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...

Health Services Headquarters Marine Corps

Presentation
8/10/2017

Defense Health Board briefing about the Health Services Headquarters Marine Corps

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

United States Transportation Command

Presentation
8/10/2017

Defense Health Briefing about the United States Transportation Command

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Overview of Navy Medicine

Presentation
2/9/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Medical History

Tasking Update Pediatric Health Care Services

Presentation
2/9/2017

Tasking Update: Pediatric Health Care Services

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety

Deployment Health Centers Review

Presentation
11/1/2016

Deployment Health Centers Review briefing to the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

59th Medical Wing Mission and Initiatives

Presentation
8/9/2016

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

A National Trauma Care System

Presentation
8/9/2016

A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety

Reconstruction and Restoration of the Genitourinary System after Contemporary Battlefield Urotrauma

Presentation
8/9/2016

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness

Review of the Defense Health Board’s Combat Trauma Lessons Learned from Military Operations of 2001-2013 Report

Presentation
8/9/2016

The in-depth information and recommendations in the report enable [the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs] to consider approaches to enhance Combat Casualty Care.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Research and Innovation | Health Readiness

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA Biological Technologies Office BTO Overview

Presentation
6/2/2016

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO) Overview

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Tasking Update Pediatric Clinical Preventive Services

Presentation
6/2/2016

Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Tasking Update: Pediatric Clinical Preventive Services

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program

Presentation
6/2/2016

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers

Presentation
6/2/2016

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Decision Brief on Ethical Guidelines and Practices for U.S. Military Medical Professionals

Presentation
2/11/2015

Decision Brief on Ethical Guidelines and Practices for U.S. Military Medical Professionals presented to the Defense Health Board

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Advances in Trauma Resuscitation

Presentation
8/11/2014

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness
<< < 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.