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A field hospital is a temporary hospital or mobile medical unit that takes care of casualties on-site before they can be safely transported to more permanent facilities.This term was initially used in military medicine (such as the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital or MASH), but it is inherited to be used in civil situations such as disasters and major incidents.
A field hospital is a medical staff with a mobile medical kit and, often, a wide tent-like shelter (at times an inflatable structure in modern usage) so that it can be readily set up near the source of casualties. In an urban environment, the field hospital is often established in an easily accessible and highly visible building (such as a manor house, restaurant, school, and so on). In the case of an airborne structure, the mobile medical kit is often placed in a normalized container; the container itself is then used as shelter. A field hospital is generally larger than a temporary aid station but smaller than a permanent military hospital.
International humanitarian law, such as the Geneva Conventions, include prohibitions on attacking doctors, ambulances, hospital ships, or field hospitals buildings displaying a Red Cross, a Red Crescent or other emblem related to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
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Field hospitals in France are managed by the SAMU (French emergency medical service). Two types of mobile medical kits (poste sanitaire mobile or PSM) are used:
The PSM are stored in the hospitals where there are samus and smurs.
The PMA is organized in four zones:
In case of really massive disaster, it is possible to have several PMA; the evacuation goes then not directly to a hospital, but to another big field hospital called "medical evacuation centre" (centre médical d'évacuation, CME), to avoid the saturation of the hospitals.
In case of a red plan, the PMA is under the responsibility of a physician chosen by the director of medical rescue (DSM), and he is assisted by a firefighter officer chosen by the commander of rescue operation (COS). The firefighter officer has in charge the identification of the living casualties and of the secretaryship. The aim of the PMA is to sort and stabilize the casualties before their evacuation to a hospital.
A similar system can be set up as a preventive measure for some very big events (sport championship, cultural events, concert...), but managed by first aid associations. It is then called an "associative medical post" (poste associatif médicalisé, PAM). (For smaller events, is simple first aid post, with only volunteer certified first responders and no medical staff, is set up.)
The civil defence military units (Unité d'instruction et d'intervention de la sécurité civile, UIISC) have airborne field hospitals. The general system is called DICA (détachement d'intervention de catastrophe aéroporté, i.e. airborne disaster unit), and is specialized in search-and-rescue and in emergency medicine; it can be enhanced by the Fast civil defence medical unit, called ESCRIM (élément de sécurité civile rapide d'intervention médicale). The ESCRIM is a surgical unit (detachement d'appui chirurgical) assisted by a medical assistance unit (DAMHo, détachement d'appui médical et d'hospitalisation); the later is specialized in pre- and post-operation care, and allows 48h of hospitalization. The UIISC also has a PMA (i.e. sort, stabilization and evacuation structure) when the hospital infrastructure of the country is sufficient.
The Namibian Defence Force operates a mobile field hospital through its Defence Health Services Directorate. It was donated by the German government to Namibia in March 2013. Initially it was a UN level two hospital but has now been upgraded to level one. The field hospital is containerized in tents, it has capacity to treat forty outpatients per day and can admission capacity of twenty patients. It has two intensive care units, laboratories, an X-ray unit and a mobile oxygen concentrator.The dental department can treat 20 and four operations can be carried out daily. It has its own mobile logistics support wing consisting of kitchens, water purifiers, water tanks, toilet and shower containers, generators and sewage and refuse disposal facilities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the hospital was deployed to Hosea Kutako International Airport to aid the country's response.
In the United States Army Medical Department, the term "field hospital" is used as a generic term for a deployable medical facility. However, from 1906 to the present, with small interruptions, the department has had specific organized units called "Field Hospitals." These numbered units, for example the 10th Field Hospital have specific tables of organization and equipment, capabilities, and doctrine for their employment, all of which have varied over time. Readers should take care not to confuse the generic American field hospital with a specific numbered XXth Field Hospital, as the two cannot be used interchangeably. An Evacuation Hospital, a MASH, a CSH, a Field Hospital and a numbered General Hospital are all field hospitals—but a MASH, CSH, a General Hospital and Field Hospital are not interchangeable.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss Armed Forces were mobilised to support civil hospitals in Switzerland. Similar measures were taken in other countries.
Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments by the severity of their condition or likelihood of recovery with and without treatment. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately; influencing the order and priority of emergency treatment, emergency transport, or transport destination for the patient.
Battlefield medicine, also called field surgery and later combat casualty care, is the treatment of wounded combatants and non-combatants in or near an area of combat. Civilian medicine has been greatly advanced by procedures that were first developed to treat the wounds inflicted during combat. With the advent of advanced procedures and medical technology, even polytrauma can be survivable in modern wars. Battlefield medicine is a category of military medicine.
The Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) refers to a United States Army medical unit serving as a fully functional hospital in a combat area of operations. The units were first established in August 1945, and were deployed during the Korean War and later conflicts. The term was made famous in the novel, movie, and television series M*A*S*H, which depicted a fictional MASH unit. The U.S. Army deactivated the last MASH unit on February 16, 2006. The successor to the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital is the Combat Support Hospital.
The U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) is a direct reporting unit of the U.S. Army that formerly provided command and control of the Army's fixed-facility medical, dental, and veterinary treatment facilities, providing preventive care, medical research and development and training institutions. On 1 October 2019, operational and administrative control of all military and veteran medical facilities transitioned to the Defense Health Agency.
