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Featured Articles

Spring 2021

Limb Position Change Affects Tourniquet Pressure

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Wall PL, Buising CM, Hingtgen E, White A, Jensen J. 21(1). 11 - 17. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Limb position changes are likely during transport from injury location to definitive care. This study investigated passive limb position change effects on tourniquet pressure and occlusion. Methods: Triplicate buddy-applied OMNA® Marine Tourniquet applications to Doppler-based occlusion were done to sitting and laying supine mid-thigh (n=5) and sitting mid-arm (n=3). Tourniqueted limb positions were bent/straight/bent and straight/bent/straight (randomized first position order, 5 seconds/position, pressure every 0.1 second, two-way repeated measures ANOVA). Results: Sitting thigh occlusion pressures leg bent were higher than straight (median, minimum-maximum; 328, 307-403mmHg versus 312, 295-387mmHg, p = .013). In each recipient, the pressure change for each position change for each limb had p < .003. In each recipient, when sitting, leg bent to straight increased pressure (326, 276-415mmHg to 371, 308-427mmHg bent first and 275, 233-354mmHg to 311, 241-353mmHg straight first), and straight to bent decreased pressure (371, 308-427mmHg to 301, 262-388mmHg bent first and 312, 265-395mmHg to 275, 233-354mmHg straight first). When laying, position changes from leg bent first resulted in pressure changes in each recipient but not in the same directions in each recipient. From laying leg straight first, in each recipient changing to bent increased the pressure (295, 210-366mmHg to 328, 255-376mmHg) and to straight decreased the pressure (328, 255-376 mmHg to 259, 210-333 mmHg). Sitting arm bent occlusion pressures were lower than straight (230, 228-252mmHg versus 256, 250-287mmHg, p = .026). Arm position changes resulted in pressure changes in each recipient but not in the same directions in each recipient. Changes in pressure trace character (presence or absence of rhythmically pulsatile traces) and Doppler-based occlusion were consistent with limb position-induced changes in tourniquet pressure (each p ≤ .001 leg, p = .071 arm traces, and p = .188 arm occlusion). Conclusions: Passive limb position changes can cause significant changes in tourniquet pressure. Therefore, tourniquet adequacy should be reassessed after any limb position change.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; first aid; emergency treatment

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Performance Characteristics of Fluid Warming Technology in Austere Environments

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Blakeman T, Fowler J, Branson R, Petro M, Rodriquez D. 21(1). 18 - 24. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Resuscitation of the critically ill or injured is a significant and complex task in any setting, often complicated by environmental influences. Hypothermia is one of the components of the "Triad of Death" in trauma patients. Devices for warming IV fluids in the austere environment must be small and portable, able to operate on battery power, warm fluids to normal body temperature (37°C), and perform under various conditions, including at altitude. The authors evaluated four portable fluid warmers that are currently fielded or have potential for use in military environments.

Keywords: intravenous fluids; fluid warning; resuscitation; hypothermia

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Rationale and Implementation of a Novel Special Operations Medical Officer Course

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Fedor PJ, Dorsch J, Kharod C, Paladino L, Rush SC. 21(1). 25 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The Air Force Special Warfare Medical Officer Course was created to address the lack of operationally focused, job-specific clinical training for medical officers (MOs). This course addresses the gap in knowledge, skill, and application of operational medicine, as well as the behavioral health, human performance, education, and medical oversight of Operators. Methods: The course was designed around the senior author's decade of experience piecing together training for his own role as a pararescue flight surgeon and informed by 5 years of flight surgeon courses, lessons learned from case studies of ill-prepared deployed physicians, and input from prehospital medicine subject matter experts. Results: Air Force pararescue and special tactics flight surgeons, physician assistants, and an independent duty medical technician (IDMT) attended. The course consisted of 10 full weekdays of didactics and skills sessions covering theory and application of operational medicine, human performance optimization, behavioral health for Operators, adult education theory, principles of prehospital clinical oversight, and other expeditionary concepts. The course culminated with combat casualty care scenario-based exercises, in which the providers performed operational medicine in full kit with weapons and simulation rounds. Discussion: For many logistical and practical reasons, civilian medical experience, traditional military medical training, existing special operations medical courses, and "merit badge" card classes are not adequate preparation for this specialized role. Focused, job-specific training should be provided to Special Operations Forces Medical Officers (SOFMO) and, ultimately, to any MO deploying in support of medics or combatants. The goal is to maximize the success of military medical operations while reducing the morbidity and mortality of combat and training casualties. Conclusion: This operationally focused MO course can serve as a model for the future training of SOFMO and has stimulated discussion for consideration of a joint approach to prehospital medical training.

