A gamer has told how he turned his virtual hobby into real life-saving skills when he responded to a car accident last year.
Paxton Galvanek said that using the America's Army
online PC game taught him the critical skills needed to evaluate and treat victims at the scene.
Players of America's Army
must go through virtual medical classes based on actual training in order to assume the role of combat medic.
"I have received no prior medical training and can honestly say that because of the training and presentations within America's Army
, I was able to help and possibly save the injured men," said the 28 year-old.
Galvanek explained that section four of the online game's training covered " field medic scenarios".
"I had to evaluate the situation and place priority on the more critically wounded," he said. "I evaluated the situation and placed priority on the driver of the car who had missing fingers."
Galvanek then remembered section two of the training which dealt with controlled bleeding.
"I noticed that the wounded man had severe bleeding that he could not control," he said.
"I used a towel as a dressing and asked the man to hold the towel on his wound and to raise his hand above his head to lessen the blood flow which allowed me to evaluate his other injuries which included a cut on his head."
The incident happened on 23 November when an SUV in North Carolina flipped over about five times. The passenger had minor cuts and injuries, but the driver had lost two fingers in the accident.
The game's role in helping treat the injured came to light when Galvanek wrote to the America's Army
team to thank them for including the medical training in the game.