The OFFICIAL Journal of the Special Operations Medical Association.
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Overhauling how citizens and medical providers respond to trauma, as well as how they collect and store blood, could save thousands of lives annually.
August 2019 Feature Article
Background: Due to alarming rates of suicide in Special Operations Forces (SOF) and associated effects of traumatic stress in military populations writ large, resilience initiatives thought to influence Servicemembers' mitigation of traumatic stress and thus lower suicide risks have been implemented throughout the services. Since combat operations commenced in multiple theaters of war nearly two decades ago, resilience in conventional military populations became a topic of keen interest throughout departments of defense worldwide as well. Despite researchers' consistent assertions that SOF are highly resilient and at low risk for suicide, granular analysis of pertinent research and escalating suicide in SOF reveals no empirical basis for those beliefs. Methods: We report findings from an integrative review of resilience research in SOF and larger military populations to contextualize and augment understanding of the phenomenon. Results: Throughout the literature, conceptual and operational definitions of resilience varied based on country, context, investigators, and military populations studied. We identified critical gaps in resilience knowledge in the military, specifically: Resilience has not been studied in SOF; resilience is not concretely established to reduce suicide risk or proven to improve mental health outcomes; resilience differs when applied as a psychological construct; resilience research is based on specific assumptions of what composes resilience, depending on methods of measurement; resilience studies in this population lack rigor; research methodologies and conflicting interests invite potential bias. Conclusion: This integrative review highlights emergent issues and repetitive themes throughout military resilience research: resilience program inefficacy, potential investigator bias, perpetuated assumptions, and failure to capture and appropriately analyze germane data. Because of overall inconsistency in military resilience research, studies have limited external validity, and cannot be applied beyond sampled populations. Resilience cannot be responsibly offered as a solution to mitigating posttraumatic stress disorder nor suicide without detailed study of both in SOF.
Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths after Injury
Advances in trauma care have accelerated over the past decade, spurred by the significant burden of injury from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Between 2005 and 2013, the case fatality rate for United States Servicemembers injured in Afghanistan decreased by nearly 50 percent, despite an increase in the severity of injury among U.S. troops during the same period of time. But as the war in Afghanistan ends, knowledge and advances in trauma care developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) over the past decade from experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq may be lost. This would have implications for the quality of trauma care both within the DoD and in the civilian setting, where adoption of military advances in trauma care has become increasingly common and necessary to improve the response to multiple civilian casualty events.
This report documents the remarkable decrease in casualties killed in action during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the role of the Joint Trauma System, the CoTCCC, and the TCCC Working Group in helping to make that happen. It also outlines a clear and comprehensive vision for a National Trauma System that will enable the civilian and the military sectors to work in concert to help prevent ALL potentially preventable deaths in trauma victims.Download a free PDF copy of the IOM Report
What Our Readers are Saying
I just finished reading the fall edition of the JSOM and I am completely blown away!!!! It is absolutely packed with exceptional and relevant information that without a doubt, will assist SOF Tactical Health Care professionals in providing relevant and evidence based patient care. Thank you for providing what I consider a "World Class Medical Journal". The journal itself and the website have become my primary resource for knowledge in tactical medicine."
Robert M. Miller
North American Rescue
Chief Innovation Officer
"There is no peer-reviewed academic resource that equals the Journal of Special Operations Medicine for support of the medical and veterinary lead in Stabilization, Security, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) operations, combat and field medicine, and adaptation of Tactical Combat Casualty Care into Tactical Emergency Casualty Care for the law enforcement and emergency management community in 195 UN member countries. JSOM is a valuable resource as we continue the Millennium Medicine Project, targeting the global population that lacks access to basic surgical services and providing crisis management, security, and defense support in this demographic."
Stephen M. Apatow
President, Humanitarian Resource Institute
(UN:NGO:DESA) and H-II OPSEC: Defense Support:
Humanitarian and Security Operations
"Military units that have trained all of their members in Tactical Combat Casualty Care have documented the lowest incidence of preventable deaths among their casualties in the history of modern warfare - and JSOM is the first journal to publish every new change in TCCC."
Frank K. Butler, MD
Chairman, Committee on Tactical
Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC)
"The past 30 years has brought an amazing professionalization of the specialty of Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS). As new standards are set and the world faces increasingly complex security challenges, it is critical that the front line medical providers supporting military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations have a mechanism to expand their knowledge and share best practices. The Journal of Special Operations Medicine offers civilian readers access to the most cutting edge developments in the field including updates on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC), the National TEMS Imitative and Council (NTIC), and combat lessons learned. JSOM is the one-stop shop for best practice and future advancements in civilian TEMS. One of the unifying principles across humanitarian, expedition and disaster response medical operations is the ability to make complex decisions in uncertain environments. The Journal of Special Operations Medicine is one of the most unique platforms for experts to convey lessons learned and relevant scientific advances across specialties that historically have little interaction. Whether you work for Doctors Without Borders, a DMAT, or provide medical support for expeditions in austere environments, Journal of Special Operations Medicine is your journal."
David W. Callaway, MD
Director, Division of Operational and Disaster Medicine
Operational Medical Director, Carolinas MED-1
Co-Chairman, The Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC)
Civilian Vice President, Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA)