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NEWS | Aug. 11, 2023

Army Reserve Soldiers use sonography in austere environment

By Maj. Chelsea Kersten 9th Mission Support Command

Sonography proved to be highly beneficial for U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Ali Turabi, an anesthesiologist for the 348th Field Hospital, during Guam Wellness Innovative Readiness Training (IRT).

A mother, pregnant with her third baby, is for the first time seeing her baby’s heartbeat. The wonderment is obvious and will be something she will never forget. For one community member receiving medical treatment at the Guam Wellness IRT, she never had an ultrasound performed. Today, that changed thanks to Turabi. Typically, Turabi uses the butterfly ultrasound for his profession of pain management to perform nerve blocks. He brought along his personal device thinking it might be useful, which proved to be the case as it allowed this mother to see her baby for the first time and witness her baby’s heartbeat.

“She was really happy to see the ultrasound and baby’s heartbeat,” states Turabi.

Turabi additionally used his butterfly ultrasound to treat Guam community member, Carl Rozanski. Rozanski waited in line at the Guam Wellness IRT to see if he could get relief from his year-long struggle with right knee pain and swelling.

“It just slowly started about a year ago," Rozanski expressed in clear discomfort. "The pain sometimes goes away, but the swelling stays."

Using his butterfly ultrasound to help guide the needle, Turabi pulled a soda can sized amount of fluid out of Rozanski’s knee joint.

“Wow, that is remarkable. That really feels great. Now they are the same size,” noted Rozanski, with a huge smile. Turabi noted the amount of fluid he removed was by far the most he has ever extracted.

IRT is a collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to multiply value and cost savings for participants. Guam Wellness IRT is a collaborative partnership with the Department of Public Health and Social Services to provide no cost healthcare services to include medical, dental, optometry, and immunizations to the communities of Guam Aug. 2-10, 2023.