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Soldiers complete wound care training
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The live tissue training the soldiers in Fort Stewart's military police battalion completed recently was a first for the installation. During the training, soldiers practiced wound care on live pigs supplied by a contractor approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The pigs are bred for use in training.
During the training, pigs are sedated and subject to some type of trauma, such as cutting or burning. Medics and other soldiers receiving medical training then treat the wounds, which are similar to those they might encounter on the battlefield.
Although last month's training of about 30 soldiers was the first of its kind, the exercise will be repeated. No schedule has been announced.
Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said the live tissue training is critical and beneficial to the soldiers.
"This training provides the necessary realism that simulations cannot," Larson said.
The supply contractor disposes of the pigs following the training. Some are euthanized.
An Army statement said the pigs' remains cannot be allowed to enter the food chain due to high levels of anesthetics in their blood and tissue. Their bodies are turned over to a protein processing plant where the soft tissue is used in a number of ways, primarily in cosmetics.
The bone is processed into bone meal for use in fertilizers and other agricultural products. The high-heat processing destroys any medication residue.
The deployment medicine operators course is a functional, practical exercise-driven course focusing on the application of techniques that construct muscle memory. The course teaches emergency medical principles through case studies, examples, demonstrations and hands-on operations.
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