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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

Chapter 14 - Medical Aspects in a Field Hospital

from Section 4 - Clinical Considerations


The medical contingent of the field hospital has different roles to play as the deployment continues, due to the changing case load and breakdown of patients and disease. If deployment occurs more than a few days from the event, the need for medical (as opposed to surgical) personnel will increase. This is due to the need to treat chronic medical conditions- due to the collapse of local medical services- and to treat infectious disease (wound infections) and to prevent and treat disease outbreaks.

Preparation for the mission will ultimately determine its success, due to the very short interval between the decision to deploy and deployment. Team preparation should ideally form a vaccinated group who will form the basis of those deployed.

The team must be self-sufficient in most aspects, taking only the minimum from the community: this will require requisition of many items and training in their use.

Infectious diseases personnel will not only guide treatment of patients but also be responsible for the health of the team and disease prevention.

The laboratory is an essential part of the team: microbiology capacity will enable guiding of treatment decisions by identifying antibiotic resistance.