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A-B-C’s of SABC can save L-I-V-E-S

Maj. David Rogers and Staff Sgt. Pau Patterson, 4th Aeromedical Dental Squadron, treat an injured patient  during the operational readiness exercise Dec. 12. This simulation of self-aid and buddy care is one example of how it can help an Airman who is injured in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Biondo) (released)

Maj. David Rogers and Staff Sgt. Pau Patterson, 4th Aeromedical Dental Squadron, treat an injured patient during the operational readiness exercise Dec. 12. This simulation of self-aid and buddy care is one example of how it can help an Airman who is injured in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Biondo) (released)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Providing decisive air and space power in support of the Global War on Terror can be nasty business. Terrorists and insurgents attack our forward-deployed assets and personnel with improvised explosive devices in attempt to weaken U.S. air power.
Airmen can get hurt.

Airmen must be able to take care of themselves and one another. That's where self-aid and buddy care comes into play.

"We are the first step to saving lives out in the field," said Tech. Sgt. Susan Moreno, 4th Fighter Wing SABC advisor, "Not just the lives of those around us, but maybe even your own. There are too many Airmen who have not yet been deployed and have no idea about the extent of injuries that are occurring to our troops."

Self-aid and buddy care is used to provide initial life-saving treatment. It can extend the time an injured Airman can survive before being seen by medical group personnel.
SABC techniques can be used to properly treat abdominal wounds, bleeding, fractures, weather-related injuries such as dehydration and frostbite, and eye, head and neck injuries.

In the field, medical supplies may be limited, but there are several everyday items which can be used to help treat injuries. Towels, sheets, shirts, socks and flight caps can be used as dressings and bandages. Tree limbs and sticks can be used as splints, and belts are used to make tourniquets, which are a last resort to save a life.

Airmen should look for signs of shock during and after treatment of the primary injury.
Symptons include confusion, clammy skin, shallow breathing, and weak and rapid pulse.

Airmen should remember the ABCs of SABC. The basic lifesaving steps an Airman uses to treat injuries are airway, breathing, circulation, disability and exposure.

"The SABC we are doing in the field is working and saving lives," Sergeant Moreno said. "We have got to comprehend the importance of rapid and appropriate medical care in the field. You have to focus on the basics, your ABCs, sustain life and transport to a medical facility as soon as possible."

The next time you find yourself scheduled for self aid and buddy care training, be attentive. You never know when those lifesaving steps will need to be implemented to help save the life of a fellow Airman, soldier, sailor or Marine.
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