Military Surgery Section Visitor

Dr Rhys Thomas

Llandeilo, UK

Dr Rhys Thomas graduated from The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London in 1995. After house jobs in London and a year of training in Cairns Australia, he decided to train in Anaesthesia. After passing his primary FRCA a career in the Army became too attractive to turn down. He joined the Army in 1999, after officer Training in Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he volunteered for Airborne Forces and was deployed with the 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment as their Regimental Medical Officer. After gruelling Operational tours in Sierra Leone on Op Barrass and Northern Ireland he returned to Anaesthesia to complete his Final FRCA. This was interrupted on numerous occasions by wars in the Middle East. Firstly in Afghanistan on Operation Enduring Freedom as medical support in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, then to Iraq for Telic 1 in the war against Saddam Hussein, being one of the  first across the border into Iraq with 16 Air Assault Brigade. He was then posted to Baltimore Shock Trauma, Maryland USA to complete a Trauma Anaesthesia Fellowship with the world-renowned Baltimore Shock Trauma Centre. Further deployments were to occur to Afghanistan to Bastion Role 3 Hospital as a Consultant Anaesthetist and on the MERT, CH47 rescue helicopter. He wrote the military’s original Damage Control Shock Resuscitation strategy and established this as the resuscitation of choice for the UK Trauma Centres. After 17 years with the military, an opportunity arose to establish a new Pre-Hospital Critical Care Service in Wales. With the help of his great friend Dr Dindi Gill they wrote and delivered the business case and established the new service in April 2015. After handing over as National Director he returned to research and completed a Medical Doctorate on the use of Erythropoietin in Blast & Trauma. He is now the Clinical Lead for Anaesthesia and Trauma for Hywel Dda University Health Board. When he is not running in the hills around Wales he is hard at work on his farm and has started to get involved in Welsh Politics.