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Journal of Special Operations Medicine Keyword Index

This page will help you to find articles based on keywords. Simply click on the keyword in which you are interested, and you will be taken to a list of articles that the author has tagged with that keyword. Please note that this list of keywords is provided by the authors and may contain words that are similar in nature. Please be sure to explore all of the possible synonyms and permutations of the word you are looking for!

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Keyword: 1,3 Dimethylamylamine

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Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response following use of Dietary Supplement Containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine and Caffeine

Armstrong M. 12(4). 1 - 4. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Our nation's servicemembers commonly use dietary supplements to enhance their performance. Despite this prolific use, many of these products have detrimental side-effects that compromise servicemembers' health and could, by proxy, compromise a mission. This paper presents the case of a 32-year old Navy Special Operations Forces (SOF) Sailor who, prior to physical training, used a supplement containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), and then developed atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. He required intravenous calcium channel blocker administration, followed by beta blockers, for rate control. As military providers, we routinely ask our patients about their use of supplements and while the regulation of these products is beyond the scope of practice for most of us, it is our duty to become better educated about the risks and benefits of these supplements. We must educate our patients and our commands on the potential harm that these supplements may pose.

Keywords: atrial fibriliation; supplement; DMAA; Special Operations; 1,3 Dimethylamylamine

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Keyword: 25-hydroxyvitamin D

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Clinical Relevance of Optimizing Vitamin D Status in Soldiers to Enhance Physical and Cognitive Performance

Wentz LM, Eldred JD, Henry MD, Berry-Caban CS. 14(1). 58 - 66. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency initiates a loss of combat effectiveness by impairing physical and cognitive functioning of combat Operators. Synthesized in response to sunlight and consumed in the diet, vitamin D functions as a hormone and regulates gene expression for nearly 300 genes throughout the human body. These target genes are involved processes essential to combat operations, such as immune function, response to stress, inflammation, and regulation of calcium movement. Since widespread vitamin D deficiency is observed across the U.S. population, poor vitamin D status is expected in Servicemembers. Physical conditions linked to vitamin D deficiency include increased risk for muscle or bone injury, muscle weakness, and reduced neuromuscular function. Hormonally, vitamin D levels have been positively correlated with testosterone levels. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with cognitive decline, depression, and may prolong recovery following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Since vitamin D deficiency elevates systemic inflammation, poor vitamin D status at the time of brain injury may prolong the inflammatory response and exacerbate postconcussive symptoms. Furthermore, veterans with mTBI experience chronic endocrine dysfunction. While vitamin D status has not been assessed post-mTBI, it is plausible that vitamin D levels are altered along with testosterone and growth hormone, raising the question of whether vitamin D deficiency results from trauma-related hormonal abnormalities or whether vitamin D deficiency increases the risk for endocrine dysfunction. Through its association with testosterone production, vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since testosterone levels are altered in veterans with PTSD. Therefore, vitamin D status has a significant impact on Operator health and performance. Supplementing vitamin D to deficient Operators provides a noninvasive and low-cost intervention to maintain combat force.

Keywords: vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; inflammation; neuroprotection; musculoskeletal performance; combat readiness

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Keyword: 40-yard dash

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Continuous One-Arm Kettlebell Swing Training on Physiological Parameters in US Air Force Personnel: A Pilot Study

Wade M, O'Hara R, Caldwell L, Ordway J, Bryant D. 16(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion

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Medical Operations of the 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion

Downs JW. 14(2). 66 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author gives a history of the formation of the 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion and varied aspects of Ranger medical operations, including personnel composition of the medical detachment, the work of the battalion's surgeon during combat and noncombat operations, medical aspects of operational planning, available medical supplies, medical evacuation procedures, and preventive care.

Keywords: 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion; medical operations; World War II

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Keyword: AAT

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Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ Use in Afghanistan

Anonymous A. 13(2). 1 - 2. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ was used recently used in Afghanistan to control severe hemorrhage in a casualty who had traumatic bilateral amputations of the lower extremities. Excerpts from the medical provider's account of the tactical evacuation phase of care are provided.

