IDC Student Recognized for Life-Saving Actions

Story Number: NNS160812-17Release Date: 8/12/2016 2:14:00 PM
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By Larry Coffey, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- An independent duty corpsman (IDC) student from the San Diego-based Surface Warfare Medical Institute (SWMI) was recognized Aug. 12 for saving the life of a construction worker at the Naval Air Station North Island Branch Health Clinic Aug. 3.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Mikhailpietro Orena Drilon was presented the SWMI Det. coin for actions he took while on clinical rotations, training in the branch clinic's Acute Care Clinic.

Civilian construction workers brought a co-worker into the clinic with profuse bleeding from a lower arm severed main artery and tendons that were cut to the bone from a project site injury, described Cmdr. Steven Parks, SWMI officer-in-charge. Drilon applied direct pressure until he was able to locate the source of the bleeding and place a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

"'Bravo Zulu' to our shipmate, Petty Officer Drilon," said Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, commander of Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC) in San Antonio. "His actions demonstrate the aptitude and vitality of our hospital corpsmen and the IDC community, the quality of education received at the Surface Warfare Medical Institute, and the IDC mentorship of junior corpsmen in the fleet. This young Sailor was prepared and ultimately saved a life."

It was his third day of clinical rotation training when Drilon heard the civilian contractor screaming for help, said Parks. Drilon and several other corpsman in earshot moved the patient to a treatment room while a call was placed for help. The patient continued to bleed profusely, and with the wrist tendons exposed and protruding through a gash, it became apparent to Drilon the patient had a severed artery.

Drilon applied what Parks described as "life-saving direct pressure," then placed bandages on the wound to make a temporary pressure-dressing while staff members retrieved a tourniquet. When a Navy physician assistant (PA) and a clinic nurse arrived and assessed the patient, the decision was made to apply the tourniquet and start an IV. The bleeding stopped, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel arrived on scene, and the patient was taken to a local civilian hospital.

Drilon said the incident showed IDC training gives students the knowledge and preparation to save lives in the fleet and on the battlefield.

"The training in IDC school is geared toward training a motivated corpsman to be able to make provider-level medical decisions in a high-stress environment," Drilon said. "It is up to us as potential IDCs to apply the knowledge and rise to the occasion."

"HM2 Drilon is awesome," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Christina Shea, a USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) IDC and Drilon's preceptor responsible for providing oversight during clinical rotations. "His quick thinking and decisive actions absolutely saved this gentleman's life."

SWMI is located on the Naval Medical Center San Diego campus and trains surface IDCs and surface medical officers. SWMI is a subordinate organization of the Naval Medical Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Florida, and NMETC.

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