Aeromedical Evacuation Needs of War Injured Service Members


Name: Veronica Thurmond

Rank: LTC, USA

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Year Published: 2004

Abstract Status: Initial


The purpose of this study is to describe deployed military members' perceptions of their aeromedical evacuation (AE) experience by conducting qualitative interviews. This investigator seeks to explore the wounded military service members' perceptions of the aeromedical evacuation experience from Landstuhl, Germany to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Anecdotal evidence suggests some important patient issues related to the AE flight. Patients have reported ineffective pain control, and limited mobility on the plane. In addition, a pressure ulcer prevalence survey conducted in August 2003 demonstrated a substantial number of pressure ulcers in the war-injured soldiers. By collecting information about the participants' flight experience, the investigators of this study hope to gain some empirical, rather than anecdotal, evidence that can guide nurses towards outcome focused interventions. A qualitative, cross-sectional descriptive needs assessment design will be used with participant observation and semi-structured informal interviews as data collection methods. Data will be analyzed using inductive content analysis. The semi-structured, informal interviews will assist the investigators in obtaining the participants' perspective of the AE flight experience. Ultimately, the investigators intend to provide a description of service member's AE experience with recommendations for interventions. The short-term goal of this study is to describe the military member's perceptions of the aeromedical evacuation flight experience. The long-term goal is to determine what interventions are needed to improve the AE patient experience. The aims of this study are to a) determine the positive and negative aspects of wounded military service member's aeromedical evacuation flight experience and b) provide recommendations for interventions that will have a positive impact on future deployed military member's aeromedical evacuation flight experience.