Back to Top Skip to main content

Fleet surgical team saves life aboard USS Somerset

Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, the Littoral Combat Group One, surgeon, second from left, performs an emergency appendectomy as other medical team members assist aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Brame) Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, the Littoral Combat Group One, surgeon, second from left, performs an emergency appendectomy as other medical team members assist aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Brame)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

PACFIC OCEAN — Navy Electrician’s Mate Fireman Samuel Guidroz was more than 4,500 miles away from home when he was awakened by a sharp pain in his abdomen on the morning of Nov. 27, 2018. 

The 20-year-old Sailor, assigned to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset, tried to treat the day like any other day spent underway in the Pacific Ocean. But the discomfort in his stomach soon drove him to the ship’s medical bay.

“I had a nauseating feeling in my lower abdomen,” said Guidroz, from his bed in the ship’s recovery ward. “They ran some x-rays and a few additional tests.” 

“Fireman Guidroz came to us, and we were able to determine he had acute appendicitis,” said Navy Cmdr. Jeffery Chao, the surgeon for Littoral Combat Group 1.  

Chao said it was fortunate that the fleet surgical team happened to be there on the Somerset to augment the ship’s capabilities. The fleet surgical team is attached to Amphibious Squadron 3, which is currently embarked on USS Somerset as part of LCG-1. If they had not been there, surgery aboard USS Somerset would not have been an option.

Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, the Littoral Combat Group One, surgeon, performs an emergency appendectomy aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Brame)
Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, the Littoral Combat Group One, surgeon, performs an emergency appendectomy as other medical team members assist aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Brame)

But not everything was working in Guidroz’s favor.  

“The sea state at the time was a bit rough, so it made me nervous,” Guidroz said. “The doctors eased my mind though, assuring me it was the right thing to do.” 

The LCG-1 fleet surgical team and the Sailors aboard USS Somerset acted immediately. The officer of the deck turned the ship to the steadiest course available.  The maneuver 
significantly lessened the ship’s motion in the water, allowing the medical personnel to do their work with precision. Then they prepared for surgery.   

When Guidroz awoke, he felt groggy but relieved. 

“Everything went great. Just like it would have if I had been back at a regular hospital,” Guidroz said.  

Chao says he expects Guidroz to make a full recovery in the next few days.  

“This was a great learning experience to know the medical capabilities out here are far greater than my initial expectations,” Guidroz said. “It feels good knowing and having that assurance that something like this can be taken care of out here at sea. I can’t thank the medical team enough for what they did.” 

Since the surgery, Guidroz has been in contact with his family at their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

“They were happy this was able to be done here on the ship, and even a bit surprised,” Guidroz said. “Being away from them was different at first, but I’ve made some new friends out here. And it’s important, I think, having people close to you when you’re away from home.” 

USS Somerset is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport docking ship, based out of San Diego. LCG-1 is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations in support of the Enduring Promise Initiative to reaffirm U.S. Southern Command’s longstanding commitment to the nations of the Western Hemisphere. 

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Changes coming to military medical treatment facilities

Article
4/22/2019
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, Defense Health Agency director, speaks with members of the 42nd Medical Group about upcoming changes to military treatment facilities, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The DHA will be responsible for all facilities with respect to budgetary matters, information technology, health care administration and management, administrative policy and procedure and military medical construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by William Birchfield)

The DHA is as committed to the Air Force as the Air Force is to the DHA

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New electronic health record integrates all aspects of care

Article
4/19/2019
Maj. Gen. Lee Payne (right) is escorted into Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms by hospital Commanding Officer, Capt. Nadji Hariri, for a site visit on the launch of MHS GENESIS, the military's new electronic record-keeping system, April 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Marks)

Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne and his team of military healthcare professionals visited Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Electronic Health Record | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

Hospital Corpsmen graduate from trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Article
4/17/2019
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kyle Hamlin, an instructor for the hospital corpsman trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, helps motivate sailors during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