Keywords: Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet ™; AAT; hemorrhage; amputations

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Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet Controls Junctional Hemorrhage From a Gunshot Wound of the Axilla

Croushorn J, McLester J, Thomas G, McCord SR. 13(3). 1 - 4. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Junctional hemorrhage, bleeding from the areas at the junction of the trunk and its appendages, is a difficult problem in trauma. These areas are not amenable to regular tourniquets as they cannot fit to give circumferential pressure around the extremity. Junctional arterial injuries can rapidly lead to death by exsanguination, and out-of-hospital control of junctional bleeding can be lifesaving. The present case report describes an offlabel use of the Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ in the axilla and demonstrates its safety and effectiveness of stopping hemorrhage from a challenging wound. To our knowledge, the present report is the first human use of a junctional tourniquet to control an upper extremity junctional hemorrhage.

Keywords: AAT; hemorrhage; amputations

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Keyword: Abbreviated Injury Scale

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Interobserver Variability in Injury Severity Scoring After Combat Trauma: Different Perspectives, Different Values?

Smith IM, Naumann DN, Guyver P, Bishop J, Davies S, Lundy JB, Bowley DM. 15(2). 86 - 93. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Anatomic measures of injury burden provide key information for studies of prehospital and in-hospital trauma care. The military version of the Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS(M)] is used to score injuries in deployed military hospitals. Estimates of total trauma burden are derived from this. These scores are used for categorization of patients, assessment of care quality, and research studies. Scoring is normally performed retrospectively from chart review. We compared data recorded in the UK Joint Theatre Trauma Registry (JTTR) and scores calculated independently at the time of surgery by the operating surgeons to assess the concordance between surgeons and trauma nurse coordinators in assigning injury severity scores. Methods: Trauma casualties treated at a deployed Role 3 hospital were assigned AIS(M) scores by surgeons between 24 September 2012 and 16 October 2012. JTTR records from the same period were retrieved. The AIS(M), Injury Severity Score (ISS), and New Injury Severity Score (NISS) were compared between datasets. Results: Among 32 matched casualties, 214 injuries were recorded in the JTTR, whereas surgeons noted 212. Percentage agreement for number of injuries was 19%. Surgeons scored 75 injuries as "serious" or greater compared with 68 in the JTTR. Percentage agreement for the maximum AIS(M), ISS, and NISS assigned to cases was 66%, 34%, and 28%, respectively, although the distributions of scores were not statistically different (median ISS: surgeons: 20 [interquartile range (IQR), 9-28] versus JTTR: 17.5 [IQR, 9-31.5], ρ = .7; median NISS: surgeons: 27 [IQR, 12-42] versus JTTR: 25.5 [IQR, 11.5-41], ρ = .7). Conclusion: There are discrepancies in the recording of AIS(M) between surgeons directly involved in the care of trauma casualties and trauma nurse coordinators working by retrospective chart review. Increased accuracy might be achieved by actively collaborating in this process.

Keywords: Injury Severity Score; Abbreviated Injury Scale; trauma; surgeon; trauma nurse coordinator

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Keyword: abdominal

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Conceptualized Use of Self-Expanding Foam to Rescue Special Operators From Abdominal Exsanguination: Percutaneous Damage Control for the Forward Deployed

Rago AP, Sharma U, Sims K, King DR. 15(3). 39 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Noncompressible hemorrhage is the leading cause of potentially survivable death on the battlefield. In Special Operations Forces (SOF), 50% of potentially survivable deaths have been related to noncompressible hemorrhage. Currently, there are no widely available presurgical interventions that can slow abdominal bleeding. Consequently, many of the preventable deaths occur en route to definitive care as a failure to rescue from exsanguination. A self-expanding polyurethane foam has been developed as a percutaneous damage control intervention to rescue casualties who would otherwise die of noncompressible hemorrhage, and allow them to survive long enough to reach surgical intervention. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the existing preclinical data, describe the role of SOF personnel in foam delivery-system development, and to integrate these together to conceptualize how foam could be incorporated into SOF medical care. Methods: All existing publications on self-expanding foam are reviewed. Additionally, eight SOF medical providers with combat experience provided end-user input to delivery-device design through an interactive human-factors testing process. Results: Ten preclinical publications described efficacy, safety, dose translation, and risk-benefit analysis of exsanguination rescue with percutaneous-foam damage control. SOF medical providers guided weight, cubic, operational requirements, and limits for the foam delivery device. Conclusion: Presurgical exsanguination rescue with percutaneous foam damage control is safe and effective with a favorable risk-benefit profile in preclinical studies. Battlefield, presurgical use by SOF medical providers is conceptually possible. Adoption of the technology on the battlefield should proceed with SOF medical provider input.