Keywords: Special Operations Forces; medical officer; physician; prehospital; training; education

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Conversion of the Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet (AAJT) to Infrarenal Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) Is Practical in a Swine Hemorrhage Model

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Stigall K, Blough PE, Rall JM, Kauvar DS. 21(1). 30 - 36. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Two methods of controlling pelvic and inguinal hemorrhage are the Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet (AAJT; Compression Works) and resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA). The AAJT can be applied quickly, but prolonged use may damage the bowel, inhibit ventilation, and obstruct surgical access. REBOA requires technical proficiency but avoids many of the complications associated with the AAJT. Conversion of the AAJT to REBOA would allow for field hemorrhage control with mitigation of the morbidity associated with prolonged AAJT use. Methods: Yorkshire male swine (n = 17; 70-90kg) underwent controlled 40% hemorrhage. Subsequently, AAJT was placed on the abdomen, midline, 2cm superior to the ilium, and inflated. After 1 hour, the animals were allocated to an additional 30 minutes of AAJT inflation (continuous AAJT occlusion [CAO]), REBOA placement with the AAJT inflated (overlapping aortic occlusion [OAO]), or REBOA placement following AAJT removal (sequential aortic occlusion [SAO]). Following removal, animals were observed for 3.5 hours. Results: No statistically significant differences in survival, blood pressure, or laboratory values were found following intervention. Conversion to REBOA was successful in all animals but one in the OAO group. REBOA placement time was 4.3 ± 2.9 minutes for OAO and 4.1 ± 1.8 minutes for SAO (p = .909). No animal had observable intestinal injury. Conclusions: Conversion of the AAJT to infrarenal REBOA is practical and effective, but access may be difficult while the AAJT is applied.

Keywords: hemorrhage; Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet; resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta; swine

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Use of a Pressure Cooker to Achieve Sterilization for an Expeditionary Environment

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Cook RK, McDaniel J, Pelaez M, Beltran T, Webb O. 21(1). 37 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Sterilization of healthcare instruments in an expeditionary environment presents a myriad of challenges including portability, cost, and sufficient electrical power. Using pressure cookers to sterilize instruments presents a low-cost option for sterilization in prehospital settings. This project's objective was to determine if sterility can be achieved using a commercially available pressure cooker. Methods: Presto® 4-quart stainless steel pressure cookers were heated using Cuisinart® CB-30 cast-iron single burners. One 3M™ Attest™ 1292 Rapid Readout Biological Indicator and one 3M™ Comply™ SteriGage™ integrator strip were sealed in a Henry Schein® Sterilization Pouch and placed in a pressure cooker and brought to a pressure of 103.4kPa. Sterility was verified after 20 minutes at pressure. The Attest vials were incubated in a 3M Attest 290 Auto-Reader for 3 hours with a control vial. Results: Sterility using the pressure cooker was achieved in all tested bags, integrator strips, and Attest vials (n = 128). The mean time to achieve the necessary 103.4kPa was 379 seconds (standard deviation (SD) = 77). Neither the ambient temperature nor humidity were found to affect the pressure cooker's time to achieve adequate pressure, nor the achieved depth on the integrator strip (all p > .05). Conclusion: This study provides evidence that sterilization is possible with offthe- shelf pressure cookers. Though lacking US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the use of this commercially available pressure cooker may provide a method of sterilization requiring minimal resources from providers working in expeditionary environments.

