Introduction: Timely vascular access is critical, as hemorrhage is the number one cause of death on the battlefield. Anecdotal evidence in the Military Health System identified an operationally relevant procedural skills gap in vascular access, and data exist in civilian literature showing high rates of iatrogenic injuries when lack of robust procedural opportunity exists. Multiple pre-deployment training courses are available for surgical providers, but no comprehensive pre-deployment vascular access training exists for non-surgical providers. Methods: This mixed-method review aimed to find relevant, operationally focused, vascular access training publications. A literature review was done to identify both relevant military clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and full text articles. Reviewers also investigated available pre-deployment trainings for both surgeons and non-surgeons in which course administrators were contacted and details regarding the courses were described. Results: We identified seven full-text articles and four CPGs. Two existing surgical training programs and Army, Navy, and Air Force pre-deployment training standards for non-surgeons were evaluated. Conclusion: A cost-effective and accessible pre-deployment curriculum utilizing reviewed literature in a "learn, do, perfect" structure is suggested, building on pre-existing structures while incorporating remotely accessible didactics, hands-on practice with portable simulation models, and live-feedback training.
Keywords: vascular access; military medicine; arterial access; arterial line; central venous access; central line; IV; intravenous; literature review; training, military; deployed medicine; simulation training; austere environments; emergency medical care