Keywords: hemorrhage; noncompressable; bleeding; foam; advanced medic; abdominal; austere; ResQFoam

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Keyword: Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet

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Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet Controls Hemorrhage From a Gunshot Wound of the Left Groin

Croushorn J. 14(2). 6 - 8. (Journal Article)

Abstract

"Junctional hemorrhage" is defined as bleeding from the areas at the junction of the trunk and its appendages. This is an important cause of potentially preventable deaths on the battlefield and a difficult condition to treat in the civilian prehospital setting. Having a solution to definitively treat the condition decreases the mortality and morbidity of these injuries. The Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet™ is (1) a Food and Drug Administration-cleared device that is currently indicated for pelvic, inguinal, and axillary bleeding; (2) the only junctional tourniquet with an indication for pelvic bleeding; (3) the only junctional tourniquet reported with a successful axillary use; and (4) effective at lower tissue pressures than other junctional tourniquets available.

Keywords: Abdominal Aortic and Junctional Tourniquet; hemorrhage; gunshot wound

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Keyword: Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet ™

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Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ Use in Afghanistan

Anonymous A. 13(2). 1 - 2. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ was used recently used in Afghanistan to control severe hemorrhage in a casualty who had traumatic bilateral amputations of the lower extremities. Excerpts from the medical provider's account of the tactical evacuation phase of care are provided.

Keywords: Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet ™; AAT; hemorrhage; amputations

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Keyword: abdominal pain

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Abdominal Pain

Banting J, Meriano T. 15(1). 118 - 122. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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: pain; abdominal pain; appendicitis; diagnosis; treatment

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Keyword: abetalipoproteinemia

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Hypolipidemia in a Special Operations Candidate: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Strain JE, Vigilante JA, DiGeorge NW. 15(4). 1 - 5. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: A 19-year-old male military recruit who presented for a screening physical for US Naval Special Warfare Duty was found to have hypolipidemia. Medical history revealed mildly increased frequency of bowel movements, but was otherwise unremarkable. His presentation was most consistent with heterozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL), and the patient was cleared for Special Operations duty. Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE. Keywords included familial hypobetalipoproteinemia, heterozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia, abetalipoproteinemia, hypolipidemia, diving, special operations, and military. Results that included cases of familial hypobetalipoproteinemia were included. Results: Review of the literature reveals that FHBL is a genetic disorder frequently, but not always, due to a mutation in the apolipoprotein B (apoB) gene. Those with the condition should be screened for ophthalmologic, neurologic, and gastrointestinal complications. Analysis of the disease, as well as the absence of reported cases of FHBL in diving and Special Operations, suggest there is minimal increased risk in diving and Special Operations for patients who are likely heterozygous, are asymptomatic, and have a negative workup for potential complications from the disease. Conclusion: Individuals with presumed or proven heterozygous FHBL seeking clearance for Special Operations duty should be given precautions, undergo careful questioning for history of disease-specific complications, and should have a baseline evaluation. If negative, it seems reasonable to clear the patient for Special Operations and diving.

Keywords: hypobetalipoprotteinemia, familial; hypobetalipoprotteinemia, heterozygous familial; abetalipoproteinemia; hypolipidemia; diving; Special Operations; military

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Keyword: ablation

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Treatment of Sea Urchin Injuries

King DR, Larentzakis A. 14(2). 56 - 59. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Sea urchin injuries can be sustained in a variety of environments in which U.S. Forces are operating, and familiarity with this uncommon injury can be useful. Injuries by sea urchin spines can occur during military activities close to rocky salt aquatic ecosystems via three mechanisms. The author describes these mechanisms and discusses the diagnosis, management, and treatment of sea urchin injuries.

