IDF adopts American medic training course

Senior officers say new doctrine will improve the care wounded soldiers receive in the battlefield.

April 14, 2010 10:04
1 minute read.
Graduates of American-taught medic course.

IDF medic course 311. (photo credit: IDF)


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In an effort to increase trauma treatment capabilities in the IDF, the Medical Corps has purchased a new American-developed doctrine that will, according to senior officers, improve the care wounded soldiers receive in the battlefield.

The doctrine – Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHDLS) – was developed by the American College of Surgeons and was recently purchased by the IDF Medical Corps to train combat medics. Israel is one of 15 countries around the world to have purchased permits to teach the course in its military.

The three-day course was taught by five American instructors at the Medical Corps Training Base near Rishon Lezion during a visit that ended on Monday. The Americans trained some 20 soldiers to serve as instructors in the IDF. Prof. Avi Rifkind, director of the trauma unit at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, was instrumental in bringing the course to the IDF.

“This new doctrine increases our trauma treatment capabilities,” Col. Dr. Moti Hagbi, commander of the Medical Corps training base, said Monday. Hagbi added that from now on, all IDF medics would undergo PHDLS training before certification.

One change the new course will effect in the IDF is in the number of procedures medics will perform on wounded soldiers in the battlefield. PHDLS, Hagbi said, works according to a “scoop and run” policy, which means that medics only treat life-threatening wounds and then evacuate the wounded to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Another example is the decision to give liquids intravenously to soldiers suffering from shock. Until now, the IDF would automatically hook up an IV for a soldier in shock. The PHDLS doctrine calls for a more case-by-case analysis to determine whether the specific soldier really needs an IV.

“The course focuses on how to treat different wounds, different age groups and in different scenarios,” Hagbi said. “It basically improves our ability to save lives.”

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