MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Naval Medical Center San Diego opened a newly renovated Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C5) Facility designed to better care for and prepare wounded service members for their return to active duty or the civilian world, Oct. 15.
The 30,000 square-foot facility includes a gait analysis lab—a motion lab that monitors skeletal alignment, muscle function, and forces acting on the body while walking. The lab allows medical personnel to prescribe effective clinical treatment to patients who are having difficulties walking.
A courtyard in the center of the facility has a 30-foot rock-climbing wall which gives patients an opportunity to work on agility, problem solving and muscle strengthening. The 3,500-square-foot courtyard includes cobblestone, sand, and gravel pathways, a log bridge, steps and ramps, so patients can become proficient in walking on different terrain.
The complex also includes an indoor pool and a training apartment that includes a fully functional kitchen, living room, computer work station, bedroom and bathroom. The apartment is designed to reintroduce patients with reduced mobility and prosthetic limbs to everyday household activities such as making a bed, cooking and eating.
C5 also contains a prosthetic lab where amputees are fitted for prosthetic limbs and can have damaged ones repaired.
“I’m impressed by the amount of equipment they have to accommodate service members who are missing an arm like me,” said Lance Cpl. Brandon Mendez, a wounded warrior at NMCSD.
Mendez lost his left arm below the elbow during a suicide bomber attack six months ago in the city of Saqlawiyah, in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
“When I return to the civilian world I will be able to get a job because all of the training I have received at this facility on how to use my prosthetic limb,” he said.
In addition to the facility’s advanced technology, NMCSD can now transfer badly injured service members to this facility straight from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan via Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Previously, severely wounded service members had to be sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., or Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, first.
The C5 facility represents NMCSD’s commitment to providing quality care and support to recovering service members and their families, according to Rear Adm. Christine S. Hunter, commander of Navy Medicine West and NMCSD.
It is at the forefront of wounded warrior care and the health care team is inspired every day by the courage, energy and determination of the patients they serve, said Rear Adm. Hunter.