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When special operations forces (SOF) are in action, a surgical team (SOST) is usually ground deployed as close as possible to the combat area, to try and provide surgical support within the golden hour. The French SOST is composed of 6 people: 2 surgeons, 1 scrub nurse, 1 anaesthetist, 1 anesthetic nurse and 1 SOF paramedic. It can be deployed in 45 min under a tent or in a building. However, some tactical situations prevent the ground deployment. A solution is to deploy the SOST in a tactical unprepared aircraft hold, to make it possible to offer DCS, to treat non-compressible exsanguinating trauma, without any ground logistical footprint. This article describes the stages of the design, development and certification process of the airborne SOST capability. The authors report the modifications and adaptations of the equipment and the surgical paradigms which make it possible to solve the constraints linked to the aeronautical and combat environment. Study type/level of evidence Care management Level of Evidence IV. Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Emmanuel Hornez, Jean Cotte, Gil Thomas, Nicolas Prat, Artus Vauchaussade de Chaumont, Jean Louis Daban, Guillaume Boddaert, Pierre Pasquier, Fabrice Castel, Pierre Mahe, Paul Balandraud. Ultra-forward surgical support for special operations forces. Conception, development and certification of the French Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST) airborne capability. Injury. 2024 Jan;55(1):111002

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PMID: 37633765

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