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Featured Articles

Spring 2007

Care Of The Military Working Dog By Medical Providers

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Vogelsang R. 07(2). 33 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military Working Dogs (MWD) are important force multipliers. The U.S. Department of Defense MWD program has expanded significantly in both total numbers of dogs and scope of their missions. MWDs are utilized to enhance law enforcement and force protection capabilities usually associated with detection of explosives or illicit/illegal drugs. Currently, in support of the Global War on Terrorism, MWDs are particularly involved with explosives detection and perform duties such as vehicle and building checks, route and minefield clearing, cache sweeps, crowd control, and cordon searches. Though there currently are no MWDs organic to SOF, the concept of using MWDs within SOF is being considered. Depending on the size and maturity of a particular theater, conventional veterinary support may or may not be readily available to any MWDs which could potentially be used in support of SOF. In situations where veterinary support is difficult to obtain, or is non-existent, the only care available for MWDs will have to come from the handler or medical providers within the supported unit. MWDs are valuable and scarce assets which cannot be replaced easily or in a timely fashion. As such, it is important for medical providers to have at least a minimal knowledge set of emergent conditions common and/or unique to the MWD so that their intervention has the best chance of success to preserve life, limb, or eyesight of the canine patient. Though many conditions in the dog are treated in a similar fashion in the human patient, differences in anatomy, vital sign and laboratory parameters and, medications and dosages, may give the medical provider cause for hesitation to attend to canine patients. This article attempts to provide medical providers some basic knowledge of MWD patients, their conditions, and treatments.

Case Report And Review Of The Literature Of Anterior Thigh Heterotopic Ossification In A U.s. Air Force Special Operations Parachutist

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Delmonaco BL. 07(2). 48 - 50. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The development of heterotopic ossification (HO), also known as myositis ossificans, after blunt trauma to the quadriceps muscles is a well-described disease in athletes. It is a disease with an interesting and predictable course; it is the unusual case that leads to chronic morbidity or requires surgery. This report describes a case of HO in a U.S. Air Force Special Operations parachutist following a routine parachute landing fall (PLF) after performing a high-altitude-low-opening (HALO) jump. The literature was reviewed; however, no other reports of HO in the parachutist occupation were identified. The work-up to rule out other diseases, particularly sarcoma of the thigh is reviewed, as well as the recommended management and expected course of the disease.

Force Health Protection In U.s. Army Special Operations Forces

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Forsyth L. 07(2). 51 - 54. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The ultimate goal of USASOC Force Health Protection programs is health sustainment of Army Special Operations Forces. Preventive medicine officers, environmental science officers, and preventive medicine Soldiers remain the cornerstone in providing health sustainment to ARSOF Soldiers. The lack of doctrine and understanding of preventive medicine core competencies may result in a degradation of unit medical readiness and individual health sustainment.

Moderate To Severe Traumatic Brain Injury From The Battlefield To The Community

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Girard P, Helmick K, Parkinson G. 07(2). 55 - 62. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been recognized as one of the signature injuries of recent warfare. Tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) plays an integral part in triaging and treating combat wounded troops including Special Operations Forces with TBI and other life threatening injuries. Patients with the most severe brain injuries require rapid evacuation from the battlefield to emergency medical centers capable of providing computerized tomography (CT) imaging, intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and ongoing neurological care. Medical treatment to manage brain injury is often provided in tandem with lifesaving surgery and immediate medical services for other injuries. Once stabilized, servicemen with TBI enter a continuum of care which extends across the globe. Joint military and VA trauma and rehabilitation teams work to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients with brain injury. Military and VA medical centers have established new systems of care to help treat increasing numbers of troops with TBI and community-based care and reentry programs help patients with moderate and severe TBI adjust to physical and cognitive changes allowing them to live meaningful and productive lives.