The 700+ Caribbean islands present a vast area of operations (AO) with challenges providing healthcare to the local population and deployed personnel. Predisaster host nation medical care relied on casevac for basic primary and secondary healthcare, with medivac by air for advanced medical treatment. Disruption to facilities and transport links by Hurricane Irma rendered the native healthcare system on its knees. During Op RUMAN, the Royal Air Force Medical Services (RAFMS) provided expertise in prehospital emergency care and critical care aeromed to enable emergency treatment and access to definitive care for local nationals and our own personnel. The ability to provide independent, safe aeromedical care across a variety of aviation platforms is unique to the RAFMS. The AO did not fit any current doctrine; an adaptable, functional unit concept was adopted to enable care to the walking wounded through to critical care along prolonged timelines.
- aeromedical evacuation
- critical care
- disaster relief medicine
- military anaesthesia
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Contributors This is the author's personal account of involvement in Op RUMAN and the contribution of the RAF Medical Services to the deployment.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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