In between training exercises, Sara gathers the medics for a quick, on-the-spot medical lesson known as "hip-pocket training." Here she applies her emergency medicine expertise to teach them when to suture or staple a wound.
Sara standing at whiteboard giving a lesson to the class

​BURDASH:  All right. Next topic, who’s got one?


FEMALE: Things that you would suture of staple, and why one versus the other.

BURDASH: Sure. Yeah, that’s a great one.  The idea is, is you want to do the best to help the body heal without doing any harm. That's key. You know, it’s the first rule of medicine is first do no harm. Primum no killum. I like to do stitches on almost all things, unless they are very big, or sometimes scalps are a nice place to do staples. Or if you’re in a situation where speed is of the essence. So if you’ve got a cut like that, all we want to do is bring these edges together to be able to let the body heal itself. And so, we can do that with staples, where we’ll push the skin together, so we’ll push it and hold it like that, and then we put staples in to hold the edges together. Or, we can kind of bring the skin together, and we put a needle in here through this part of the skin, out through this edge, on this side, into the skin here. And out on the other side. And we get to tie it in a knot.  

So we just finished some hip pocket or just in time training where we had a little lull while we were waiting for some additional equipment before our next class, so we basically just talk about whatever the soldiers want to talk about. Or whatever would be helpful at the time. We’ve talked about all kinds of things in the past. This time we just talked a little bit about wound cares, and respiratory infections. But we’ve just been informed that our equipment has arrived for the other class that we’re going to be doing, so we’re stopping this as needed type training, and we’re going to be moving over to our actual next class.

Sara Burdash, M.D.
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01:00 PM
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Army National Guard: Hip-Pocket Suture Training

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