Keywords: disinfection; sterilization; dental instruments; health professional

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Combat Casualty Care Training: Implementation of a Simulation-Based Program in a Cross-Cultural Setting: Experience of the French Military Health Service in West Africa

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Cotte J, Montcriol A, Benner P, Belliard V, Roumanet P, Puidupin A, Puidupin M. 21(1). 41 - 43. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: In the French army, combat casualty care (CCC) training involves the use of simulation. The application of this pedagogic method in a cross-cultural environment has not previously been described. In this report, we explore the challenges highlighted by multiple training sessions for foreign medical providers in West Africa. Methods: We collected the data from six 2-week courses held in Libreville, Gabon. Our main objective was to describe the course; our secondary objective was to assess our trainees' progress in their knowledge of CCC. Results: The first week involved lectures, technical workshops, and single-patient simulations. The second part emphasized multiple-victim simulations and interactions with combatants and was held in the Gabonese rainforest. Sixty- two trainees undertook the six sessions. Their knowledge improved during the course, from a median score of 4 (of a maximum of 40) before to 9.5 after (p < .05). Discussion: Our study is the first to describe medical-level CCC training in a cross-cultural environment. Challenges are numerous, notably differences in the expected roles of instructors and trainees. Mitigating those difficulties is possible through cultural awareness and self-awareness. Our results are limited by the absence of evaluation of improvement in the actual management of patients. Conclusion: CCC training using medical simulation is feasible in a cross-cultural environment.

Keywords: medical simulation; manikin; cross-cultural; combat casualty care

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Commercial and Improvised Pelvic Compression Devices: Applied Force and Implications for Hemorrhage Control

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Bailey RA, Simon EM, Kreiner A, Powers D, Baker L, Giles C, Sweet R, Rush SC. 21(1). 44 - 48. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Uncontrolled hemorrhage secondary to unstable pelvic fractures is a preventable cause of prehospital death in the military and civilian sectors. Because the mortality rate associated with unstable pelvic ring injuries exceeds 50%, the use of external compression devices for associated hemorrhage control is paramount. During mass casualty incidents and in austere settings, the need for multiple external compression devices may arise. In assessing the efficacy of these devices, the magnitude of applied force has been offered as a surrogate measure of pubic symphysis diastasis reduction and subsequent hemostasis. This study offers a sensor-circuit assessment of applied force for a convenience sample of pelvic compression devices. The SAM® (structural aluminum malleable) Pelvic Sling II (SAM Medical) and improvised compression devices, including a SAM Splint tightened by a Combat Application Tourniquet® (C-A-T; North American Rescue) and a SAM® Splint tightened by a cravat, as well as two joined cravats and a standard-issue military belt, were assessed in male and female subjects. As hypothesized, compressive forces applied to the pelvis did not vary significantly based on device operator, subject sex, and subject body fat percentage. The use of the military belt as an improvised method to obtain pelvic stabilization is not advised.

Keywords: pelvic ring fractures; pelvic injuries; commercial pelvic compression devices; improvised pelvic compression devices; mass casualty incidents

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Prehospital Needle Decompression Improves Clinical Outcomes in Helicopter Evacuation Patients With Multisystem Trauma: A Multicenter Study

