PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) — Can the U.S. Navy conduct successful select surgeries during high sea on alternative platforms? That is the question being asked for a study being conducted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) August to October, 2015.
The study is essentially a proof of concept and is being performed by the Human Systems Integration Team, headed by Eric Pierce at the NSWC PCD Biodynamics Laboratory between Aug. 31 and Oct. 9, 2015. The study's end state will deliver qualitative analysis to determine the feasibility of conducting select surgical procedures during high sea states. Alternative platforms in this case are defined as platforms like the littoral combat ship, or high speed vessel.
If the study determines the surgeries can be successfully performed in sea states on alternative platforms, then the results will be reviewed by personnel at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) decision making level.
"Once we have the study's findings, we'll take that information and give to leadership for further exploration to determine the feasibility on smaller navy vessels, using modeling and simulation of the high speed vessels and littoral combat ships," said OPNAV Medical Analyst Lt. Cmdr. Randy Dee, USN.
The selected surgical procedures for this study include a stabilizing a fractured pelvis, treating a displaced femur fracture, an open wound of the abdominal wall, and a traumatic amputation of the leg modeled. Medical team specialties will include a surgeon, a nurse, a surgical technician, and an anesthesiologist. The tests will be conducted with medical personnel simulating medical treatments in sea states between three and perhaps up to five.
"We'll be using surgical equipment with a table anesthesiology machine to make the environment as real as possible," said Dee. "It's important to determine the outlook for future Navy capabilities for the next 15-20 years. Our Navy is creative and we are creative and will always find new ways to push the envelope and find new ways to save lives."
Dee said NSWC PCD's Biodynamics Laboratory was selected because a similar study was conducted in Panama City, Florida, in 2013.
"That study drove us to this point and determined the need for a deeper dive," said Dee.
The study will also include personnel from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), OPNAV, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery), and Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS) who provides Hyper-Realistic™ training environments for military, law enforcement and other organizations, using state-of-the-art movie industry special effects, role players, proprietary techniques, training scenarios, facilities, mobile structures, sets, props, and equipment.
For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, visit www.navy.mil/local/NSWC/.