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...

DHA IPM 19-003: Reserve Health Readiness Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (i): • Provides utilization guidance and funding requirements for the RHRP contract to supplement Reserve Component Individual Medical Readiness (IMR) and Deployment Health activities when Service organic health readiness resources are not available to meet mission requirements. • Provides utilization guidance and funding requirements for the RHRP contract for Active Duty enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), USCG Reserves, and re-deploying DoD civilians (e.g., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command). • Communicate procedure guidance to all DoD organizations utilizing RHRP services. • Will expire effective 12 months from the date of issue and be converted to a DHA-Procedural Instruction.

  • Identification #: 19-003
  • Date: 3/8/2019
  • Type: DHA Interim Procedures Memorandum
  • Topics: Health Readiness

Implementing Congressional Direction for Reform of the Military Health System

Policy

Policy Memorandum, signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan, to direct implementation of the Military Health System (MHS) organizational reform required by the National Defense Authorization Act.

DHA PI 6025.07: Naloxone in the MTFs

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (h), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for prescribing and dispensing naloxone by pharmacists in MTFs to eligible beneficiaries, upon beneficiary request, or when the pharmacist determines the beneficiary meets the established criteria for being at risk for a life-threatening opiate overdose.

DHA PI 6200.05: Force Health Protection Quality Assurance (FHPQA) Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (ab), establishes the procedures for the FHPQA Program as defined in Reference (z). This DHA-PI applies to: a. OSD, the Military Departments (including the United States Coast Guard (USCG) at all times, including when it is a Service in the Department of Homeland Security by agreement with that Department), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the DoD, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this DHA-PI as the “DoD Components”). b. Civilian personnel, as defined in Reference (e), and DoD contractor personnel authorized to accompany the force (CAAF), in accordance with References (j), (m), and (n), respectively.

  • Identification #: DHA PI 6200.05
  • Date: 5/2/2018
  • Type: DHA Procedural Instruction
  • Topics: Health Readiness

DoD Instruction 6200.05: Force Health Protection Quality Assurance (FHPQA) Program

Policy

This issuance establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and defines requirements for the development and establishment of the FHPQA Program in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive (DoDD) 5124.02, Sections 731 and 738 of Public Law 108-375; Sections 1074f, 1092a, and 1073b of Title 10, United States Code; and DoDDs 6200.04 and 5136.13.

DoD Instruction 6490.13: Comprehensive Policy on Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Neurocognitive Assessments by the Military Services

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes standard elements, pursuant to section 722 of Public Law 111-383, requiring the implementation of a comprehensive neurocognitive assessment policy in the Military Services.

Embedded Fragment Analyses

Policy

Clarification of the Requirement for Continuation of Semi-Annual Reporting of Results of Embedded Fragment Analyses

Detecting and Reporting DoD Cases of Ebola Virus Disease Infection

Policy

Guidance as of 17 OCT 2014 from the Department of Defese (AFHSC)for Detecting and Reporting DoD Cases of Ebola Virus Disease Infection

Influenza Surveillance Program

Policy

Sentinel Sites for the 2014-2015 Influenza Surveillance Program

Military Health System Prescription Transfer Procedures

Policy

Effective immediately, all Department of Defense (DoD) military treatment facility (MTF) outpatient pharmacies will accept patient requests for prescription transfers from another MTF and from retail pharmacies. When another pharmacy requests prescription transfer information on behalf of a patient, DoD MTF outpatient pharmacies will respond to the inquirer in a timely manner.

Deployment Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotrophic Medications

Policy

Policy memorandum about Deployment Limiting Mental Disorders and Psychotrophic Medications

DoD Laboratories Participating in CDC Laboratory Response Network 03-213

Policy

Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-sponsored Laboratory Response Network (LRN) do so with the approval and support of their respective Military Department Surgeons General.

Medical Planning and Programming Lexicon

Policy

DoD Instruction Number 6490.11: DoD Policy Guidance for Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion in the Deployed Setting

Policy

This instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures on the management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), also known as concussion, in the deployed setting.

Access to Medical Services Who were Exposed to Rabies in Combat Theater

Policy
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

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.