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Henry R, Ghavil C, Golden A, Matsushima K, Eckstein M, Foran CP, Theeuwen H, Bentley DE, Inaba K, Strumwasser A. 21(1). 49 - 54. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The utility of prehospital thoracic needle decompression (ND) for tension physiology in the civilian setting continues to be debated. We attempted to provide objective evidence for clinical improvement when ND is performed and determine whether technical success is associated with provider factors. We also attempted to determine whether certain clinical scenarios are more predictive than others of successful improvement in symptoms when ND is performed. Methods: Prehospital ND data acquired from one air ambulance service serving 79 trauma centers consisted of 143 patients (n = 143; ND attempts = 172). Demographic and clinical outcome data were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were stratified by prehospital characteristics and indications. Objective outcomes were measured as improvement in vital signs, subjective patient assessment, and physical examination findings. Univariate analysis was performed using chi-square for variable proportions and unpaired Student's t-test for variable means; p < .05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The success rate of ND performed for hypoxia (70.5%) was notably higher than ND performed for hemodynamic instability (20.3%; p < .01) or cardiac arrest (0%; p < .01). Compared to vital sign parameters, clinical examination findings as part of the indication for ND did not reliably predict technical success (p > .52 for all indications). No difference was observed comparing registered nurse versus paramedic (p = .23), diameter of catheter (p > .13 for all), or length of catheter (p = .12). Conclusion: Prehospital ND should be considered in the appropriate clinical setting. Outcomes are less reliable in cases of cardiopulmonary arrest or hypotension with respiratory symptoms; however, this should not deter prehospital providers from attempting ND when clinically indicated. Additionally, the success rate of prehospital ND does not appear to be related to catheter type or the role of the performing provider.

Keywords: needle decompression; prehospital emergency care; tension physiology; cardiopulmonary arrest

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Secondary Traumatic Stress in Emergency Services Systems (STRESS) Project: Quantifying Personal Trauma Profiles for Secondary Stress Syndromes in Emergency Medical Services Personnel With Prior Military Service

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Renkiewicz GK, Hubble MW. 21(1). 55 - 64. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: EMS personnel are often exposed to traumatic material during their duties. It is unknown how prior military experience affects the presence of stress in EMS personnel. Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study. Nine EMS agencies provided data on call mix, while individuals were recruited during training evolutions. The survey evaluated sociodemographic factors and the relationship between childhood trauma and previous military service using the Adverse Childhood Experiences questionnaire, Life Events Checklist DSM-5, and Military History Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics calculated personal trauma profiles, comparing civilian EMS personnel to those with prior service. Hierarchical linear regression assessed the predictive utility of military history to scores on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised. Results: A total of 765 EMS personnel participated in the study; 52.8% were male, 11.4% were minorities, and 11.6% had prior military service. A total of 64.4% of civilian EMS providers had any stress syndrome, while that number was 71.8% in those with prior military service. Hierarchical linear regression identified that years of service and the performance of combat patrols or other dangerous duty accounted for a unique criterion variance in the regression model. Conclusions: Prior military service or combat deployments alone do not contribute to the presence of stress syndromes. However, performance of combat patrols or other dangerous duties while deployed was a contributing factor. These results must be interpreted holistically, as other factors contribute to the presence of vicarious trauma (VT) in EMS personnel who are also veterans.

Keywords: paramedic; EMS; military; compassion fatigue; vicarious trauma; burnout; secondary traumatic stress

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Red-Green Tactical Lighting Is Preferred for Suturing Wounds in a Simulated Night Environment

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Noyes BP, Mclean JB, Walchak AC, Zarow GJ, Gaspary MJ, Knoop KJ, Roszko PJ. 21(1). 65 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Delivering medical care in nighttime conditions is challenging, as 25% of Special Operations medical Operators have reported that problems with lighting contributed to poor casualty outcomes. Red light is often used in nighttime operations but makes blood detection difficult and diminishes depth perception and visual acuity. Red-green combination lighting may be superior for differentiating blood from tissue and other fluids but had not been tested versus red-only or green-only lighting for combat-related medical procedures, such as wound suturing. Methods: Dark-adapted medical resident physicians (N = 24) sutured 6cm long, 3cm deep, full-thickness lacerations in deceased swine under red-only, green-only, and red-green lighting provided by a tactical flashlight using a randomized within-subjects design. Time to suture completion, suture quality, user ratings, and user preference data were contrasted at p < .05. This study was approved by Naval Medical Center Portsmouth IRB. Results: Suture completion time and suture quality were similar across all lighting conditions. Participants rated red-green lighting as significantly easier for identifying blood, identifying instruments, and performing suturing (p < .01). Red-green lighting was preferred by 83% of participants compared to 8% each for red-only and green-only (p < .001). Conclusions: Pending further study under tactical conditions, red-green lighting is tentatively recommended for treating battlefield wounds in low-light environments.

