Forbes AS, Yeo FE. 16(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)
Erythrocytosis, or increased red blood cell mass, may be primary as in the case of polycythemia vera (PV), or secondary due to a variety of causes related to erythropoietin (EPO) secretion and hypoxia. Chronic pulmonary disease and certain EPO-secreting tumors should be addressed and excluded early during the course of evaluation for a patient presenting with increased red blood cell mass. Inclusion of the JAK2 V617F gene mutation in the recent World Health Organization criteria for the diagnosis of PV allows for facilitated diagnosis and guides therapy. EPO levels can be helpful in diagnosis and guiding therapy, but in the case of cystic renal diseases, EPO levels are often not elevated, creating diagnostic uncertainty. This report describes a case of symptoms directly attributable to erythrocytosis in the setting of negative JAK2 mutation and normal EPO levels. The subsequent discovery of a large cystic renal kidney and PV were the leading diagnostic considerations
Keywords: erythocytosis; unilateral renal cystic disease; polycythemia vera
Kragh JF, Mabry RL, Parsons DL, Broussard DW, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 16(4). 7 - 14. (Journal Article)
Background: Emergency tourniquet use to control hemorrhage from limb wounds is associated with improved survival and control of shock. In 2013, we introduced a way to measure learning curves of tourniquet users. With a dataset from an unrelated study, we had an opportunity to explore learning in detail. The study aim was to generate hypotheses about measurement methods in the learning of tourniquet users. Methods: We gathered data from a previous experiment that yielded a convenient sample of repeated tourniquet applications used as a marker of learning. Data on consecutive applications on a manikin were used in the current report and were associated with two users, three models of tourniquet, and six metrics (i.e., effectiveness, pulse cessation, blood loss, time to effectiveness, windlass turn number, and pressure applied). There were 840 tests (140 tests per user, two users, three models). Results: Unique characteristics of learning were associated with each user. Hypotheses generated included the following: trainee learning curves can vary in shape (e.g., flat, curved) by which metric of learning is chosen; some metrics may show much learning, whereas others show almost none; use of more than one metric may assess more comprehensively than using only one metric but may require more assessment time; number of uses required can vary by instructional goal (e.g., expertise, competence); awareness of the utility of specific metrics may vary by instructor; and some, but not all, increases in experience are associated with improved performance. Conclusions: This first-aid study generated hypotheses about caregiver learning for further study of tourniquet education and standards.
Keywords: first aid device; first aid education; first aid standards; first aid methods; caregivers; hemorrhage preventions; hemorrhage control; hemorrhage therapy; resuscitation; emergency medical services
Rometti MR, Wall PL, Buising CM, Gildemaster Y, Hopkins JW, Sahr SM. 16(4). 15 - 26. (Journal Article)
Background: Pressure decreases occur after tourniquet application, risking arterial occlusion loss. Our hypothesis was that the decreases could be mathematically described, allowing creation of evidence-based, tourniquet-reassessment- time recommendations. Methods: Four tourniquets with width (3.8cm, 3.8cm, 13.7cm, 10.4cm), elasticity (none, none, mixed elastic/nonelastic, elastic), and mechanical advantage differences (windlass, ratchet, inflation, recoil) were applied to 57.5cm-circumference 10% and 20% ballistic gels for 600 seconds and a 57.5cmcircumference thigh and 31.5cm-circumference arm for 300 seconds. Time 0 target completion-pressures were 262mmHg and 362mmHg. Results: Two-phase decay equations fit the pressure-loss curves. Tourniquet type, gel or limb composition, circumference, and completionpressure affected the curves. Curves were clinically significant with the nonelastic Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T), nonelastic Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet (RMT), and mixed elastic/nonelastic blood pressure cuff (BPC), and much less with the elastic Stretch Wrap And Tuck-Tourniquet (SWATT). At both completion-pressures, pressure loss was faster on 10% than 20% gel, and even faster and greater on the thigh. The 362mmHg completion-pressure had the most pressure loss. Arm curves were different from thigh but still approached plateau pressure losses (maximal calculated losses at infinity) in similar times. With the 362mmHg completion-pressure, thigh curve plateaus were -68mmHg C-A-T, -62mmHg RMT, -34mmHg BPC, and -13mmHg SWATT. The losses would be within 5mmHg of plateau by 4.67 minutes C-A-T, 6.00 minutes RMT, 4.98 minutes BPC, and 6.40 minutes SWATT and within 1mmHg of plateau by 8.18 minutes C-A-T, 10.52 minutes RMT, 10.07 minutes BPC, and 17.68 minutes SWATT. Timesequenced images did not show visual changes during the completion to 300 or 600 seconds pressure-drop interval. Conclusion: Proper initial tourniquet application does not guarantee maintenance of arterial occlusion. Tourniquet applications should be reassessed for arterial occlusion 5 or 10 minutes after application to be within 5mmHg or 1mmHg of maximal pressure loss. Elastic tourniquets have the least pressure loss.
Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; first aid; emergency treatment
Morgan PM, Williams VJ, Sell TC. 16(4). 27 - 31. (Journal Article)
Background: The US Naval Special Warfare's Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) operate on small, high-speed boats while wearing tactical gear (TG). The TG increases mission safety and success but may affect postural stability, potentially increasing risk for musculoskeletal injury. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of TG on postural stability during the Sensory Organization Test (SOT). Methods: Eight SWCC performed the SOT on NeuroCom's Balance Manager with TG and with no tactical gear (NTG). The status of gear was performed in randomized order. The SOT consisted of six different conditions that challenge sensory systems responsible for postural stability. Each condition was performed for three trials, resulting in a total of 18 trials. Results: Overall performance, each individual condition, and sensory system analysis (somatosensory, visual, vestibular, preference) were scored. Data were not normally distributed therefore Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare each variable (ρ = .05). No significant differences were found between NTG and TG tests. No statistically significant differences were detected under the two TG conditions. This may be due to low statistical power, or potentially insensitivity of the assessment. Also, the amount and distribution of weight worn during the TG conditions, and the SWCC's unstable occupational platform, may have contributed to the findings. The data from this sample will be used in future research to better understand how TG affects SWCC. Conclusion: The data show that the addition of TG used in our study did not affect postural stability of SWCC during the SOT. Although no statistically significant differences were observed, there are clinical reasons for continued study of the effect of increased load on postural stability, using more challenging conditions, greater surface perturbations, dynamic tasks, and heavier loads.
Keywords: postural stability; tactical gear; sensory organization test; Navy; SWCC
Cavett T, Solarczyk JK. 16(4). 33 - 39. (Journal Article)
We propose that trigger-point dry needle (TrP-DN) therapy is an effective low-risk treatment for pain associated with myofascial trigger points (MTrP), and should be incorporated into the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medic's scope of practice. Furthermore, TrP-DN therapy can be used as a treatment adjunct on the SOF continuum of care, providing analgesia and increased tolerance for rehabilitative therapy, thereby facilitating improved patient outcomes and faster return to operational readiness. The incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in the SOF community is discussed, as are available treatment options TrP-DN methods, a case study of a Soldier deployed to Afghanistan, the science behind the subject of MTrP and TrP-DN, and the risks associated with TrP-DN and how we can mitigate them effectively. Caution should be used in the interpretation of a body of literature based largely on case studies. Although the amount of published evidence in support of the potential benefits of TrP-DN is growing, larger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials and studies that evaluate the effects of TrP-DN in a methodologically rigorous and statistically significant way are needed. Based on anecdotal evidence of and personal experience with the success of the therapy, as well as its growing use within both civilian and military medicine, the possible therapeutic benefit of TrP-DN is relevant for the SOF community.
