Predeployment mass casualty and clinical trauma training for US army forward surgical teams

Bruno M.T. Pereira, Mark L. Ryan, Michael P. Ogilvie, Juan Carlos Gomez-Rodriguez, Patrick McAndrew, George D. Garcia, Kenneth G. Proctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Since the beginning of the program in 2002, 84 Forward Surgical Teams (FSTs) have rotated through the Army Trauma Training Center (ATTC) at the University of Miami/Ryder Trauma Center including all those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of this study was to provide the latest updates of our experience with FSTs at the ATTC. Before deployment, each FST participates in a 2-week training rotation at the ATTC. The rotation is divided into 3 phases. Phase 1 is to refresh FST knowledge regarding the initial evaluation and management of the trauma patient. Phase 2 is the clinical phase and is conducted entirely at the Ryder Trauma Center. The training rotation culminates in phase 3, the Capstone exercise. During the Capstone portion of their training, the entire 20-person FST remains at the Ryder Trauma Center and is primarily responsible for the evaluation and resuscitation of all patients arriving over a 24-hour period. Subject awareness concerning their role within the team improved from 71% to 95%, indicating that functioning as a team in the context of the mass casualty training exercise along with clinical codes was beneficial. The clinical component of the rotation was considered by 47% to be the most valuable aspect of the training. Our experience strongly suggests that a multimodality approach is beneficial for preparing a team of individuals with minimal combat (or trauma) experience for the rigors of medical care and triage on the battlefield. The data provided by participants rotating through the ATTC show that through clinical exposure and simulation over a 2-week period, FST performance is optimized by defining provider roles and improving communication. The mass casualty training exercise is a vital component of predeployment training that participants feel is valuable in preparing them for the challenges that lay ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-986
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Combat casualty care
  • forward surgical team
  • mass casualty
  • military training
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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