In the future battlefield medicine could be conducted by robots, according to a Telegraph story.
A prototype already undergoing trials contains a three-armed remotely controlled robotic surgeon – the equivalent of Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce, played by Alan Alder in the M*A*S*H series.
The surgical robot is assisted by 12 other robotic systems, including a voice-activated “Hot Lips”, the nickname given to chief nurse Major Margaret Houlihan in M*A*S*H.
Its single arm passes instruments to the robot surgeon and disposes of used equipment.
A third “circulating nurse” robot has the job of dispensing the right tools, while the Pod’s bed monitors vital signs and administers fluids and oxygen.
The purpose of the Trauma Pod is to provide a swift “temporary fix” to soldiers wounded in battle before they can be transferred to hospital.
In emergency medicine, the golden hour is the time from the point of injury to a few hours (not a strict hour) afterward. Victims receiving treatment in the golden hour have the greatest chance of survival. The vast majority of military medical advances have attempted to either get victims treatment within the golden hour (medivac helicopters, forward field hospitals, etc…) or extend the golden hour. The trauma pod is a good example of the former. Let’s hope it works.
Christopher R. Albon is a political science Ph.D. specializing in armed conflict, public health, human security, and health diplomacy.