Wade M, O'Hara R, Caldwell L, Ordway J, Bryant D. 16(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)
Background: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of continuous one-arm kettlebell (KB) swing training on various US Air Force physical fitness testing components. Thirty trained male (n = 15) and female (n = 15) US Air Force (USAF) personnel volunteered and were sequentially assigned to one of three groups based on 1.5-mile run time: (1) KB one-arm swing training, (2) KB one-arm swing training plus highintensity running (KB + run), and (3) traditional USAF physical training (PT) according to Air Force Instruction 36-2905. Methods: The following measurements were made before and after 10 weeks of training: 1.5-mile run, 1-minute maximal push-ups, 1-minute maximal situps, maximal grip strength, pro agility, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, bodyweight, and percent body fat. Subjects attended three supervised exercise sessions per week for 10 weeks. During each exercise session, all groups performed a 10-minute dynamic warm-up followed by either (1) 10 minutes of continuous KB swings, (2) 10 minutes of continuous kettlebell swings plus 10 minutes of high-intensity running, or (3) 20 minutes of moderate intensity running plus push-ups and sit-ups. Average and peak heart rate were recorded for each subject after all sessions. Paired t tests were conducted to detect changes from pretesting to posttesting within each group and analysis of variance was used to compare between-group variability (ρ ≤ .05). Results: Twenty subjects completed the study. There were no statistically significant changes in 1.5-mile run time between or within groups. The 40- yard dash significantly improved within the KB swing (ρ ≤ .05) and KB + run group (ρ ≤ .05); however, there were no significant differences in the traditional PT group (ρ ≤ .05) or between groups. Maximal push-ups significantly improved in the KB + run group (ρ ≤ .05) and trends toward significant improvements in maximal push-ups were found in both the KB (ρ = .057) and traditional PT (ρ = .067) groups. Conclusions: This study suggests that continuous KB swing training may be used by airmen as a high-intensity, low-impact alternative to traditional USAF PT to maintain aerobic fitness and improve speed and maximal push-ups.
Keywords: kettelbell training; Air Force; 40-yard dash; physical fitness; military personnel
Moore B, O'Hara R. 16(4). 49 - 53. (Journal Article)
Background: Exertional heat illness continues to be prevalent among members of active duty personnel, especially those in specific military occupational specialties such as loadmasters, flight crew, flight maintainers, and Special Operations Forces. Therefore, the primary objective of this article was to elucidate the various oral rehydration solutions (ORSs) on the market that are used to mitigate exertional heat illness (EHI) in military personnel, and to focus on the science behind a ricebased electrolyte drink, CeraSport®, currently used by US military personnel in mitigating EHI during sustained training operations in high-heat environments. Methods: A search of the literature (through March 2016) was performed using PubMed and ProQuest, in addition to searching bibliographies and text books. We reviewed 63 articles and three texts. Articles were limited to those published in English and to studies that used only carbohydrates (e.g., no amino acids) and drinks reported to be used by the military in field training and deployment. Conclusion: Heat illness is prevalent among military personnel operating in high-heat environments and a variety of ORSs and sports drinks are available to help mitigate this. However, CeraSport, compared with other ORSs and sports drinks, may offer benefits such as faster gastric emptying rates and improved absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, which can provide rapidly available carbohydrate substrates for energy needs, and increased water retention for maintenance of blood plasma volume.
Pedler M, Ruiz F, Lamari M, Hutchinson C, Noyes B, Petrash M, Calvano CJ, La Porta A, Enzenauer RW. 16(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)
Background: Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) depends on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty when under fire. There is no single light that has been deemed "ideal" for all SOFMED environments. Methods: We used the Farnsworth-Munsell (FM) hue test to determine color vision of normal subjects under white, red-green, and blue flashlights to determine color discrimination. Then we used a timed color-determination visual test to determine how quickly normal subjects can identify color correctly. We had subjects perform a simulated surgery illuminated by a normal white-light source, then by red-green or blue light-emitting diode (LED) tactical light. Results: The total error score for white light was 49.714, 272.923 for red/green light, and 531.4 for blue light. The subjective perception of simulated trauma wounds was not substantially different with red-green LED tactical light when compared with white LED light. However, simulated surgery under the blue LED was more difficult compared with simulated surgery under the red-green LED light. Conclusion: Red-green was a superior light source for SOFMED and military first responders in this study, especially, where light was required to allow accurate and efficient application of Tactical Combat Casualty Care to injured personnel.
