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Featured Articles

Fall 2016

A Skeletal Traction Technique for Proximal Femur Fracture Management in an Austere Environment

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Lidwell D, Meghoo CA. 16(3). 1 - 4. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Skeletal traction is a useful technique for managing proximal femur fractures in austere environments where fracture stabilization for this injury is difficult. We present a technique and a construct appropriate for field use that facilitates patient evacuation, and we provide guidelines for the use of this technique by an advanced medical provider managing these injuries. The objectives of this article are to enable to reader to (1) recognize the role of skeletal traction in managing proximal femur fractures in an austere environment, (2) identify the key steps in placing transfemoral skeletal traction pins, and (3) identify options and requirements for building a traction construct in resource-limited environments.

Keywords: traction skeletal; fracture proximal femur

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Lower Extremity Compartment Syndrome From Prolonged Limb Compression and Immobilization During an Airborne Operation

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Smedick BC, van Wyck D. 16(3). 5 - 9. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) involving the leg can occur in association with various traumatic and nontraumatic conditions, and it can have serious longterm consequences when unrecognized or untreated. Nontraumatic causes of ACS, such as those associated with cases of prolonged immobilization and/or extremity compression, can be easily overlooked, and several cases of ACS occurring with prolonged surgical positioning can be found in the literature. We present the case of a 19-year-old Army paratrooper who developed acute anterior and lateral compartment syndrome of the lower extremity after being immobilized in an aircraft for hours with several hundred pounds of equipment compressing his lower extremities. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of ACS occurring as a result of prejump conditions. It demonstrates a potentially serious complication that could result in medical separation and/or permanent disability of the service member. ACS of the extremity should be considered in any Soldier who is required to bear heavy loads, is immobilized for several hours at a time, and complains of symptoms such as extremity pain, numbness, and weakness.

Keywords: acute compartment syndrome, pressure; immobilization

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Pectoralis Major Injury During Basic Airborne Training

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McIntire S, Boujie L, Leasiolagi J. 16(3). 11 - 14. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Injuries involving rupture of the pectoralis major are relatively rare. When they do occur, it is mostly frequently in a young, athletic man. The most common cause is weight lifting that results in eccentric muscle contraction (muscle contraction against an overbearing force, leading to muscle lengthening)-specifically, the bench press. Other mechanisms for this injury include forceful abduction and external rotation of the arm. Injury can occur anywhere along the pectoralis major from its medial origin on the sternum and clavicle to its lateral tendinous insertion on the humerus. At the time of injury, patients may report feeling a tearing sensation or hearing a pop, with immediate onset of pain. Physical examination findings can include a deformed appearance of the chest, ecchymosis of the chest and upper arm, pain and weakness with arm adduction and internal rotation, or noticeable asymmetry of the anterior axilla with arm abduction. Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging study of choice to aid diagnosis. In a young and active population, such as the Special Operations community, appropriate and timely diagnosis is important because surgical intervention often is recommended. This report presents the case of an active-duty Servicemember who sustained a pectoralis major injury while exiting an aircraft during the Basic Airborne Course.

Keywords: pectoralis major; rupture; avulsion; tear; airborne; parachute; static line

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Thrombotic Microangiopathy Syndrome in a Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Student

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Croom D, Tracy H. 16(3). 16 - 19. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) syndromes represent a spectrum of illnesses that share common clinical and pathologic features of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and organ injury from pathologic small-vessel thrombosis. At least nine primary TMA syndromes have been described and classified based on common probable etiologies, diagnostic criteria, and treatments. The most recognized of the TMA syndromes include thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Advanced laboratory techniques are required to distinguish between these syndromes; however, all patients should initially be treated with plasma exchange for presumed ADAMTS13 deficiency-mediated TMA. The authors present a case of a TMA syndrome in a Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) candidate.

