Afghanistan: Czech field hospital prepares to close
KABUL: The 5th Contingent of the Czech field hospital at Kabul International Airport is preparing to close Nov. 30 after 20 months of operation. Since April 2007, the Czech field hospital has provided medical care to ISAF military and civilian personnel, Afghan National Security Forces, NGO, UN, and Embassy employees in addition to local civilians. The hospital is designated as a Role 2-Enhanced unit, meaning it performs advanced life-saving procedures including some surgeries and specialties line internal medicine. They also offer general practice, psychiatric, and dental care to personnel in need. The hospital has the capacity to treat patients of a 'walking wounded'-type designation and critical patients can be treated in the ICU. "We have two beds in the ICU which we can increase up to four beds (in the case of a mass casualty incident,)" said Czech Army Lieutenant Colonel Martin Benda, MD of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. "We can treat more than 30 patients in regular beds. During a mass casualty incident, we can treat P1 patients meaning that the patients need immediate intervention and life support without which they would die." The field hospital is constructed of tents and containers which make for the quick deployment and redeployment of assets. It comes fully equipped with a mobile dental truck, surgery suits, x-ray machine, CT, ultra sound, biochemistry and hematology lab, pharmacy and microbiology lab. "We have the same equipment as a regular hospital. We are in a tent, but it's the same equipment," said Benda. Thirty-eight Czech Army doctors, nurses and technicians are assigned to the hospital and for most this is their second deployment to this location. There are 8 personnel from Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia who assist in Joint Medical Teams providing emergency response and general practice medical care. More than 9,000 patients have been treated at the hospital since the doors opened in 2007. The hospital serves many roles at the airport including Crash team support where they are designated to respond to aircraft accidents; they offer also an ambulance service and have an armored vehicle to respond off- base. They assist all medevac missions that fly through KAIA and, when needed, store, transport and ensure all military procedures are followed for casualties. The hospital will close in just two weeks. A 'Role-2' hospital remains at Camp Warehouse in order to treat ISAF personnel in Kabul. The Czech team will now return to the Czech Republic in order to take leave, repair equipment and prepare for future deployments to other areas of the world in need.