Dr Stephen Rush is a Lt. Colonel and Flight Surgeon. He is the former medical director for Pararescue and the current medical group commander of the 106th Rescue Air Wing in New York. He is a radiation oncologist by trade but brings a wealth of experience in operational medicine to the table. Dr Rush was a key consultant for the Thai Cave rescue that is an international success story and template for operational medicine during a crisis.

Dr Rush led the discussion by explaining the role of pararescue jumpers as well as the intense training they endure before they are qualified for the role. We discussed how the paradigm has shifted from taking the experience from the hospital in bringing it to the field to the reverse of this. We provided examples that included the use of tourniquets, tranexamic acid as well as field imputation.

Next, we explored the actual Thai cave rescue mission. We discussed the experience and expertise that the para rescue jumpers brought to this stage. We also discussed the importance of cooperation of the local government and response structure. We delved into the importance of debriefing in planning that included cooperativity amongst not only many different agencies within but also among the international response teams. Doctor Rush then gave an overview of how the rescue came to fruition, including the rehearsals as well as the medical planning that ultimately led to the successful rescue of all the Thai children.

We finished with a few take-home points as well as highlighting some of the work of other experts that were integral to the success of the mission.

Find out more about Stephen's work at https://www.pjmed.com

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