Medical Support of Special Operations



“Special operations” as applied to the US military describe a variety of missions carried out by highly select units from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Individuals in these units are subjected to notably rigorous selection and training in preparation for missions which are often extremely physically demanding and carried out with limited support from larger conventional forces. Special operations units are required to operate under environmental extremes, in isolated, austere locations and with very limited supplies. Providing optimal medical support to these units requires a detailed understanding of the organizational structure of Special Operations Forces, the nature of the missions, the medical administrative tasks which must be addressed, acute and primary medical care, preventive medicine and the management of combat trauma in this special environment. These issues have not been previously addressed in a single comprehensive document. This chapter will meet that need; it draws substantially from a chapter published previously in the Textbook of Military Medicine.


Special operations Medical Support Care Under Fire Tactical Field Care Tactical evaluation care 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prehospital Trauma CareJoint Trauma System, US Army Institute of Surgical ResearchFort Sam HoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance MedicineUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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