Medical tracking aids rescued soldier

FARWANIYA, Kuwait — Just as people have been engrossed by the story of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch since her rescue from an Iraqi hospital, the Defense Department has tracked her progress with a Web-based system that was created to ensure that servicemen and women wounded in combat receive the care they require.

Lynch was treated for broken bones in both legs and an arm at a facility in Kuwait, then flown to an air base in Germany, where she is receiving more care before returning to the United States.

That is a common itinerary for soldiers wounded while serving in the Middle East or other distant locations. DOD's Transportation Command (Transcom) developed the Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System, or TRAC2ES, to manage patients' care while they are in transit.

Lynch has been in TRAC2ES ever since she was rescued and taken to a medical facility in Kuwait, where she "was treated and observed, and then MedEvac'ed" out of the war zone, said Army Lt. Col. Eric Radford, medical regulating officer for the Third Medical Command in Atlanta, during an April 3 phone interview from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Radford said Lynch does not appear to have life-threatening injuries, but that is often not the case for wounded servicemen and women. In many situations, the quality of care depends on how quickly they are treated. TRAC2ES helps by automating the process of assigning patients to suitable medical facilities and assists with arranging and monitoring transport.

TRAC2ES helps medical personnel prepare the space and equipment needed to care for patients sometimes hours before they even arrive, said retired Col. Carol Bomar, who was a chief flight nurse for the Air Force. "TRAC2ES allows the caretakers to get a better picture of what is happening with the patient," said Bomar, who is now an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, which developed the system launched in 2001. "Before TRAC2ES, we had to make numerous phone calls to find that same information — if you were able to get a hold of the people who had it."

TRAC2ES has provided command and control of global patient movement ever since Operation Iraqi Freedom began March 20. It is managed by Transcom at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where users undergo a two- to three-day training session, then receive a password and identification to log into the system, said Radford, a reservist from Aikens, S.C., who has been in the Middle East since December 2002.

"It is the primary means of evacuating out of...Iraq and Kuwait," he said. "It's been very effective for us because of the speed, accuracy and ability to move [wounded soldiers] throughout the world."

About 50 doctors and military medical staff in southwest Asia use the system, or about four trained users in each hospital, Radford said. He would not reveal the exact number of wounded soldiers who have been entered into TRAC2ES.

"The system came about as the result of after-action reports from [Operation] Desert Storm, when DOD recognized it could do better in tracking patients," said Air Force Lt. Col. James Patterson, deputy functional manager for TRAC2ES at Scott Air Force Base.

"It gives us in-transit visibility, so we know where the patient is going, what their status is and what wounds, injuries or illnesses they are suffering from," he said.

TRAC2ES also helps DOD identify trends, Patterson said. "In Afghanistan, we noticed some illnesses that were curious and were coming from one particular area," he said. "Because we [had] a real-time snapshot, we were able to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic" of salmonella.

The No. 1 challenge is a lack of bandwidth. "Nonsecure bandwidth becomes smaller and smaller as the war" progresses, Radford said. "It has affected the speed of the system somewhat and the number of people on it."

But DOD has used some workarounds that enable medical personnel to save patient data and then send it later when more bandwidth is available, as long as the wounded soldier won't be adversely affected by that delay, he said.

Still, even with the bandwidth constraints, TRAC2ES is light-years ahead of its predecessors, which were all closed, stand-alone systems, Radford said.

This is a joint system "used by all the services, which is much more of a benefit," he said.

NEXT STORY: Telemedicine system does its part

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.