Eisenstein NM, Naumann DN, Bowley DM, Midwinter MJ. 16(4). 59 - 63. (Editorial)
Keywords: trauma, prevention and control; wounds and injuries; prehospital emergency care; organizational innovation; Editorials
Yarnell AM, Deuster PA. 16(4). 64 - 70. (Journal Article)
The role of caffeine in enhancing performance has been studied for years, and there is no doubt that caffeine can be performance enhancing. Also, a wealth of information allows for an interesting distinction between physical and cognitive performance. Most adults in America consume moderate doses of caffeine in various forms on a daily basis as caffeine is typically found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, dietary supplements, energy drinks, energy shots, and chocolate, as well as over-the-counter pills and gums. Although caffeine is readily available and widely consumed, when using it to enhance performance, a few factors should be considered. The authors discuss caffeine use among Servicemembers, its properties and effects on physical and cognitive performance, how to use it to optimize performance, and, finally, some of safety and regulatory considerations. The bottom line is that all individuals do not respond the same way to caffeine and their response depends on how the body uses and breaks down caffeine. Thus, as a user, you should monitor your own responses and performance changes when using caffeine based on the general recommendations provided.
Keywords: caffeine; performance enhancement
Burnett MW. 16(4). 71 - 73. (Journal Article)
Keywords: tularemia; Francisella tularensis
Knapik JJ, Reynolds K, Orr R, Pope R. 16(4). 74 - 79. (Journal Article)
This is the first of a two-part article discussing loadcarriage- related paresthesias, including brachial plexus lesions (rucksack palsy), digitalgia paresthetica, and meralgia paresthetica. Paresthesias are sensations of numbness, burning, and/or tingling, usually experienced as a result of nerve injury, compression, traction, or irritation. Rucksack palsy is a traction or compression injury to the brachial plexus, caused by the shoulder straps of the rucksack. The patient presents with paresthesia, paralysis, cramping with pain, and muscle weakness of the upper limb. Muscle-strength losses appear to be greater in those carrying heavier loads. Hypothetical risk factors for rucksack palsy include improper load distribution, longer carriage distances, and load weight. Nerve traction, compression, and symptoms may be reduced by use of a rucksack hip belt; wider, better-padded, and proper adjustment of the shoulder straps; reduction of weight in the rucksack; a more symmetric distribution of the load; and resistance training to improve the strength and hypertrophy of the shoulder muscles. Assessment and neck joint and nerve mobilization may relieve brachial plexus tension and reduce symptoms. Another load-carriage-related disorder is digitalgia paresthetica, likely caused by compression of the sensory digital nerves in the foot during load carriage. Patients have paresthesia in the toes. Although no studies have demonstrated effective prevention measures for digitalgia paresthetica, reducing loads and march distances may help by decreasing the forces and repetitive stress on the foot and lower leg. Specialty evaluations by a physical therapist, podiatrist, or other healthcare provider are important to rule out entrapment neuropathies such as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Part 2 of this article will discuss meralgia paresthetica.
Keywords: load-carriage-related paresthesia; brachial plexus lesion; rucksack palsy; digitalgia paresthetica; nerve compression; load distribution
Oberle M, Wachs T, Brisson P. 16(4). 80 - 81. (Journal Article)
Topical burns from the use of garlic have been reported rarely in the medical literature. Most cases have resulted from the use of naturopathic or home remedy treatments. A 20-year-old male military Servicemember presented to a military wound care clinic 7 days after applying a homemade topical preparation of garlic to the zygomatic region of the right side of his face. The patient had consulted the Internet for treatment of a minor skin lesion in that area. He created a garlic paste, applied it to the affected area, and covered it with a dressing. Twelve hours later, he noted an intense burning sensation where he had applied the garlic paste. After the initial blistering, the patient recovered without any additional treatment. Second-degree burns were an unintended consequence of the use of garlic as a home remedy.
Keywords: burns, chemical; garlic; military personnel
Washington MA, Blythe J. 16(4). 82 - 84. (Journal Article)
The recent capture of a terrorist in Belgium carrying explosives, fecal matter, and animal tissue may indicate a shift from conventional weapons to crude bacteriological preparations as instruments of terror. It is important to note that although such weapons lack technological sophistication, bacteria are inherently complex, unpredictable, and undetectable in the field. Therefore, it is important that Special Operations medical personnel understand the complications that such seemingly simple devices can add to the treatment of casualties in the field and subsequent evaluation in the clinic.
