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Featured Articles

Summer 2008

Thoughts on Aid Bags Part One

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Hetzler MR, Ball JA. 08(3). 47 - 53. (Journal Article)

Canine Tactical Field Care Part One: The Physical Examination And Medical Assessment

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Taylor WM. 08(3). 54 - 60. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military and law enforcement agencies have seen a dramatic increase in the utilization of working canine officers both at home and in foreign deployments. Due to the fact that professional veterinary care is often distant from internal disaster or foreign deployment sites, the military medic, police tactical medic, or other first-response medical care provider may be charged with providing emergency or even basic, non-emergency veterinary care to working canines. The medical principles involved in treating canines are essentially the same as those for treating humans, but the human healthcare provider needs basic information on canine anatomy and physiology and common emergency conditions in order to provide good basic veterinary care until a higher level of veterinary care can be obtained. This article represents the first in a series of articles designed to provide condensed, basic veterinary information on the medical care of working canines, including police canines, federal agency employed working canines, and search-and-rescue dogs, in addition to Military Working Dogs (MWD), to those who are normally charged with tactical or first responder medical care of human patients.

Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure Protocols To Rapidly Induce Altitude Acclimatization In The Sof Operator

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Delmonaco BL, Andrews J, May A. 08(3). 61 - 64. (Journal Article)

Abstract

In August 2007 a three-man Special Operations Forces (SOF) Team attempted a rapid ascent of Mt Rainier after a five-day intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE) protocol in a Colorado Exercise Room. The following article discusses the process used by the team to select the five-day IHE protocol as well as the science upon which IHE protocols for altitude acclimatization is based. The experiences of the team as they attempted to summit Mt Rainier at greater than 14,000 feet are summarized with a focus on acute mountain sickness (AMS) and its possible prevention with IHE. The subject of rapid acclimatization to prevent AMS is important to the SOF community in order to quickly operate at high altitudes without succumbing to AMS or being forced to a lower altitude. Although medical literature is thinly populated with rigorous studies of IHE to prevent AMS, recent good studies, especially from Dr. Stephen Muza at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), validate some IHE protocols. This research is reviewed in the following article to help determine an appropriate IHE protocol for the SOF community.

Acute Mountain Sickness Prophylaxis In The SOF Operator

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Pennardt A, Talbot T. 08(3). 65 - 66. (Editorial)

A Series Of Special Operations Forces Patients With Sexual Dysfunction In Association With A Mental Health Condition

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Lang G. 08(3). 67 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Department of Defense has placed considerable emphasis on the identification of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and several mandatory screening tools are currently used by primary care clinicians to assist in this effort. PTSD has been shown to impair emotional and social functioning, and to affect physical health and quality of life. Previous research has identified that combat veterans meeting diagnostic criteria for PTSD are more likely to experience some form of sexual dysfunction. This article presents four clinical cases of Special Operations Forces (SOF) patients who experienced sexual problems in association with symptoms of PTSD. Mandatory screening forms may be able to identify a subset of patients with PTSD; however, the perceived stigma of PTSD may prevent SOF personnel from seeking appropriate care. On the other hand, the barriers to care for sexual dysfunction have been reduced in recent years. Young, healthy male combat veterans who seek treatment for sexual dysfunction should be questioned about symptoms of PTSD.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Situational Awareness for Special Operations Medical Providers

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Forsten RD, Roberts RJ, Stewart C, Solomon BE, Baggett MR. 08(3). 74 - 87. (Journal Article)

Spontaneous Pneumopericardium, Pneumomediastinum, And Subcutaneous Emphysema In A 22-year Old Active Duty Soldier

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Thompson D. 08(3). 88 - 90. (Journal Article)

Abstract

A radiological case study of spontaneous pneumopericardium, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema is reported in a 22-year old active duty male Soldier undergoing survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) training and presenting for evaluation of sore throat and retrosternal chest pain. The patient is one of several that presented with similar symptoms in a 24-hour period. After close observation, he was released to his unit and recovered well.

Keywords: pneumopericardium; pneumomediastinum; subcutaneous emphysema; SERE