Keywords: syndrome, hemolytic-uremic; thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; microangiopathies, thrombotic; disseminated intravascular coagulation

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Evaluation of Models of Pneumatic Tourniquet in Simulated Out-of-Hospital Use

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Kragh JF, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 16(3). 21 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Pneumatic field tourniquets have been recommended for Military medics to stop bleeding from limb wounds, but no comparison of commercially available pneumatic models of tourniquet has been reported. The purpose of this study is to provide laboratory data on the differential performance of models of pneumatic tourniquets to inform decision-making of potential field assessment by military users. Methods: Models included the Emergency and Military Tourniquet (EMT), Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquet 2-inch (TPT2), and Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquet 3-inch (TPT3). One user tested the three tourniquet models 30 times each on a manikin to collect data on effectiveness (yes-no bleeding control), pulse cessation, time to stop bleeding, total time of application, after time (after bleeding was stopped), pressure applied, blood loss volume, composite outcome (whether all individual outcomes were good or not), and pump count of the bulb used to inflate the tourniquet. Results: Neither tourniquet effectiveness nor pulse cessation (ρ = 1; likelihood ratio, 0 for both) differed among tourniquet models: all three models had 100% (30 of 30 tests) for both outcomes. The EMT had the best or tied for best performance in time to stop bleeding, total time, after time, pressure blood loss, composite outcome, and pump count. Conclusion: Each of the three models of pneumatic field tourniquet was 100% effective in stopping simulated bleeding. Among the three models, the EMT showed the best or tied for best performance in time to stop bleeding, blood loss, and composite outcomes. All models are suitable for future field assessment among military users.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation

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Fraction of Inspired Oxygen Delivered by Elisée™ 350 Turbine Transport Ventilator With a Portable Oxygen Concentrator in an Austere Environment

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d'Aranda E, Bordes J, Bourgeois B, Clay J, Esnault P, Cungi P, Goutorbe P, Kaiser E, Meaudre E. 16(3). 30 - 35. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Management of critically ill patients in austere environments is a logistic challenge. Availability of oxygen cylinders for the mechanically ventilated patient may be difficult in such a context. One solution is to use a ventilator able to function with an oxygen concentrator (OC). Methods: We tested two Elisée™ 350 ventilators paired with SeQual Integra 10-OM oxygen concentrators (OC) (Chart Industries, http://www .chartindustries.com) and evaluated the delivered fraction of inspired oxygen (Fio2). Ventilators were connected to a test lung and Fio2 was measured and indicated by the ventilator. Continuous oxygen was generated by the OC from 0.5L/min to 10L/min, and administered by the specific inlet port of the ventilator. Several combinations of ventilator settings were evaluated to determine the factors affecting the delivered Fio2. Results: The Elisée 350 turbine ventilator is able to deliver a high Fio2 when functioning with an OC. However, modifications of the ventilator settings such as an increase in minute ventilation, inspiratory-to-expiratory ratio, and positive end-expiratory pressure affect delivered Fio2 despite steady-state oxygen flow from the concentrator. Conclusion: OCs provide an alternative to oxygen cylinders for delivering high Fio2 with a turbine ventilator. Nevertheless, Fio2 must be monitored continuously, since it decreases when minute ventilation is increased.

Keywords: Mechanical Ventilation; oxygen delivery; oxygen, low-flow; oxygen concentrator; Elisée&tm; 350

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Medical Provider Ballistic Protection at Active Shooter Events

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Stopyra JP, Bozeman WP, Callaway DW, Winslow J, McGinnis HD, Sempsrott J, Evans-Taylor L, Alson RL. 16(3). 36 - 40. (Journal Article)

Abstract

There is some controversy about whether ballistic protective equipment (body armor) is required for medical responders who may be called to respond to active shooter mass casualty incidents. In this article, we describe the ongoing evolution of recommendations to optimize medical care to injured victims at such an incident. We propose that body armor is not mandatory for medical responders participating in a rapid-response capacity, in keeping with the Hartford Consensus and Arlington Rescue Task Force models. However, we acknowledge that the development and implementation of these programs may benefit from the availability of such equipment as one component of risk mitigation. Many police agencies regularly retire body armor on a defined time schedule before the end of its effective service life. Coordination with law enforcement may allow such retired body armor to be available to other public safety agencies, such as fire and emergency medical services, providing some degree of ballistic protection to medical responders at little or no cost during the rare mass casualty incident. To provide visual demonstration of this concept, we tested three "retired" ballistic vests with ages ranging from 6 to 27 years. The vests were shot at close range using police-issue 9mm, .40 caliber, .45 caliber, and 12-gauge shotgun rounds. Photographs demonstrate that the vests maintained their ballistic protection and defeated all of these rounds.