Keywords: First-Light; combat medicine; light discipline; combat lighting; tactical lighting

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Tourniquet Application by Urban Police Officers: The Aurora, Colorado Experience

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Jerome JE, Pons PT, Haukoos JS, Manson J, Gravitz S. 21(1). 71 - 76. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled external hemorrhage is a common cause of preventable death. The Hartford Consensus recommendations presented the concept of a continuum of care, in which police officers should be considered an integral component of the emergency medical response to active shooter incidents. Recent publications have reported individual cases of tourniquet application by police officers. This report analyzed all documented cases of hemorrhage control using tourniquets applied by police officers in a single large metropolitan police department. Methods: A retrospective computerized search of all public safety communications center reports and police officer documentation for cases of tourniquet application was conducted by searching for the word "tourniquet." Each case was evaluated for indication and appropriateness using Stop The Bleed criteria for tourniquet placement. In addition, police response time was compared to emergency medical services (EMS) response time in an effort to determine if there was a time difference in response to the bleeding patient that could potentially impact patient outcomes. Results: Forty- three cases were identified over the 6-year period ending in December 2019. The majority of cases involved gunshot wounds and most were civilian victims. Injured police officers accounted for two cases (gunshot wound and dog bite). Review of the officers' narratives indicated that most applications appeared justified using the Stop The Bleed criteria (two cases were questionable if a tourniquet was necessary and one may have been placed in an incorrect location). On average, police arrived 4 minutes sooner than EMS did. Conclusion: Several reports in the literature document the success of police officer application of tourniquets to control limb hemorrhage. Most of the reports involved a small number of case reports. This is the largest case series to date from a single urban police department.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage control; police; emergency medical services

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Applications of Fish Oil Supplementation for Special Operators

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Heileson JL, Funderburk LK, Cardaci TD. 21(1). 78 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Fish oil supplementation (FOS) is beneficial for human health and various disease states. FOS has recently received attention related to its anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on skeletal muscle and cognitive performance. Since Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel endure rigorous combat and training environments that are mentally and physically demanding, FOS may have important applications for the SOF Warfighter. The purpose of this narrative review is to explore the evidence for FOS and its application to multiple physiological and psychological contexts experienced by SOF personnel. For physical performance, FOS may promote lean body mass (LBM) accretion; however, there seems to be minimal impact on strength, power, or endurance. During physiological stress, FOS may preserve strength, power, LBM (during muscle disuse, not weight loss) and enhance recovery. For cognition, FOS likely improves reaction time, mental fatigue, and may reduce the incidence and severity of mild traumatic brain injury; however, FOS has minimal impact on attentional control and mood states. No safety concerns were evident. In conclusion, there are multiple applications of FOS for SOF personnel. Due to the minimal safety concerns and potential anabolic, anti-catabolic and cognitive benefits, FOS is a viable method to promote and sustain SOF Warfighter physical and cognitive performance. Although promising, the FOS trials to date have not been conducted in the context of the multi-stressor environments experienced by SOF personnel, thus, future studies should be conducted in a SOF population.

