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German Field Hospital

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #93, August 2, 2000

Sarajevo - There are many aid stations across BiH for the soldiers of SFOR. For most medical problems, they can be handled in the area. For those injuries that are more serious, there is the Field Hospital in Rajlovac in Sarajevo.
The field hospital provides a wide range of services, just like a soldier can expect in a normal German hospital, said Lt. Col. Ulrich Weber, commander of the hospital.
"We can do all of the normal procedures that are offered in a hospital in Germany or Europe," he said. "The main point of the hospital is traumatology, emergency medicine. We also have the facilities for dermatology, ears, nose, throat, urology, neurology and opthamology and radiology."
The field hospital is able to provide those services through a wide variety of departments.
"The hospital has internal medicine with an outpatient department. We have 20 beds in the ward and an isolation ward of five beds. We also have two operation theaters with sterilization and a ward of 20 beds, preparation for surgery and an intensive care unit with five beds. All together we have 50 beds in the hospital and can go up to 100 beds," Weber said. "We can set up reserve beds in other rooms if there are real mass casualties, not so in the sense of traumatism because it would be very difficult to get 50 more trauma patients.
"If you have an illness like flu, we can isolate them in another room," he added. "We also have a laboratory with a clinical laboratory for the hospital to include veterinarian and food chemistry that work more outside the hospital¨. They cover the whole SFOR area, so they are very busy."
Many different patients are seen at the hospital.
"All personnel are treated in different priorities," he said. "First, German personnel of the company and all SFOR soldiers are seen, then SFOR civilian personnel and those from the other governmental organisations like the United Nations or the American Embassy. On a certain priority if there is a capacity, we are treating local personnel here. The first local personnel are from the SFOR contingent and a very small part of locals from the region. But that is not so needed in Sarajevo because they have very good hospitals."
To help keep the hospital from overflow, many medical problems are treated in clinics throughout the Multinational Divisions. The hospital is only one part of the whole medical task force in Bosnia. Even with the help from the clinics, the hospital averages more than 500 outpatients and more than 25 stationary patients per week.
Besides the daily treatments and tests, Weber said the hospital also does about two operations per day.
"Most are elective operations, not emergency. Often they are orthoscopic operations for knees for problems after sports. We do a lot of work on knees and hands, which are both very important for military missions," he said.
The hospital also handles emergency cases as they arise.
"The biggest accident we have had since we have been here was a mine accident near Mostar," said Weber. "Three French soldiers were flown here by helicopter. They had luck in their accident. There were no severe traumatisms.
"It was a good exercise to look after the alarm procedures, and they worked very well."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Germany
SFOR at Work