23 Nov 2011

Army medic creates revolutionary wound dressing

When a soldier is injured on the front line the time it takes to cauterise bleeding and stabilise temperature can mean the difference between life and death. Thanks to the hard work of Reservist Major Robert Dawes a ground-breaking new wound dressing design is available to our Armed Forces facing conflict.

For introducing the revolutionary device in Afghanistan Maj Dawes has been named as Healthcare Reservist of the Year in the Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards (MCHPA).

The army medic devoted hours of his spare time developing the Blizzard Heat Pack which helps to keep patients warm and prevent bleeding.

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Rt Hon Andrew Robathan, said:

“Thanks to the excellence of our people working in partnership, the quality of care available to our Armed Forces – from emergency life-saving procedures on operations to primary care at home and overseas – is quite remarkable. These awards are about honouring the best of the best, people who, often in the most demanding of circumstances, are delivering exceptional healthcare.”

Maj Dawes serves with 144 Parachute Regiment Medical Squadron (Volunteers) who are part of 16 Medical Regiment, based in Colchester and is an NHS trainee anaesthetist in Southampton in his civilian role.

He has also attended major overseas disasters, most recently in Haiti. In his spare time his military involvement includes two recent tours of Afghanistan, teaching on military courses and publishing articles on Anaesthesia and Battlefield Resuscitation.

The clinical pathways he has written and taught on military courses have directly saved lives, and his work has changed the way the military and the wider medical world look at difficult airway management.