Keywords: body armor; ballistics; active shooter; active assailant; mass-casualty event

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Evaluation of Two Junctional Tourniquets Used on the Battlefield: Combat Ready Clamp® versus SAM® Junctional Tourniquet

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Meusnier J, Dewar C, Mavrovi E, Caremil F, Wey P, Martinez J. 16(3). 41 - 46. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Junctional hemorrhage (i.e., between the trunk and limbs) are too proximal for a tourniquet and difficult to compress. These hemorrhages are responsible for 20% of preventable deaths by bleeding on the battlefield. The majority of these involve the groin area. Devices allowing a proximal compression for arterial axes have been recently developed. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the use of two junctional- tourniquet models, the Combat Ready Clamp (CRoC®) and the SAM® Junctional Tourniquet (SJT), in simulated out-of-hospital trauma care when tourniquets were ineffective to stop the arterial flow. Methods: During our clinical study, 84 healthy volunteers wearing battle dress performed a physical exercise to come approximate the operational context. The volunteers were randomly divided into two groups according to the device (the CRoC or SJT) used as supplement to a tourniquet self-applied to the root of the thigh. The primary study end point was the complete interruption of popliteal arterial flow, measured with Doppler auscultation. Time to effectiveness and subjective questionnaire data to evaluate the devices' application were also collected. Results: Junctional device effectiveness was almost 90% for both the CRoC and the SJT, and did not differ between them, either used with a tourniquet (ρ = .36) or alone (ρ = .71). The time to effectiveness of the SJT was significantly shorter than that of the CRoC (ρ = .029). Conclusion: The SJT and the CRoC were equally effective. The SJT was faster to apply and preferred by the users. Our study provides objective evidence to the French Tactical Casualty Care Committee for improving junctional hemorrhage treatment.

Keywords: junctional tourniquet; hemorrhage; groin; medical device; Combat Ready Clamp; SAM® Junctional Tourniquet

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Schistosomiasis: Traverers in Africa

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Strohmayer J, Matthews I, Locke R. 16(3). 47 - 52. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection acquired through freshwater exposure in the tropics. It is an infection that can have devastating implications to military personnel if it is not recognized and treated, especially later in life. While there is an abundance of information available about schistosomiasis in endemic populations, the information on nonendemic populations, such as deployers, is insufficient. Definitive studies for this population are lacking, but there are actions that can and should be taken to prevent infection and to treat patients. This literary review presents a case study, reviews basic science, and explores the information available about schistosomiasis in nonendemic populations. Specifically, the authors provide recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and postexposure management in military personnel.

Keywords: Africa; schistosomiasis; disease, tropical; military personnel; DEET; praziquantel; Schistosoma spp.

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TCCC Standardization: The Time Is Now

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Goforth C, Antico D. 16(3). 53 - 56. (Editorial)

Walking the Plank

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Banting J, Meriano T. 16(3). 57 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Concepts and Objectives: The series objective is to review various clinical conditions/ presentations, including the latest evidence on management, and to dispel common myths. In the process, core knowledge and management principles are enhanced. A clinical case will be presented. Cases will be drawn from real life but phrased in a context that is applicable to the Special Operations Forces (SOF) or tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) environment. Details will be presented in such a way that the reader can follow along and identify how they would manage the case clinically depending on their experience and environment situation. Commentary will be provided by currently serving military medical technicians. The medics and author will draw on their SOF experience to communicate relevant clinical concepts pertinent to different operational environments including SOF and TEMS. Commentary and input from active special operations medical technicians will be part of the feature.