Keywords: sea urchin; spines; laser; ablation

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Keyword: abseiling

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Fast-Roping: Potential Consequences of Vibrations for Sensation and Regulation of Movement

Goldmann J, Braunstein B, Sanno M, Kurzner S, Brüggemann G, Mester J. 14(2). 80 - 83. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objectives: Short-term exposure (2-30 seconds) to segmental mechanical vibrations with frequencies between 20 and 80 Hz affects proprioception of the central nervous system and manual dexterity and strength of man. It could be supposed that during fast-roping, Soldiers are exposed to hand-arm vibrations caused by the geometry of the rope. After the maneuver, Soldiers are encouraged to operate with high precision (e.g., aiming and shooting) within a few seconds. For safety, disturbances of the sensory system should be strongly avoided. The purpose of the study was to determine the vibrations induced by different rope geometries during fast-roping. Methods: Eight men of the German Special Forces performed 10 fast-roping maneuvers with two different shaped ropes (slightly molded versus deeply molded). Vibration data and frequency spectrum for each trial were measured by using fast Fourier transformation. Results: The analysis of data showed that fast-roping with a slightly molded rope produced frequencies of up to 10 Hz, while the frequencies with a deeply molded rope accounted for 18 to 60 Hz. The ropes differed significantly (ρ < .001) in frequencies between 20 and 50 Hz. The exposure time of vibration lasted between 3 and 5 seconds. Conclusion: Considering the negative effects associated with vibrations, prudence is required when using deeply molded ropes due to the increased vibrations of about 20 Hz.

Keywords: fast-roping; vibrations; motion; rope; sensations; rappelling; abseiling; kinesthetic illusions; Special Operations Forces

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Keyword: absorption

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Evaluating Alternatives to Traditional Cotton Laparotomy Sponges for Blood Absorption in the Austere and Mobile Surgical Environment

Sirkin MR, Cook P, Davis KG. 15(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The operative control of noncompressible hemorrhage is the single largest impact that could be addressed in reducing the mortality on the battlefield. Laprotomy pads, traditionally used for hemorrhage evacuation, are made of woven cotton, and, while effective, their use requires a substantial amount of space and adds weight. This poses no concern in traditional operating rooms but is a hindrance for mobile providers and providers in austere environments. We sought to compare different absorptive compunds to ascertain their utility as alternatives for traditional laparotomy pads. Methods: Samples of cotton laparotomy pads, pure rayon sheets, rayon-polypropylene composite sheets, and non-polyester composite "microfiber" sheets were weighed and submerged in heparinized whole bovine blood. After saturation, the favrics were weighed, wrung dry, reweighed, and resubmerged. This process was performed for a total of three sequential submersions. The saturated weights and dry weights of each fabric were used to calculate how much blood each fabric could absorb initially and after multiple repeated uses. The initial densities of the four fabrics was calculated and compared. Results: The initial submersions demonstrated that 1g each of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 7.58g, 12.98g, 10.16g, and 9.73g of blood respectively. The second and third sequential trials, which were statistically similar, demonstrated that 1g of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropolyene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 1.73g, 2.83g, 2.3g, and 2.3g of blood, respectively. The calculated densities of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were 0.087g/cm³, .012g/cm³, 0.098g/cm³, and 0.093g/cm³, respectively. Conclusion: Per gram, rayon absorbed approximately 1.7 times more blood thancotton and three-quarters the amount of the storage space. Rayon also retained its superior absorption abilites on repeated uses, demonstrating the potential for re-use in remote and austere environments. Thus, rayon could serve as a viable alternative to traditional cotton laparotomy pads in the austere environments.