The Hospital Corpsman Trauma Training program furthers the Navy surgeon general’s goal to achieve maximum future life-saving capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA ‘delivers’ nurses for babies

Article
4/16/2019
Air Force Col. Michelle Aastrom, 81st Inpatient Operation Squadron commander, discusses the intensive care unit capabilities with Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency, director, for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transition Intermediate Management Organization, during an immersion tour inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, recently. The purpose of Place's two-day visit was to become more familiar with the medical center's mission capabilities and to receive the status of the 81st Medical Group's transition under DHA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Every month Keesler Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Clinic averages approximately 35 births

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New equipment at Camp Lemonnier improves blood storage

Article
4/10/2019
Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Andrew Kays (right) and Christi Greenwood (left), deployed with the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, receive training on the Automated Cell Processor 215 while Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joshua Paddlety from Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy, as part of implementation of the Frozen Blood Program here, March 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joe Rullo)

Frozen blood, which is stored at negative 70-degrees Celsius, can be used for up to 10 years

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Is exercise that’s too intensive resulting in your angina?

Article
4/8/2019
Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Angina is experienced as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that can also radiate out to your neck, jaw, back or shoulders

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Elmo comes to Madigan

Article
4/3/2019
Sesame Street's Walkaround Elmo visited Madigan Army Medical Center families on April 1 to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of Military Kids Connect and the recent relaunch of its website. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Elmo began helping military kids and families with deployments and other military stressors in 2006

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room helps shape MHS GENESIS

Article
4/1/2019
Krista Marcum, a staff nurse in Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room, offers an MHS GENESIS demonstration to Defense Health Agency staff visiting Madigan. Marcum said these demonstrations often lead to MHS GENESIS-related brainstorming and problem solving. (U.S. Army photo by John Wayne Liston)

The ER encourages a culture of end user engagement; anyone can make a suggestion for an improvement to MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Electronic Health Record | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Global Health Security Agenda

Pediatric clinic works to keep children healthy

Article
3/22/2019
Air Force Senior Airman Shania Stanford, 366th Medical Support Squadron pediatric clinic aerospace medical technician, checks Jude's vitals during an appointment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The pediatric clinic takes care of Airmen and their families by ensuring the overall health of their children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

The pediatric clinic’s objective is to care for children from birth to the age of 18

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pacific Partnership 2019 participates in community health engagement in Tacloban

Article
3/21/2019
Navy Lt. Sharon Hoff (right) listens to a patient’s heartbeat as Philippine Army Capt. Glorife Saura from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Corps records patient vital signs. Pacific Partnership participants and Tacloban City medical professionals worked together to provide medical and veterinary services throughout the day at Tigbao Diit Elementary School. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Carpenter)

Pacific Partnership 2019 exchanges create lasting bonds of friendship and trust

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Eat well, live well

Article
3/20/2019
From left, Air Force Capt. Abigail Schutz, 39th Medical Operations Squadron health promotions element chief, Staff Sgt. Jennifer Mancini, 39th MDOS health promotions technician, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Phillips, 39th MDOS health promotions flight NCO in charge, pose for a photo at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Learning about proper nutrition can help service members stay healthy and ensure they’re in optimal warfighting shape. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Wisher)

Fad diets come and go, but basic nutrition has staying power

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Nutrition

Airmen perform in-flight Transportation Isolation System training

Article
3/14/2019
A C-17 Globemaster III is prepped to transport a Transportation Isolation System during a training exercise that allows Airmen to practice the most effective and safest form of transportation for patients and their medical professionals. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Defense Department can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody Miller)

This mission capability is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Technology

Transformation, readiness topics of Navy surgeon general’s visit to Portsmouth

Article
3/13/2019
Navy Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, visits Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's Branch Health Clinic Norfolk, Mar. 5, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Lindstrom)

There is a great benefit when transformation is done right

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS Transformation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 10

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.