Keywords: omega-3 fatty acids; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; skeletal muscle; cognition; performance

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Making Use of Your Assets: Clinical Use of EOD Radiography in the Forward-Deployed Setting

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Howard CM, Veach S, Lyon RF, Shaw KA. 21(1). 87 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Ultrasonography is currently the primary means of imaging for forward surgical teams/forward resuscitative surgical teams (FSTs/FRSTs). As FSTs/FRSTs are pushed farther forward into more austere environments, access to other imaging modalities may be limited, potentially affecting resources. On a recent deployment, the 126th FRST was able to use radiography equipment from a co-located explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and surgical patients, thereby saving time and resources. We provide three case examples in which using EOD radiography assisted in clinical decision making. Although the safety profile has not been assessed for clinical use in humans, EOD radiography can be a useful technique to aid in time-sensitive decision making in resource-constrained operational areas.

Keywords: explosive ordnance disposal radiography; forward resuscitative surgical team; portable x-ray machine

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Immediate Paramedic Tactical Response Unit in a Civilian Emergency Medical Service: The First Year Experience

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Kamarainen A, Virtanen J, Lintunen J, Kolkkinen J, Nykopp I, Isotalo M, Valimaa J, Uotila T. 21(1). 90 - 93. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Purpose: An immediate paramedic tactical response unit was implemented into a civilian emergency medical services (EMS) system. This was compared with the preexisting traditional tactical EMS support (TEMS). The primary aim of the study was to evaluate the effect on tasking frequencies. The secondary aims of the study were to assess mission timings and the effect on patient encounters. Methods: Paramedics with tactical emergency medical training provided immediate response on a 24/7 basis. They responded to support police in high-risk TEMS scenarios and incidents in a Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) role. Tasking frequencies, timings, and clinical input were compared between the first year of immediate response and 3 preceding years of TEMS. Results: The number of TEMS dispatches increased from an average of 5 to 54 annually. The median time from dispatch to scene arrival decreased from a median of 54 minutes (interquartile range [IQR] 39-65) to 17 minutes (IQR 11-26) (p < .0001). The overall mission duration decreased from a median of 3 hr 13 min (IQR 2 h 29 min to 4 h 40 min) to 1 h 12 min (IQR 34 min-1 h 18 min) (p < .0001). The number of treated patients increased from one minor injury annually to 13 severe and six minor injuries annually. Conclusions: Implementing immediate tactical paramedic response significantly decreases response time and mission duration and increases the number of activations and resultant number of treated patients.

Keywords: paramedics; tactical response unit; emergency medical services; Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC); Finland

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The Use of Chest Seals in Treating Sucking Chest Wounds: A Comparison of Existing Evidence and Guideline Recommendations

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Kuhlwilm V. 21(1). 94 - 101. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Sucking chest wounds occur when injuries penetrate the thorax and inhalation results in air entering the pleural cavity. Well documented in the prehospital environment, treatment should be chest seal application to attempt prevention of an expanding pneumothorax. However, a seal might occlude the pathway for the escape of air and lead to a worsening tension pneumothorax. Methods: The author conducted a literature search of studies reporting the efficacy of various chest seals for treating sucking chest wounds and the prevention of a tension pneumothorax. Study results were compared to current international guidelines. Results/Discussion: Included were four studies testing chest seals in a swine model of hemopneumothorax. Vented and unvented chest seals stabilized cardiorespiratory parameters after an open pneumothorax, but only vented chest seals showed more success at preventing a tension pneumothorax. Chest seals with flutter valves seemed to be inferior. An additional study showed that vertical movements and soiled skin were more stressful on the applied chest seals. Eight international guidelines were identified: four focused on the tactical environment, and four appeared to be more civilian-oriented. Only two of the civilian-oriented guidelines did not prefer vented chest seals. Conclusion: Vented chest seals seem to be superior to unvented chest seals, and most international guidelines have updated their recommendations for the use of vented chest seals. However, frequent physical examinations for early signs of a developing or worsening tension pneumothorax are the best medical care.