Keywords: hemorrhage; laparotomy; cotton; rayon; sponge; austere; surgery; packing; combat casualty care; absorption; density

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Keyword: accuracy

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Accuracy and Reliability of Triage at the Point of Injury During Operation Enduring Freedom

Plackett TP, Nielsen JS, Hahn CD, Rames JM. 16(1). 51 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Accurate point-of-injury reports and casualty evacuation requests allow for optimal resource utilization. However, the accuracy of these reports has not been previously studied. Methods: All trauma patients treated at one of three forward surgical elements (FSE) in Western Afghanistan during May-August 2012 were prospectively included. North American Treaty Organization (NATO) 9-line medical evacuation request and mechanism, injuries, signs, and treatments (MIST) reports were compared to the initial findings on arrival to the FSE. Results: There were 179 casualty evacuation reports and 298 patients. NATO 9-line and/or MIST reports were available for 70% of these. Triage was accurate for 77%, but there was 17% overtriage and 6% undertriage (k = .619). The number of patients was accurate in 95% of reports, the mechanism of injury was accurate for 98%, and the body region involved was accurate for 92% (k = .850, .943, and .870, respectively). There was no difference between the mean vital signs at the point of injury or on arrival at the FSE. When analyzed individually, however, there was no correlation between each casualty's pulse, mean arterial pressure, or respiratory rate between the two time points. Discussion: There was a high degree of correlation between the triage category of casualty evacuation reports and the patient's actual medical needs. There was also a highly significant association with the number of patients, mechanism of injury, and bodily injuries. However, there was discordance between the vital signs at an individual level, which may represent regression toward the resuscitation threshold.

Keywords: triage; trauma; war; Afghanistan; combat; accuracy

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Keyword: ACE

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: acetaminophen, intravenous

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Rationale for Use of Intravenous Acetaminophen in Special Operations Medicine

Vokoun ES. 15(2). 71 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Use of intravenous acetaminophen has increased recently as an opioid-sparing strategy for patients undergoing major surgery. Its characteristics and efficacy suggest that it would a useful adjunct in combat trauma medicine. This article reviews those characteristics, which include rapid onset, high peak plasma concentration, and favorable side-effect profile. Also discussed is the hepatotoxicity risk of acetaminophen in a combat trauma patient. It concludes that intravenous acetaminophen should be considered as an addition to the US Special Operations Command Tactical Trauma Protocols and supplied to medics for use in field care.

Keywords: acetaminophen, intravenous; trauma, combat; prolonged field care

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Keyword: acetazolamide

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Frostbite: A Novel Presentation of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency?

Bowles JM, Joas C, Head S. 15(3). 1 - 3. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Acute hemolytic anemia (AHA) due to glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency has rarely been recognized as a contributor to the development of frostbite. We discuss a case of frostbite in a 32-year-old male Marine with G6PD deficiency during military training on Mount Mckinley in Alaska, which eventually led to a permanent disability. In this report, the pathophysiology of G6PD deficiency, the effects of hemolytic anemia, and factors that contribute to frostbite will be discussed, as well as the clinical findings, treatment course, and the outcome of this case. The patient was evacuated and admitted to Alaska Regional Hospital. He was treated for fourth-degree frostbite, ultimately resulting in the complete or partial amputation of all toes. Although it cannot be proved that AHA occurred in this patient, this case potentially adds frostbite to the list of rare but possible clinical presentations of G6PD deficiency.

Keywords: G6PD Deficiency; frostbite; acetazolamide; acute hemolytic anemia; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species

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Keyword: acquired brain injury

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Traumatic Brain Injury: Analysis of Functional Deficits and Posthospital Rehabilitation Outcomes

