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Surgical team exercise in Afghanistan turns into real life rescue and first aid mission

The planned MASCAL exercise of the 15th Czech Surgical Team at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul developed into a real life rescue event last week. The training exercise was interrupted when a helicopter crashed near the airport and the surgical team had to administer medical aid to the injured soldiers, personnel and civilians on the ground.

The aim of the MASCAL exercise was to refresh the surgical team’s medical skills in treatment procedures on a large number of injured people. As the surgical team were already onsite and prepared at the time of the crash, they were immediately able to begin examination, stabilisation and treatment procedures on the wounded, and it was not necessary to summon any more medical personnel to duty.

After receiving first aid treatment, the injured were then distributed to various specialised hospital departments.

"Immediately after receiving one seriously injured patient, we carried out a thorough examination to ascertain his injuries, and this was then followed by an ultrasound and CT diagnoses which resulted in urgent surgery being carried out on the patient. We are now pleased to report that his condition is at present stabilising," said Lieutenant Colonel Josef R., Commander of the Czech Surgical Team.

Czechs form an important component of the American hospital at Kabul airport which attends to both the sick and injured soldiers of the Afghan Resolute Support Mission, as well as civilians in and around the Afghan Capital.


By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

November 2, 2015


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  • The MASCAL exercise in preparation for hospital admission of a large number of casualties (1) The MASCAL exercise in preparation for hospital admission of a large number of casualties (1) The MASCAL exercise in preparation…
  • The MASCAL exercise in preparation for hospital admission of a large number of casualties (2) The MASCAL exercise in preparation for hospital admission of a large number of casualties (2) The MASCAL exercise in preparation…
  • Medical examination of a patient during the MASCAL exercise (1) Medical examination of a patient during the MASCAL exercise (1) Medical examination of a patient…
  • Medical examination of a patient during the MASCAL exercise (2) Medical examination of a patient during the MASCAL exercise (2) Medical examination of a patient…
  • Real life surgery operation (1) Real life surgery operation (1) Real life surgery operation (1)
  • Real life surgery operation (2) Real life surgery operation (2) Real life surgery operation (2)