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Fast and effective medical treatment for ill or injured service members is crucial. It saves lives, improves return-to-duty rates, and keeps the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force mission-ready. Having readily available military medical systems is key. 

As an example, back in 2019, “three aircraft, 18 medical specialists, more than 24,000 gallons of fuel and 100 liters of blood were committed across an 8,000-mile journey” to treat a soldier’s life-threatening injury.

This service member would have never made it to the special care team in San Antonio without one thing: a remote medical team to provide the care and shelter that ensured a proper environment in Afghanistan. There, the soldier had many stabilizing procedures that saved their life.  

This is just one example of why military medical systems are essential at long-term or enduring bases as well as short-term camps, like forward operating sites. Choosing the right structure(s) to serve your mission(s) is a critical component of the military medical system.

How to Choose the Right Military Medical Systems

Choosing the right medical system requires base leaders to consider the following:

Determine the Level of Care

First, military leaders should consider the danger level of their mission and the length of the mission. This will help inform the necessary echelon or level of medical care needed.

Following immediate Level I care at the front line, the next four levels of care typically include:

  • Emergency care
  • Primary care / non-emergency medical care
  • Life saving surgery
  • Preventative medicine
  • Mental health care
  • Decontamination
  • Isolation
  • Dental care
  • X-ray
  • Labs

Less dangerous sites may opt out of facilities for surgery. And short-term missions may not need to provide ancillary medical services. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, most (if not all) of military bases will likely consider medical systems for isolation, quarantining, and patient treatment. 

[Related: Levels of Medical Care in the Army’s Health Service Support System]

Decide on Equipment

Next, leaders should consider the equipment needed for their medical shelter(s), one of the most important requirements being temperature control. 

The temperature needs to be comfortable enough for both military personnel conducting medical procedures as well as the patients they are working on. Medical facilities should have environmental control equipment to maintain a comfortable interior environment when used in extreme hot or cold climates. A temperature-controlled environment is crucial in the treatment of an injured or compromised patient. 

[Related: How Troops Can Beat the Heat and Increase Military Readiness With Military HVAC Units]

Choose the Number of Inpatient Beds

Next, it’s important to choose the number of inpatient beds your facility will need. For this, there are two major considerations:

  1. How many service members will your military medical facility support?
  2. Will you also offer medical care to local civilians?

Large U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force bases with a large number of service members and/or bases that plan to serve local civilians during emergencies should plan for a larger number of inpatient beds. With increasing COVID-19 rates, medical systems may also consider including surge facilities for patient overflow. 

[Related: How the Air Force Basic Training Program Is Adjusting to the Coronavirus Pandemic]

Make Sure It Passes Testing, With Flying Colors

No matter what medical system you decide to use, it’s important that it has been properly tested. For example, medical systems used by the Army and Air Force should meet or exceed specific testing criteria. These are conducted at centers such as the Army Aberdeen Test Center or the Air Force McKinley Climatic Laboratory

Leading Medical Systems for the Army and Air Force

Alaska Structures® Military Division builds leading medical systems for the Army and Air Force. Each engineered fabric structure is built specifically for the demands of each unique application. 

Here are some of the many ways Alaska Structures helps the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force treat their service members and stay mission ready. 

Provide Multi-level Medical Care

With Alaska Structures, Army and Air Force bases can provide patients with multi-level care. An Alaska XP Medical Shelter System may be selected to quickly establish a mobile field hospital capable of supporting three of the five echelons of medical care including:

  • II for dental, x-ray, labs, and preventative medicine
  • III for resuscitation, initial wound surgery, and postoperative treatment
  • IV for a general or field hospital with in-patient beds

Alaska Structures multi-level medical care facilities help U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force members get the treatment they need on-site and when they need it. This lowers the need to fly members out of the base to receive care and improves return-to-duty time.

Have Sufficient In-Patient Care Space

Alaska Structures can be sized to accommodate patients in high or low capacity. With proper capacity, wait times are reduced and patients are treated quicker. They will not have to wait for a bed space to open up. 

Facility size isn’t a problem. 

For smaller bases, the Alaska Medical Shelter Systems Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS) supports 10 or 25 inpatient beds. 

For larger bases, the Alaska XP Medical Shelter System can be configured into an 84-bed or 168-bed field hospital. 

Size up, size down, need multiple systems for different uses. Alaska Structures has vast experience custom-designing a mobile field hospital to meet your medical facility requirements. 

Test, Contain, and Treat Airborne Infectious Disease

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) follows the CDC guidelines for COVID-19. According to the CDC mandate, patients with the virus should be placed in negative pressure airborne infection isolation (AII).

Alaska Structures’ negative pressure isolation facilities are the ideal solution. They provide patient isolation wards for military bases to contain airborne infectious disease(s) in compliance with the CDC mandates.

Help Lay the Lost to Rest

Unfortunately, uncontrollable circumstances can lead to the tragic loss of service members. In those grim instances, it’s important to safely and respectfully lay those we have lost to rest. Alaska Structures’ sister company, BLU-MED Response Systems®, helps support military medical teams through those sad and hard moments with deployable morgue systems.

A mortuary facility allows fallen service members to receive a proper death diagnosis and properly care for the remains while preparations are made. That way, they can be honorably laid to rest with their families respected and informed.

Benefits of Alaska Structures Medical Shelters

No matter which Alaska Structures military medical system you select, they all offer unique benefits above other alternatives. 

Top-Rated in Testing for Weather Resistance

First, Alaska Medical Shelter Systems are the most tested medical shelters in the DoD inventory. In fact, they meet or exceed all environmental tests at Aberdeen Test Center and the McKinley Climatic Laboratory. Plus, they were declared the safest and most survivable medical shelter in testing by USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) Joint SPICE testing. 

These tests show just how weather-resistant our structures are. They can withstand extreme temperatures, high wind speeds, the stress of heavy snow loads, and much more.

Simple Setup

In addition, our military medical systems are simple to set up. A trained crew of four can set up an Alaska Medical Shelter in less than 30 minutes. So, your team can build a fully equipped medical facility quickly with minimal effort and start treating injuries or illness as soon as needed.  

[Related: Main Benefits of High-Grade Military Tents]

Select and Build Your Military Medical System

Do you have a need for a military medical system on your Army or Air Force base? Alaska Structures can help. Our knowledgeable and friendly building specialists guide you through each stage of the process. Get started by contacting us today.

We are excited to hear from you and learn about your project! Please send an email inquiry using the form below!