A four-strong team of US navy medical personnel worked alongside Vietnamese doctors to enhance rehabilitation for local burns victims at the National Institute of Burns in Hanoi between August 15 and 28.

According to the press release of the US Embassy in Hanoi on August 27, the activity was within the framework of the second phase of the “Interventional Burn Management Subject Matter Expert Exchange”.

Medical experts aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) performed similar treatments in Vietnam as part of Pacific Partnership 2012.

This was the fourth time in five years the annual Pacific Partnership mission visited Vietnam to conduct humanitarian civic assistance missions, and the first to include laser treatment for scars.

A fractionated carbon dioxide laser, identical to the one used previously during Pacific Partnership 2012, will be employed to help remodel restrictive scars and improve patients’ quality of life. Although still a relatively new application, this technology has been used for several years to help treat wounded soldiers.
Capt. Jonathan Wilcox, Pacific Fleet deputy fleet surgeon, said his team is developing long-term professional and personal relationships with Vietnamese colleagues.

“By working together to improve the lives of many Vietnamese patients who have suffered debilitating trauma from burns and other related injuries, we’re building the capability to better deal with these types of injuries in the future,” said Wilcox.-VNA