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10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

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ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

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Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

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Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Justin Day, a combat medic from Davenport, Iowa, injects a needle into the leg bone of U.S. Army Cpl. Eric Palmer, a combat medic from Fairfield, Iowa, at the aid station on Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam March 10. The two medics with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, demonstrated an infusion through the bone. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Voegtlin, Task Force Red Bulls)


NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It’s nice to be able to trust your roommate.

U.S. Army Cpl. Eric Palmer trusts 19-year-old U.S. Army Spc. Justin Day, so much he allowed him to drive a needle through his shinbone and pump liquids into it.

“We’re roommates; met about a year ago and have been through a lot of medical training together,” Palmer said. “I had complete faith in him doing this. We talked to the colonel and he blessed off on it; he thought it would be a good class we could all learn from.”

The two combat medics with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, demonstrated an injection of intravenous liquids into the bone of a live patient using a bone injection gun in the aid station at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam March 10.

“It was a class on interosseous infusion,” explained Palmer, who is an iron worker in his hometown of Fairfield, Iowa. “If we have a patient in a scenario where we’re unable to get IV access on them to run fluids into them and they’ve had a lot of blood loss, we can also run fluids through the bone. The bone marrow will accept the fluid in the same way a vein would.”

The medics said the procedure could be used on a Soldier involved in an improvised explosive device explosion who is missing limbs or for heavier people whose veins are not easily accessible. If time was of the essence and the medics could not administer IV fluids, the medics said the interosseous infusion would be the next best option.

“For ... medics, the more tools we have in our toolbox at our disposal to use increases our chances for keeping battlefield casualties alive,” Palmer said. “The better trained we are on using these devices on people, the better we can save lives.”

Palmer and Day said they have had training on the process, but there was one big difference during this demonstration.

“We had never done training on this on live tissue,” said Day, a Davenport, Iowa, native. “It was kind of a big deal ... to inject the fluids into the bone, you have to actually fracture the bone with the (bone injection gun).”

Day explained the process.

“You inject a 15-gauge tropic needle into the bone,” he said. “The BIG has a heavy spring which shoots the needle into the bone causing a small fracture. There is a metal catheter around the needle. The needle and the catheter are injected together and then the catheter is pulled out. An extension set for a standard IV is connected, and the fluids are administered inside the bone.”

Day injected the needle into a plate of bone known as the tibia plateau by Palmer’s shin. The medics said placement of the injection is key because there are arteries inside bones as well as tendons and other things that could be damaged. The Saline fluids are pushed into a cavity inside the bone through a syringe, which is where the pain occurs for the patient, because it breaks apart the marrow.

Palmer, a former wrestler, said he has a pretty high threshold for pain and said when the BIG fractured his bone, it was not painful at all. However, when the liquid was injected into the bone in his leg, he said the level of pain was a 13 on a scale of 1-to-10.

“It did hurt; it’s an ungodly pain,” Palmer said. “It felt like the bone in my leg expanded to the size of a tanker truck.”

The medics administered a small dose of morphine to Palmer, who felt nauseous from the pain. They said in a real-life situation, the patient would be unconscious or medicated prior to the fluid administration or would probably be in so much pain from existing injuries that the bone injection would be an afterthought.

Day, a medic for the scout platoon, said he was not nervous about the procedure because he was confident he could perform the injection correctly. What made him nervous, he said, was the large collaboration of people who watched the process.

“Here I am, a little (specialist), telling our sergeant major and colonel and all these people how this procedure is done,” Day said.

Day said he did a lot of research on the device and others like it, such as another emergency bone injector, which is driven into a patient’s sternum, prior to using the BIG on his roommate.

“The only reason I didn’t let him do the injection into my sternum is because I have a tattoo there I didn’t want to get messed up,” Palmer said.

One thing was clear from the demonstration: if these medics ever need to apply this emergency procedure in a combat situation, they proved they could do it.

“The only way to find out if something works is to use it,” Day said.



LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Justin Day, a combat medic from Davenport, Iowa, uses a multi-purpose tool to remove the catheter from a needle injected into the leg of U.S. Army Cpl. Eric Palmer, a combat medic from Fairfeild, Iowa, at the aid station on Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam March 10. The two medics with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, demonstrated the procedure for fellow medical personnel. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Nathan Nicol, Task Force Red Bulls)

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 March 2011 00:04


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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

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All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

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Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.

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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.

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PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.