Four hundred fourteen trauma evaluations, 141 gunshot wounds, 270 blast injuries, 102 damage-control resuscitations, 51 chest tubes, 21 intubations and 15 urgent surgical operations…for some this may be a list of numbers and medical jargon.
For others, it meant life instead of death.
This is the direct impact Lt. Col. (Dr.) Benjamin Mitchell, an emergency medicine physician assigned to a Special Operations Surgical Team, had as the primary care provider during deployments in support of operations Inherent Resolve, Resolute Support and Enduring Freedom.
Special Operations Surgical Teams are Air Force teams of mobile surgical specialists with advanced medical and tactics training, employed in austere or hostile areas where there is little to no other surgical support. These teams train to save lives within the golden hour, and are placed close to the battle outside of any established healthcare facilities—reducing time between injury and care.