GULF OF ADEN
- Three medical personnel assigned to Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical System (ERSS) 7, embarked aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and seven visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team members boarded a cargo ship to provide medical assistance to an injured civilian, Jan. 1.
Pinckney, operating under Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, was notified and directed to assist in a medical emergency aboard Motor Vessel Pucon, a cargo vessel transiting the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) within the Gulf of Aden.
Pinckney’s crew readied the ship and traveled at top speed to the injured crew member.
Once on scene, Pinckney received authorization from CTF 151 to board the vessel in order to assess the injury.
“We were unclear as to the extent of his injuries,” said Lt. Cmdr. Craig Schranz, ERSS emergency medicine physician “Upon arriving we found extensive wounds to the hand and face.”
According to personnel aboard the vessel, the crew member was working in the galley and suffered substantial injuries from falling and landing on broken glass.
The medical team was informed that the accident occurred seven hours prior to their arrival. When the crew members aboard had trouble controlling the bleeding, they sought higher medical attention.
“When we arrived, we were unclear of how much blood he had lost, and he said he was feeling extremely exhausted,” said ERSS officer in charge, Capt. Cheryl Gandee.
After examination, the medical team determined that the crew member suffered extensive wounds ranging from a forehead laceration 10 cm. in length, spreading in several directions, to another laceration on the palm of his hand, with visible severed tendons.
“We irrigated and closed the wounds, assessed that he was able to continue on with the ship, even though he would need further medical care at the next port they were stopping at,” said Gandee. “We marked the tendons for the next surgeon and reported that he was stable and wouldn’t require a medical evacuation.”
“The patient was very thankful for the treatment he received,” said Schranz.
“The great thing about being in the Navy is you never know when you are going to be called upon. It’s a chance for us to go out there and be a force for good and provide aid to someone who needs it,” he continued.
Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical System (ERSS) 7 is a mobile trauma team, with capability and equipment to deal with life threatening emergencies, moving as missions require, to and from various Navy platforms.
Guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multinational, mission-based task force working under Combined Maritime Forces, to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.