal of dead bone, to washout the arm, and to place antibiotic "beads". Whether the treatment will be save the arm remains to be seen.
Since it is the end of the year, it is seems worthwhile to look at the FST's year. The numbers include the units that have preceded us in 2010 including the Army's 758th FST and the first Navy FST.
Trauma codes: 485
Operative cases: 133
Survival rate: 99%
Memorials for American KIAs: One (too many).
Not bad for a 25-person team but then there are a whole host of other accomplishments in which we can take commensurate pride:
Porches built: One
Babies born to FST families while deployed: One
Pittsburgh Steeler hats distributed: 25
|Warming the heads of so many Colts, Cowboys, and Patriot fans. Now that's an accomplishment.|
Circum-navigations of the earth on the treadmill: 2.8 (Just an estimate.)
Air Force holiday parties: Three (Impressive considering that they only started in July. Outstanding prospects for an unprecedented 2011.)
|Putting the 'fst' in festive.|
Skype minutes to home: Not enough. Never enough.
Supply trucks unloaded: A whole dang lot.
Circum-navigations of the earth by cans of 'near' beer consumed: 2.8 (Just an estimate.)
Dave the cool orthopedist moments: Not enough. Never enough.