25 March 2008

Ramstein CASF receives 50,000th patient since 2003

Capt. Ronald Eller, front left, Airman 1st Class Micheal Zangri, front right, Lt. Col. David Levitt, back left, and Master Sgt. Joseph Schleper, all airmen from the 435th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility, transport a wounded servicemember from a C-17 to a bus bound for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Friday on the Ramstein Air Base flight line. Maj. Langevin is the CASF commander. Photo: Ben Bloker / S&S

The 435th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility (CASF) at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany recently received its 50,000th patient since 2003.

Contrary to popular belief, not all medevacs out of theater are Wounded in Action. WIAs have accounted for approximately 11,000 or 22% of the patients. A roughly equal number are classified as non-battle injuries. NBIs can result from vehicle rollovers or work with dangerous equipment. The remainder are called "Disease/other" by the DoD. Service members downrange are subject to the same ailments they might have suffered back home.

Although violence is down throughout Iraq, the number of total medevacs has remained fairly stable due to the high number of deployed service members.

Statistics show that the number of inbound patients from Iraq has gone down from a peak of 771 in June 2007, to 564 in February this year. But Maj. John Langevin, the facility’s commander, cautioned that the number of patients historically has gone down from summer to winter. In February, facility members moved patients 1,046 times. Last year, airmen moved patients 1,122 times in February and 1,070 in March.

Most medevaced service members are taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center where they are evaluated and treated before being transferred to the US for further care or being returned to duty downrange.

The 435th CASF serves as a terminal for patients waiting to get a flight or transportation to another hospital. The 95 active-duty airmen, Reserve and Guard personnel also are responsible for moving patients to and from transport aircraft.
In the past five years, the facility has gone from a staging area set up in a base gymnasium to its own building with a capacity of about 100 beds.

See also About Medical Evacuations to Germany.

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