Lewis FD, Horn GJ. 13(3). 56 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Advances in emergency medicine, both in the field and in trauma centers, have dramatically increased survival rates of persons sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, these advances have come with the realization that many survivors are living with significant residual deficits in multiple areas of functioning, which make the resumption of a quality lifestyle extremely difficult. To this point, TBI has recently been characterized as a chronic disease. As with other chronic diseases, TBI is often causative of persistent disabling symptoms in multiple organ systems. Therefore, posthospital residential rehabilitation programs have emerged to treat these symptoms with the goal of helping these individuals regain function and live more productive and independent lives. Purpose: This study examined the nature and severity of residual deficits experienced by a group of 285 brain-injured individuals and evaluate the efficacy of posthospital residential rehabilitation programs in treating those deficits. Method: Participants consisted of 285 individuals who had sustained a TBI and, due to multiple residual deficits, were unable to care for themselves, necessitating admission to residential posthospital rehabilitation programs. All participants were evaluated at admission and discharge on the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-Version 4 (MPAI-4). The MPAI-4, developed specifically for persons with acquired brain injury, measures 29 areas of function often affected by TBI. Results: From the 29 skills evaluated, the 12 most often rated as causing the greatest interference with function were identified. Of these skills, the cognitive deficits including memory, attention/concentration, novel problem solving, and awareness of deficits were highly correlated with disruption in performing everyday societal roles. The impact of treatment for reducing the level of disability in these areas was statistically significant, t(284) = 17.43, p < .0001. Improvement was significant even for participants admitted more than 1 year postinjury, t(78) = 8.05, p < .0001. Conclusions: Skill deficits interfering with reintegration into home and community are highly interrelated and should be treated with the understanding that progress in one area may be dependent on change in another area. Cognitive skills including memory, attention/ concentration, novel problem solving, and awareness of deficits were highly correlated with measures of overall functional outcome. Posthospital programs using a multidisciplinary treatment approach achieved significant reduction in disability from program admission to discharge. The benefits of these programs were realized even for the most chronically-impaired participants.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury; Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory - Version 4; prehospital residential rehabilitation programs; acquired brain injury

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Keyword: actigraphy

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Sleep As A Strategy For Optimizing Performance

Yarnell AM, Deuster PA. 16(1). 81 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Recovery is an essential component of maintaining, sustaining, and optimizing cognitive and physical performance during and after demanding training and strenuous missions. Getting sufficient amounts of rest and sleep is key to recovery. This article focuses on sleep and discusses (1) why getting sufficient sleep is important, (2) how to optimize sleep, and (3) tools available to help maximize sleep-related performance. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts safety and readiness through reduced cognitive function, more accidents, and increased military friendly-fire incidents. Sufficient sleep is linked to better cognitive performance outcomes, increased vigor, and better physical and athletic performance as well as improved emotional and social functioning. Because Special Operations missions do not always allow for optimal rest or sleep, the impact of reduced rest and sleep on readiness and mission success should be minimized through appropriate preparation and planning. Preparation includes periods of "banking" or extending sleep opportunities before periods of loss, monitoring sleep by using tools like actigraphy to measure sleep and activity, assessing mental effectiveness, exploiting strategic sleep opportunities, and consuming caffeine at recommended doses to reduce fatigue during periods of loss. Together, these efforts may decrease the impact of sleep loss on mission and performance.

Keywords: actigraphy; caffeine; cognitive; napping; readiness; sleep

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Keyword: active assailant

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Medical Provider Ballistic Protection at Active Shooter Events

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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Keyword: active shooter

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Medical Provider Ballistic Protection at Active Shooter Events

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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Keyword: activity

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The Importance of Physical Fitness for Injury Prevention: Part 1

Knapik JJ. 15(1). 123 - 127. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Physical fitness can be defined as a set of attributes that allows the ability to perform physical activity. The attributes or components of fitness were identified by testing large numbers of individuals on physical performance tests (e.g., sit-ups, push-ups, runs, pull-ups, rope climbs, vertical jump, long jumps), and using statistical techniques to find tests that seem to share common performance requirements. These studies identified strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, coordination, balance, flexibility, and body composition as important fitness components. Military studies have clearly shown that individuals with lower levels of cardiorespiratory endurance or muscular endurance are more likely to be injured and that improving fitness lowers injury risk. Those who are more fit perform activity at a lower percentage of their maximal capability and so can perform the task for a longer period of time, fatigue less rapidly, recover faster, and have greater reserve capacity for subsequent tasks. Fatigue alters movement patterns, putting stress on parts of the body unaccustomed to it, possibly increasing the likelihood of injury. Soldiers should develop and maintain high levels of physical fitness, not only for optimal performance of occupational tasks but also to reduce injury risk.

