Medical Department Prepares Battle Dressing Stations

Story Number: NNS090608-20Release Date: 6/8/2009 11:38:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Aaron Shelley, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Now that USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is in the final stages of its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), the medical department is putting the finishing touches on its battle dressing stations (BDSs).

BDSs are emergency response medical spaces where casualties can be treated for any injury up to minor surgery. With sea trials approaching, the department has gone to many lengths to ensure that each BDS is supplied and prepared for any situation.

"We've been putting in a lot of hours getting these up and running for deployment," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF/SW) Sterling Hall.

There are six BDSs on board. They can be found on the forward and aft ends of the ship as well as the flight deck and main medical.

Like damage control repair lockers, BDSs are manned by corpsman and stretcher bearers for training purposes and familiarization. During general quarters, corpsmen prepare themselves for a possible casualty by readying any supplies they may need.

This familiarization is a must if corpsmen and stretcher bearers are to react and respond to a casualty situation appropriately.

"Corpsmen are being trained at the stations so they know where everything is, and that way they'll know where the tools are and how to use them if a casualty occurs," said Hall.

When responding, time is a critical factor. The transporting of a casualty to a nearby BDS gives the corpsman more time to stabilize a patient and determine whether more serious actions need to be taken.

USS Carl Vinson is completing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.

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