Training of qualified medical aid/ Photo: Bundesw., Pulpanek

International DiMiMED conference on the occasion of MEDICA confronts current questions on the co-operation of civilian and military medical facilities

Efficient concentration of competencies in disaster medicine and military medicine

In parallel to MEDICA, the world’s largest trade fair for medical technology, the International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine (DiMiMED) will be held for the third time. This year, the main topic of is operations in crisis areas. In view of the increasing need for humanitarian aid in disaster zones, there is an additional focus on civilian aid organizations and their work. Apart from plenary lectures on innovations and scientific questions in disaster and military medicine, there is an interactive simulation workshop dealing with the practical implementation of aid in major catastrophic events. Additional topics of interest include a session on disaster medicine in international comparison as well as a group of presentations for industry representatives on aspects of the procurement of medical technology by the German Federal Armed Forces and NATO. DiMiMED is held under the patronage of the MEDICAL CORPS INTERNATIONAL FORUM (MCIF) and is organized jointly by Beta Verlag and Messe Düsseldorf. Around 50 international speakers and 200 participants are expected to attend on 17th and 18th November at CCD Süd. MCIF is the only independent magazine aimed at medial services around the world. An editorial office consisting of top-quality professionals offers current articles of international importance from practitioners for practitioners, aimed at professionals in military medicine from more than 180 countries.

No matter if we are dealing with military conflicts, terrorist attacks, natural disasters or outbreaks of disease, the world-wide increase of crisis zones needs a sustained long-term management of medical services. In this connection, military medicine offers a broad coverage of medical care. “This year, we have put a strong focus on disaster medicine, since many military medical services world-wide find that this is increasingly developing into a large part of their work, or at least that they have to work in disaster medicine as well as in military operations”, said Rear Admiral uh MC (ret) Christoph Büttner, MD, scientific head of DiMiMED.

Within two days, the 200 experts from medicine, industry and logistics will be offered a broad spectrum of information presented and discussed by about 50 internationally respected speakers in plenary lectures and, for the first time, also in more depth in parallel sessions. Looking back, the second scientific head Brigadier General (ret) Rob van der Meer, MD, says: “I co-chaired the DiMiMED 2014 and saw a fruitful exchange of information and experiences. A shift of interest was evident from operational medical experiences in Asia to Africa. The development of new techniques and future application in the forces was important, both in very simple methods as well as sophisticated procedures and also evaluation processes.” So indeed, a further development of the concept with a more focused approach has already been initiated.

Simulation workshop raises awareness for a major catastrophic event in Dusseldorf

A special highlight will be the simulation workshop with a scenario of a major catastrophic event. “This simulation was quite consciously ‘placed’ in Dusseldorf, since an event like the Boston assassination can happen anytime and in any city. For the simulation, we have therefore invited, apart from the military guests, high-ranked responsible staff from the ministries of the interior and the police headquarters. My goal is to motivate this target group to conduct similar training scenarios in their area of responsibility – which sometimes is actually done already”, explains Dr. Büttner, thus also referring to the co-operation with CAE Healthcare who are, among others, offering the medical simulation technology.

Refugee crisis highlights urgent medical problems

The session on “Disaster Medicine & Crisis Prevention” will be chaired by Prof. Leo Latasch, MD, President of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Katastrophenmedizin (DGKM, German Society of Disaster Medicine). He gives his opinion on the most urgent issues that need to be broached, both nationally and internationally. “Medical care for the huge number of refugees world-wide, the question of a joint (!) approach to epidemics and outbreaks of disease, as well as the tasks of the military in a national context for issues like care for refugees and natural disasters, taking into account the question why, if at all, are we always asked so late?”

Making procurement processes more transparent to the industry

Last not least: the workshop “Military Procurement for Industry Partners“ will explain procurement processes in military medicine on the example of the German Federal Armed Forces and NATO. The session is especially intended to address industry representatives who want to offer their product portfolio for special military requirements in the home country and in the country of operation. “Basically, we are interested in nearly all areas of medical care and indications. Of course, some fields like paediatrics or geriatrics are not that much in demand, except in rare cases of humanitarian aid after earthquakes or after the tsunami in South East Asia. Emergency and rescue medicine are of course always extremely important – especially under the challenging conditions we meet in our operations abroad” explains Colonel Pharmacist Dr. Ullrich Kindling, Head of Branch U3.5, The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support.

In this as well as in all other sessions on topics like infectious diseases/hygiene, trauma medicine, protection from the effects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards as well as selected questions on how to protect the health of the relief units themselves, speaker slots are provided both for representatives of science and representatives of the industry. This not only supports the interdisciplinary approach but also offers opportunities for the initiation of research and development co-operations.

For the first time, DiMiMED will also offer a poster exhibition, and a poster prize will be awarded. On the occasion of the conference, the MEDICAL CORPS INTERNATIONAL will grant the Ambroise Paré Award for the best scientific publication in MCIF in the field of military medicine and pharmaceutics.

Author: Nina Passoth

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