Keywords: open pneumothorax; sucking chest wound; thoracic trauma; chest seal; vented chest seal; unvented chest seal; combat medical care; tactical medicine

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Lessons Learned on the Battlefield Applied in a Civilian Setting

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Cordier P, Benoit C, Belot-De Saint Leger F, Pauleau G, Goudard Y. 21(1). 102 - 105. (Journal Article)

Abstract

We report the case of a civilian 27-year-old man treated in a military hospital in France who sustained multiple stab wounds, including one in the left groin, with massive external bleeding. When first responders arrived, the patient was in hemorrhagic shock. A tourniquet and two intraosseous catheters were placed to start resuscitative care. On the patient's arrival at the hospital, bleeding was not controlled, so a junctional tourniquet was put in place and massive transfusion was started. Surgical exploration revealed a laceration of the superficial femoral artery and a disruption of the femoral vein. Vascular damage control was achieved by a general surgeon and consisted of primary repair of the superficial femoral artery injury and venous ligation. The patient was discharged from the intensive care unit after 2 days and from the hospital after 8 days. This case illustrates some of the persistent challenges shared between military and civilian trauma care. The external control of junctional hemorrhage is not easily achievable in the field, and junctional tourniquets have been therefore incorporated in the Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines. French lyophilized plasma was used for massive transfusion because it has been proven to be a logistically superior alternative to fresh-frozen plasma. Management of vascular wounds by nonspecialized surgeons is a complex situation that requires vascular damage-control skills; French military surgeons therefore follow a comprehensive structured surgical training course that prepares them to manage complex penetrating trauma in austere environments. Finally, in this case, lessons learned on the battlefield were applied to the benefit of the patient.

Keywords: penetrating trauma; casualty care; junctional tourniquet; damage control

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Watch Where You Point That: Pneumomediastinum From Pneumatic Nail Gun Injury to the Hand

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Nam JJ, Kelly WF. 21(1). 106 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Pneumatic nail guns are hand-held tools used in industrial and construction settings. Nail guns cause the most trauma with hospitalization among construction workers. To our knowledge, we report for the first time a case of pneumomediastinum from a nail gun injury to the hand. Our patient was a 40-year-old male construction worker who shot a nail gun into his hand. He became acutely dyspneic and was found to have a pneumomediastinum due to air insufflation. He later underwent tube thoracostomy and intubation. To our knowledge, this is the first report of pneumomediastinum from a nail gun injury to the hand.

Keywords: pneumatic nail guns; pneumomediastinum; nail gun injury

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Aligning and Assessing Core Attributes of Spiritual Fitness for Optimizing Human Performance

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Alexander DW, Deuster PA. 21(1). 109 - 112. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM)'s Preservation of the Force and Family Program (POTFF) identifies spiritual performance (SP) as a key pillar for holistically caring for and optimizing the performance of all Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their families. Enhancing SP is key to sustaining core spiritual beliefs, values, awareness, relationships and experiences. The SOCOM Spiritual Fitness Scale (SSFS) enables religious support teams in SOF communities and beyond to reliably measure SP according to POTFF's definition of SP and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) on Spiritual Fitness (SF). The three subscales of the SSFS relate to core attributes of SP/SF, which were identified through factor analysis during iterations of the tool's development. Directly aligning SP/SF programs with the core attributes of SSFS will allow chaplains to support both theists and nontheists and to retain certain traditional chaplain activities which no longer have universal connection to religious ministry in the public discourse. Chaplains are also empowered to immediately begin conducting relevant and spiritual assessments. We will illustrate how a chaplain can align SP initiatives with the three core attributes of SP/SF and leverage the SSFS to assess baseline unit needs, conceive and develop evidence-based initiatives, conduct rolling program assessments, and articulate program efficacy to key leaders and collaborators.