Keywords: dirty bombs; terrorists; warfare, biological
Keenan S. 16(4). 86 - 86. (Classical Conference)
Cancio LC, Powell D, Adams B, Bull K, Keller A, Gurney J, Pamplin JC, Shackelford S, Keenan S. 16(4). 87 - 98. (Classical Conference)
Barnhart G, Cullinan W, Pickett JR. 16(4). 99 - 101. (Case Reports)
As Special Operations mission sets shift to regions with less coalition medical infrastructure, the need for quality long-term field care has increased. More and more, Special Operations Medics will be expected to maintain casualties in the field well past the "golden hour" with limited resources and other tactical limitations. This case report describes an extended-care scenario (>12 hours) of a casualty with a chest wound, from point of injury to eventual casualty evacuation and hand off at a Role II facility. This case demonstrates the importance of long-term tactical medical considerations and the effectiveness of minimal fluid resuscitation in treating penetrating thoracic trauma.
Keywords: prolonged field care; chest trauma, penetrating; resuscitation, fluid
Powell D, McLeroy RD, Riesberg JC, Vasios WN, Miles EA, Dellavolpe J, Keenan S, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 102 - 109. (Journal Article)
One of the core capabilities of prolonged field care is telemedicine. We developed the Virtual Critical Care Consult (VC3) Service to provide Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics with on-demand, virtual consultation with experienced critical care physicians to optimize management and improve outcomes of complicated, critically injured or ill patients. Intensive-care doctors staff VC3 continuously. SOF medics access this service via phone or e-mail. A single phone call reaches an intensivist immediately. An e-mail distribution list is used to share information such as casualty images, vital signs flowsheet data, and short video clips, and helps maintain situational awareness among the VC3 critical care providers and other key SOF medical leaders. This real-time support enables direct communication between the remote provider and the clinical subject matter expert, thus facilitating expert management from near the point of injury until definitive care can be administered. The VC3 pilot program has been extensively tested in field training exercises and validated in several real-world encounters. It is an immediately available capability that can reduce medical risk and is scalable to all Special Operations Command forces.
Keywords: critical care; telemedicine; military personnel; emergency treatment; patient transfer; combat casualty care
McLeroy RD, Ellis JL, Karnopp JM, Dellavolpe J, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg JC, Edwards M, Matos R, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 110 - 113. (Journal Article)
Objective: Review application of telemedicine support for penetrating trauma. Clinical Context: Special Operations Resuscitation Team (SORT) deployed in Africa Area of Responsibility (AOR) Organic expertise: Internal Medicine physician, two Special Operations Combat medics (SOCMs), and one radiology technician Closest surgical support: Non-US surgical support 20km away; a nonsurgeon who will perform surgeries; neighboring country partner-force surgeon 2 hours by fixedwing flight. Earliest Evacuation: Evacuated 4 days after presentation to a neighboring country with surgical capability.
Keywords: critical care; telemedicine; military personnel; emergency treatment; patient transfer; combat casualty care
McLeroy RD, Spelman S, Jacobson E, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg JC, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 114 - 116. (Journal Article)
Objective: Review application of telemedicine support for removal of fragment and wound management. Clinical Context: Special Forces Operational Detachment- Alpha deployed in Central Command area of responsibility operating out of a small aid station ("house" phase of prolonged field care) Organic expertise: 18D Special Operations Combat medic Closest Medical Support: Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) surgeon located in another country; thus, all consults were either via telephone or over Secret Internet Protocol Router e-mail. Earliest Evacuation: NA
Keywords: critical care; telemedicine; military personnel; emergency treatment; patient transfer; combat casualty care
Dare C, Hampton K. 16(4). 117 - 117. (Journal Article)
Keywords: ultrasound transfer; triage
Godbee DC. 16(4). 118 - 120. (Interview)
Ferreira B. 16(4). 122 - 124. (Journal Article)
Farr WD. 16(4). 126 - 126. (Book Review)
Ignatieff, Michael. Blood and Belonging: Journeys Into the New Nationalism. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; 1995. Paperback: 276 pages. ISBN-10: 0374524483 and ISBN-13:978-0374524487.
Farr WD. 16(4). 127 - 127. (Book Review)
Ford, Sarah. One Up. A Woman in Action With the S.A.S. London, UK: Harper Collins Publishers; 1997. ISBN-10: 000638837X and ISBN-13: 978-00063883711997. 288 pages.
Butler FK, Giebner S. 16(4). 130 - 131. (Classical Conference)
Pennardt A. 16(4). 132 - 132. (Classical Conference)