April 2022: Boosting Prolonged Field Care

The challenges of modern future operability supporting Multi-Domain Battle (MDB) and LargeScale Combat Operations (LSCO) will be measured by efficiency in medical evacuation and the optimization of positive casualty outcomes despite extended field time.

By Frederick Gerber (COL, USA Ret), Former Commander, 307th Medical Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division and Senior Military Consultant, Thornhill Medical.

As a Medical Battalion Commander in the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, my team faced complex demands of accumulating trauma patients amid intense staffing and equipment challenges. In one situation, we encountered a large MASCAL incident, followed by a steady stream of inbound casualties – most requiring critical care vital signs monitoring, oxygen, suction, ventilation and other resource intense operations. Clinical staff and equipment resources quickly outstretched our ability to hold large numbers of patients after resuscitating and stabilizing patients over an intense 96-hour period.


Now, as the modern battlefield evolves to Multi-Domain Battle (MDB) and LargeScale Combat Operations (LSCO), the need is more urgent than ever for practical solutions that address the unique demands of treating, holding, and evacuating casualties. The new JTS 2021 Prolonged Care doctrine acknowledges gaps in current patient holding requirements extending beyond the traditional “Golden Hour” to a holding window of up to 96 hours—and beyond. The new Clinical Practice Guidelines identify significant clinical capabilities required to support the future MDB, given resilient, mobile, dispersed, integrated, and survivable medical forces.

This is a topic explored in a recent webinar entitled “Future Readiness: Medical Battlefield Operations & U.S. Army Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)”, in which Will Schiek, (COL, USA MSC Ret) and I examined future battlefield operating concepts and their implications for future battlefield medicine.


Increasingly apparent is the crucial role information and advanced technology can and will play in addressing these gaps.

A February 2022 White Paper examines how MOVES® SLC™ by Thornhill Medical aligns to the new MDB Prolonged Care doctrine. In “Extending Lifesaving Capability, Operational Reach, and Evacuation Capability”, author and clinical consultant Randall M. Schaefer (LTC, USA Ret., DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CEN) explores capability gaps in complex scenarios and assesses the role commercial-off-shelf (COTS) devices play.

According to Schaefer, “MOVES® SLC™ represents an FDA-approved COTS materiel solution directly supporting current and future operational scenarios to extend lifesaving capability, operational reach, and evacuation capabilities…directly supporting efforts to close capability gaps identified in PCC Capability Based Assessments.”

As MDB operations and LSCO dominate the future battlefield, mobile, rugged and interoperable medical technology solutions play a vastly important role in extending the critical care window and serving as a force-multiplier in these environments.

About MOVES® SLC™ 

MOVES® SLC™ extends the critical care window on the battlefield of today and tomorrow. The micro-integrated technology combines an oxygen concentrator, a unique O2-conserving ventilator, suction and complete vital signs monitoring in a single, rugged, portable, battery-powered unit without the need for heavy, dangerous oxygen tanks. MOVES® SLC™ builds upon the functionality of the first-generation MOVES®, which is the current Portable Patient Transport Life Support System (PPTLSS) deployed by the United States Marine Corps.

About Thornhill Medical

Thornhill Medical is a leading developer of innovative medical technologies, including amongst others, its proprietary MOVES® SLC™ integrated life-support technology and MADM™ the first portable in-line vapor anesthesia delivery device that turns any ventilator into an anesthesia workstation. Thornhill Medical’s ground-breaking products are produced to be used around the world by emergency health care providers, military medical teams and disaster relief responders. Thornhill Medical has a wide range of expertise from basic science such as physiology, critical care medicine and electrical and mechanical engineering.

Future Ready.

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