A combat support hospital is a type of modern United States Army field hospital. The CSH is transportable by aircraft and trucks and is normally delivered to the Corps Support Area in standard military-owned demountable containers (MILVAN) cargo containers. Once transported, it is assembled by the staff into a tent hospital to treat patients. Depending upon the operational environment, a CSH might also treat civilians and wounded enemy soldiers. The CSH is the successor to the mobile army surgical hospital.
Casualty evacuation, also known as CASEVAC or by the callsign Dustoff or colloquially Dust Off, is a military term for the emergency patient evacuation of casualties from a combat zone. Casevac can be done by both ground and air. "DUSTOFF" is the callsign specific to U.S. Army Air Ambulance units. CASEVACs by air today are almost exclusively done by helicopter, a practice begun on a small scale toward the end of World War II; before that, STOL aircraft, such as the Fieseler Fi 156 or Piper J-3 were used.
The Orsec-Novi plan, or short Novi plan, is a French emergency plan used for a mass casualty incident (mascal), i.e. if an emergency has a significant number of casualties in a limited area. Its aim is to organize the rescue resources to cope with the concentrated casualties. It was formerly called red plan ; "Orsec" stands for "rescue management", and "novi" for "multiple casualties".
The Orsan plan is the emergency plan in France to face a sudden increase of activity in a hospital, such as a massive arrival of casualties due to an accident or a disaster, an epidemic or a lasting climatic event that becomes deadly for fragile people such as a heatwave.
In the United States Armed Forces, the Combat Medic/Healthcare Specialist is responsible for providing emergency medical treatment at a point of wounding in a combat or training environment, as well as primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness. Additionally, medics may also be responsible for the creation, oversight, and execution of long-term patient care plans in consultation with- or in the absence of a readily available physician or advanced practice provider. Combat medics may be utilized in hospitals and clinics where they have the opportunity to work in additional roles such as operating medical and laboratory equipment, performing and assisting with procedures, and beyond.
A combat medical technician (CMT) is a soldier with a specialist military trade within the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army.
In the United States Army, Medical Detachments, popularly known as Forward Surgical Teams (FST), are small, mobile surgical units. A functional operating room can be established within one and a half hours of being on scene and break down to move to a new location within two hours of ceasing operations.
Emergency medical services in France are provided by a mix of organizations under public health control. The central organizations that provide these services are known as a SAMU, which stands for Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente. Local SAMU organisations operate the control rooms that answer emergency calls and dispatch medical responders. They also operate the SMUR, which refers to the ambulances and response vehicles that provide advanced medical care. Other ambulances and response vehicles are provided by the fire services and private ambulance services.
The term military medicine has a number of potential connotations. It may mean:
The 1st Close Health Battalion (1CHB) is a unit of the 17th Sustainment Brigade of the Australian Army. It is headquartered at the Robertson Army Barracks in Darwin, but has sub-units located in Darwin, Townsville and Brisbane. The unit traces its lineage back to the 1st Field Hospital, which was raised in the 1960s for service as part of Australia's contribution to the Vietnam War. Since then, the unit has changed names twice and personnel have been deployed on numerous peacekeeping and warlike operations throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
An ambulance bus is a type of ambulance with the capacity to transport and treat multiple patients. An ambulance bus is used primarily for medical evacuation of mass casualty incidents and non-emergency medical transport of care-dependent patients, and can also be used for specific problems such as drunk patients in town centres.
The White House Medical Unit (WHMU) is a unit of the White House Military Office and is responsible for the medical needs of White House staff and visitors. The unit also provides medical care to the President, the Vice President, their families, and international dignitaries visiting the White House.
The 28th Combat Support Hospital is a Combat Support Hospital of the United States Army. It was first constituted in 1943 and served in China during World War II. During the Gulf War in 1990, it was the first Army hospital unit established and deployed into Iraq with combat forces of the XVIII Airborne Corps. More recently it has been involved in relief operations following natural disasters and has undertaken several recent deployments to Iraq. Currently the unit falls under the command of the 44th Medical Brigade and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The 10th Field Hospital is a Field Hospital of the United States Army first constituted on 23 June 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 10th Field Hospital.
The 274th Forward Surgical Team (Airborne)—part of the 274th Forward Resuscitative and Surgical Detachment (Airborne)—is an airborne forward surgical team of the United States Army providing Level II care far forward on the battlefield. It was first constituted in 1944 and served in Europe during World War II. More recently it has been involved in relief operations following natural disasters and has undertaken several recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The 274th Forward Surgical Team was part of both the initial entry forces of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Currently the unit falls under the command of the 28th Combat Support Hospital and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The 1st Medical Brigade is a medical brigade of the United States Army. It is located at Fort Hood, Texas, providing health care and medical services to the Fort Hood community, and continuing training in its combat support mission.
Field hospitals were mobile, were sent to support the battle line—as was the 103d—and served in every capacity, from disease hospital to resuscitation center to acute care (with surgical reinforcement) to reserve and rest status. Their job was triage, stabilization, and evacuation to the base hospitals.
Media related to Field hospitals at Wikimedia Commons