NMRLC Addresses Multiple Levels of Combat Expeditionary Medical Care
US Navy | 2023-06-05
Naval Medical Readiness Logistics Command (NMRLC) hosted the U. S. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) FY-23 Logistics Summit, in Williamsburg, VA, Apr. 18-20.
Department of Defense senior leaders from agencies around the United States and the Pentagon toured NMRLC warehouse facilities identified as Buildings 504, 565, CAD-30 and the Engineering Design Assessment Center (EDAC).
Rear Adm. Matthew Case, Commander of Naval Medical Forces Atlantic and Director of the Defense Health Agency Tidewater Market, was also briefed by Subject Matter Experts on the Role III Theater Hospitalization Capability as well as the newly redesigned Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical System (ERSS) and the U.S. Navy’s first En-Route Care System (ERCS), all of which directly support Navy Medicine’s global operational mission.
Headed by Capt. Matthew Marcinkiewicz, MSC, USN, NMRLC manages the warehouse and production facilities that procures, produces, manages, sustains, prepositions, and deploys rapidly deployable Expeditionary Medical (EXMED) Platforms in support of operational plans, exercise support, and real-world operations. The EXMEDs provide Combatant Commanders’ desired capabilities regarding standardized, modular, scalable combat service support and medical/dental capabilities to an advanced-base environments across the entire range of joint military operations.
NMRLC is at the heart of Navy Medicine’s enterprise-wide foundational change designing and delivering agile and integrated capabilities to the Fleet and Fleet Marine Forces in the Distributed Maritime Operations. These unique capabilities will provide medical assets to Combatant Commanders in theatres around the world.
It’s important to delineate the different levels of medical care, which is common knowledge in the medical community, but not so much to those receiving the care – and particularly their loved ones.
Navy Medicine has faced an increased demand for agile and ready medical forces to respond to Combatant Commander requirements.
These increased requirements have demonstrated the need for an optimized process to ensure continuous availability of manned, trained, equipped, and certified Naval Expeditionary Health Service Support (NEHSS) forces capable of surging forward on short notice with long-term sustainability. The primary goal is to provide enduring sustainability to the force.
To understand the levels of medical care and expeditionary medical care, it is critical to have knowledge of trauma care for military personnel injured where they work and operate.
The five levels of medical care are increasingly progressive and more advanced.
Level I care provides immediate first aid at the front line.
Level II care consists of surgical resuscitation provided by highly mobile forward surgical teams that directly support combatant units in the field.
Level III care is provided through combat support hospitals - large facilities that take time to become fully operational but offer much more advanced medical, surgical, and trauma care, like a civilian trauma center.
Level IV care is the first echelon at which definitive surgical management is provided outside the combat zone.
Level V care is the final stage of evacuation to one of the major military centers in the United States, where definitive stabilization, reconstruction, or amputation of the injured extremity is performed. [Citation: National Library of Medicine, May 9, 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17003212].
Military medical professionals use different categories to distinguish between the complexities of medical cases and the level of care they require.
NMRLC is Navy Medicine’s and Combatant Commanders’ first line of defense in ensuring military personnel have the world-class medical care the Department is committed to providing.
The next installment in this series will focus on the elements of EXMEDs, the medical facility capabilities and the levels of care provided.
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