Keywords: cervical spinal injury; Canadian C-spine rule, NEXUS Criteria; cervical collar

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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

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Burnett MW. 16(3). 63 - 64. (Journal Article)

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Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

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Knapik JJ, O'Connor FG. 16(3). 65 - 71. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER) is a medical condition whereby damage to skeletal muscle is induced by excessive physical activity in otherwise healthy individuals. The individual performs so much activity that he/ she presumably depletes local muscle energy stores and muscle cells are unable to maintain cellular integrity, resulting in cell damage and the release of cellular contents, with resultant secondary complications. In the military services, the incidence of ER appeared to increase in the period 2004 to 2015. Risk factors for ER include male sex, younger age, a prior heat injury, lower educational level, lower chronic physical activity, and activity in the warmer months of the year. Acute kidney injury is the most serious potential complication of ER and is thought to be due to a disproportionate amount of free myoglobin that causes renal vasoconstriction, nephrotoxic effects, and renal tubular obstructions. Patients typically present with a history of heavy and unaccustomed exercise with muscle pain, swelling, weakness, and decreased range of motion, largely localized to the muscle groups that were involved in the activity. Diagnostic criteria include the requisite clinical presentation with a serum creatine kinase level at least level 5 times higher than the upper limit of normal and/ or a urine dipstick positive for blood (due to the presence of myoglobin) but lacking red blood cells under microscopic urinalysis. Core treatment is largely supportive with aggressive fluid hydration. Although the great majority of individuals return to activity without consequence, patients should initially be stratified into high and low risk for recurrence, and those at high risk provided additional evaluation. Risk of ER in normal healthy individuals can be reduced by emphasizing graded, individual preconditioning before beginning a more strenuous exercise regimen after recommended work/rest and hydration schedules in hot weather, and discussing supplements and medications with knowledgeable medical personnel.

Keywords: exertional rhabdomyolysis; physical activity; kidney injury, acute; myoglobin, free

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Force Protection Medical Support at National Special Security Events: Experience From the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions

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Tang N, Margolis AM, Woltman N, Levy MJ. 16(3). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

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Urban Shield 2016

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Mattison D. 16(3). 76 - 77. (Journal Article)

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Management of Crush Syndrome Under Prolonged Field Care

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Walters TJ, Powell D, Penny A, Stewart I, Chung K, Keenan S, Shackelford S. 16(3). 79 - 85. (Journal Article)

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Left Hand Injury With Focal Swelling and Tenderness

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Urbaniak MK, Hampton K. 16(3). 86 - 86. (Journal Article)

Keywords: sonography; injury, hand

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"It Always Starts With the Heart.": Ricardo "FLO" Flores on personal pushes in moving current care toward best care.

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Kragh JF. 16(3). 87 - 92. (Interview)

A Case of Prehospital Traumatic Arrest in a US Special Operations Soldier: Care From Point of Injury to Full Recovery

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McKenzie MR, Parrish EW, Miles EA, Spradling JC, Littlejohn LF, Quinlan MD, Barbee GA, King DR. 16(3). 93 - 96. (Journal Article)

Abstract

During an assault on an extremely remote target, a US Special Operations Soldier sustained multiple gunshot and fragmentation wounds to the thorax, resulting in a traumatic arrest and subsequent survival. His care, including care under fire, tactical field care, tactical evacuation care, and Role III, IV, and V care, is presented. The case is used to illustrate the complex dynamics of Special Operations care on the modern battlefield and the exceptional outcomes possible when evidence-based medicine is taken to the warfighter with effective, farforward, expeditionary medical-force projection.

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Special Forces: A Unique National Asset Through, With, and By

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Farr WD. 16(3). 97 - 97. (Book Review)

Abstract

Boyatt, Mark D.
Special Forces: A Unique National Asset. Through, With, and By.
Denver, CO: Outskirts Press; 2016. ISBN-10: 1478766395 and ISBN-13: 978-1478766391. 578 pages.

TCCC Updates

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Anonymous A. 16(3). 99 - 119. (Classical Conference)

Don't Let the Word "Myopic" Blind You

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Callaway DW. 16(3). 120 - 122. (Classical Conference)