Civilian and military doctors as well as surgical assistants participated in the ‘Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma – Plus’ (ASSET Plus) surgical training based on combat experience, held at the Department of Pathology, Forensic and Insurance Medicine at Semmelweis University in Budapest. The Medical Center of the Hungarian Defense Forces (MH EK), in cooperation with Semmelweis University, plans to launch further training courses in Hungary.

“The medical care of the injured, especially the severely injured, is a multidisciplinary task requiring the cooperation of several disciplines. In theaters of operations and sometimes even in civilian life, representatives from different fields of surgery – neurosurgeons, thoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons and other specialists – are not available 24 hours a day. This is why regular training courses like the ASSET Plus course are particularly important for the treatment of seriously injured people,” said Colonel Dr. Péter Vekszler, Deputy Commander for International Affairs at the Medical Center of the Hungarian Defense Forces and the initiator of the ASSET Plus course in Hungary. During the ASSET Plus training, developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), surgical explorations and interventions are performed on all parts of the body, which are also essential in everyday life, outside the battlefield, for example for rapid limb salvage or saving lives.

“This multiday course is an opportunity to learn the most important life-saving surgical interventions and the gates of entry in a proper way. This of course can be applied not only under war conditions, but also in civilian life, for instance in the treatment of victims of accidents or violence,” evaluated Dr. Béla Merkely the training. The Rector of Semmelweis University also reminded that the aim of the special training cooperation between MH EK and Semmelweis University on treating the severely injured is to ensure that Budapest can regularly host the ASSET Plus training course in the future, which is brought to Hungary by its American partner, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) as the federal government’s health professions academy.

“Basically, it is bleeding that is the primary cause of death in trauma victims and patients. The way to stop bleeding is to open up and control the blood vessels. This course is designed to explore all the major blood vessels in the body, as well as a range of life-, limb- and vision-saving procedures that can save the lives of trauma patients,” said US course director Dr. Mark Bowyer of the practical benefits of the training, which took place in early September. “I’ve had the opportunity to run trauma courses all over the world with the kind of equipment we use here in the lab today. And I have to say that Semmelweis is an extremely advanced institution that probably rivals any in the world,” the professor claimed.

“The cooperation between MH EK and Semmelweis University is another milestone in the field of civil-military cooperation, but I could also say that it is a cornerstone, as we have the shared intention to offer the ASSET Plus course regularly in Budapest, what is more, we would also like to bring other similar courses to Hungary”, added Medical Colonel Dr. Péter Vekszler.

Text and photo: HM Zrínyi Nonprofit Ltd.
Translation: Judit Szabados-Dőtsch