PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Assisting local nationals is nothing new for Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division medics as they have provided medical care for citizens of the greater Waza Khawa district area in the past.
But on the afternoon of March 30, however, they raced against the clock to save the life of a pregnant Afghan woman.
On the morning of March 28 the woman admitted herself to the local female clinic in the Village of Waza Khawa, Afghanistan, with pregnancy complications. After three days of attempting to induce a natural birth, the local nurse in charge of the clinic referred her for further care to the aid station at Forward Operation Base Waza Khawa, said U.S. Army Capt. William Cragun, the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry doctor.
Despite such short notice, the medics of ’Choppin’ Company sprung into action to assist the patient. The severity of the young mother’s condition, mixed with the basic equipment available in the battalion aid station, posed a unique challenge for the medic-team, Cragun said.
An extensive evaluation determined that the mother had lost her child and that the medics needed to perform a hasty delivery to save her life.
Stretched to the extent of their medical training, the Company C medics made multiple attempts to induce a natural birth with various labor positions, delivery maneuvers and medications, said Cragun.
When attempts at delivery failed, the mother’s condition worsened over time forcing the medics to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation three times to bring her back to life, said Cragun.
While the Company C medics stabilized the patient for transport, the unit requested a medical evacuation to fly her from FOB Waza Khawa to FOB Orgun-E for a higher level of care. Because of language barriers and cultural considerations, the patient’s husband accompanied her to FOB Orgun-E, said U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Black, an adjutant with 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry .
After arriving at FOB Orgun-E the doctors and medics moved her directly to the operating room, where the forward surgical team of doctors performed two major life saving surgeries.
“The team of doctors and medics in the operating room were extremely professional and technically proficient. Each person in the room knew exactly what their job was and they were instrumental in saving [her life],” said Black.
The patient is expected to make a full recovery, he added.
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