Keywords: spiritual metric; spiritual fitness; human performance optimization; total force fitness; program evaluation

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Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

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Crecelius EM, Burnett MW. 21(1). 113 - 114. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection that can involve the skin, mucosal membranes, and internal organs. Soldiers are at highrisk of leishmaniasis when conducting operations in endemic regions. Medical providers should have a low threshold to consider Leishmaniasis as the cause of persisting skin lesions.

Keywords: leishmaniasis; parasites; infection

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Vitamin A and Bone Fractures

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Knapik JJ, Hoedebecke BL. 21(1). 115 - 119. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vitamin A is a generic term describing compounds that have the same biological activity as retinol. Dietary vitamin A can be obtained from "provitamin A" carotenoids (e.g., ß-carotene) found in plant foods such as carrots, cantaloupes, and sweet peppers, or as "preformed vitamin A" found in many dietary supplements, animal livers, and vitamin A-fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, milk, cheese, and yogurt. Low consumption of vitamin A can cause night blindness, reduce immune function, and have detrimental developmental effects. Several lines of evidence suggest that excessive dietary intake of vitamin A might be associated with an increased risk of bone fractures. Meta-analysis of observational human studies that have examined vitamin A and fractures suggests that dietary consumption of large amounts of vitamin A in the form of ß-carotene likely has a protective effect, reducing the risk of fractures. On the other hand, meta-analyses that have specifically examined hip fractures have shown that total vitamin A (all types) or retinol consumption may increase the risk of hip fractures. Until more information is available, it is advisable to consume vitamin A primarily from plant sources, avoid excessive consumption from dietary supplements and animal sources, and lower consumption from fortified foods.

Keywords: beta-carotene; retinol; meta-analysis; hip fracture

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Tourniquet Use on a Pediatric Patient

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Gattere M, Scaffei N, Gozzetti L, Alessandrini M. 21(1). 120 - 123. (Journal Article)

Abstract

As a result of the increasing use and application of military tourniquets in civilian settings, it is necessary to evaluate the size and effectiveness of the equipment on patients that differ from the military-aged population for whom the devices have been primarily created. This case report describes the application of a tourniquet on a pediatric patient while also profiling a common situation in which the Combat Application Tourniquet GEN 7 (C-A-T Resources) might be used in civilian care systems. The case is that of a 14-month-old child who suffered a limb amputation secondary to a road accident in Italy and the ensuing life-saving treatment. The intervening nurse at the scene had been trained on the use of hemorrhage-control devices through the American College of Surgeons "Stop the Bleed" campaign.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; child; pediatric; military personnel; accidents; amputation; Stop the Bleed; NATO Special Operations Combat Medic; NSCOM

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Interviews With MSG (Ret) Rick Hines, Capt Kyle S. Stigall, MD, and COL (Ret) Russ Kotwal, MD, MPH

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Randles J, Merkle A. 21(1). 124 - 124. (Interview)

Guerilla Surgeon: A Thing of the Past or Warning to the Future?

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Lyon RF. 21(1). 125 - 125. (Book Review)

Abstract

Rogers L. Guerilla Surgeon: A New Zealand surgeon's wartime experiences with the Yugoslav Partisans. Collins: January 1, 1958. ASIN: B000S5M92O. Hardcover.

Tactical Medicine Training for SEAL Mission Commanders

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Butler FK. 21(1). 127 - 133. (Classical Conference)

Abstract

The Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) project initiated by Naval Special Warfare and continued by the US Special Operations Command has developed a new set of combat trauma care guidelines that seek to combine good medical care with good small-unit tactics. The principles of care recommended in TCCC have gained increasing acceptance throughout the Department of Defense in the four years since their publication and increasing numbers of combat medical personnel and military physicians have been trained in this concept. Since casualty scenarios in small-unit operations typically present tactical as well as medical problems, however, it has become apparent that a customized version of this course suitable for small-unit mission commanders is a necessary addition to the program. This paper describes the development of a course in Tactical Medicine for SEAL Mission Commanders and its transition into use in the Naval Special Warfare community.