Keywords: physical fitness; injury prevention; activity; stress; cardiorespiratory endurance; injuries; muscular endurance

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Keyword: acupuncture

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Physical Therapy Treatment Of Chronic Neck Pain A Discussion And Case Study: Using Dry Needling And Battlefield Acupuncture

Guthrie RM, Chorba R. 16(1). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Purpose: Chronic mechanical neck pain can have a complex clinical presentation and is often difficult to treat. This case study illustrates a successful physical therapy treatment approach using dry needling and auricular acupuncture techniques. Case Report: A 51-year-old active-duty, male US Marine was treated by a physical therapist in a direct-access military clinic for chronic neck pain poorly responsive to previous physical therapy, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions. Needling techniques were combined with standard physical therapy interventions to address the comprehensive needs of the patient. Within five treatments, the patient reported reduced pain levels from 8-9/10 to 0-2/10, improved sleep quality, and increased function with daily activities. Over several months, the patient reduced multiple medication use by greater than 85%. The effects of treatment were lasting, and the patient accomplished a successful transition to an independent maintenance program. Conclusion: Needling techniques have the potential to expedite favorable physical therapy outcomes for active-duty service members suffering from chronic mechanical and degenerative neck pain. The dramatic improvements observed in this case warrant additional exploration of treatment efficacy and delineation of best practices in the delivery of these techniques.

Keywords: pain, neck; physical therapy; dry needling; acupuncture; acupuncture, battlefield; pain management

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Keyword: acupuncture, battlefield

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Physical Therapy Treatment Of Chronic Neck Pain A Discussion And Case Study: Using Dry Needling And Battlefield Acupuncture

Guthrie RM, Chorba R. 16(1). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Purpose: Chronic mechanical neck pain can have a complex clinical presentation and is often difficult to treat. This case study illustrates a successful physical therapy treatment approach using dry needling and auricular acupuncture techniques. Case Report: A 51-year-old active-duty, male US Marine was treated by a physical therapist in a direct-access military clinic for chronic neck pain poorly responsive to previous physical therapy, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions. Needling techniques were combined with standard physical therapy interventions to address the comprehensive needs of the patient. Within five treatments, the patient reported reduced pain levels from 8-9/10 to 0-2/10, improved sleep quality, and increased function with daily activities. Over several months, the patient reduced multiple medication use by greater than 85%. The effects of treatment were lasting, and the patient accomplished a successful transition to an independent maintenance program. Conclusion: Needling techniques have the potential to expedite favorable physical therapy outcomes for active-duty service members suffering from chronic mechanical and degenerative neck pain. The dramatic improvements observed in this case warrant additional exploration of treatment efficacy and delineation of best practices in the delivery of these techniques.

Keywords: pain, neck; physical therapy; dry needling; acupuncture; acupuncture, battlefield; pain management

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Keyword: acute compartment syndrome, pressure

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

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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Keyword: acute hemolytic anemia

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Frostbite: A Novel Presentation of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency?

Bowles JM, Joas C, Head S. 15(3). 1 - 3. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Acute hemolytic anemia (AHA) due to glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency has rarely been recognized as a contributor to the development of frostbite. We discuss a case of frostbite in a 32-year-old male Marine with G6PD deficiency during military training on Mount Mckinley in Alaska, which eventually led to a permanent disability. In this report, the pathophysiology of G6PD deficiency, the effects of hemolytic anemia, and factors that contribute to frostbite will be discussed, as well as the clinical findings, treatment course, and the outcome of this case. The patient was evacuated and admitted to Alaska Regional Hospital. He was treated for fourth-degree frostbite, ultimately resulting in the complete or partial amputation of all toes. Although it cannot be proved that AHA occurred in this patient, this case potentially adds frostbite to the list of rare but possible clinical presentations of G6PD deficiency.

Keywords: G6PD Deficiency; frostbite; acetazolamide; acute hemolytic anemia; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species

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Keyword: acute renal failure

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Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Attrition Through Exercise, A Case Series and Review of the Literature

Reese JM, Fisher SD, Robbins DP. 12(3). 52 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Rhabdomyolysis is a common syndrome that can range from asymptomatic to a severe life-threatening condition. It is the result of acute muscle fiber necrosis leading to cell lysis and subsequent transfer of those byproducts into the circulatory system. The most significant constituent of these byproducts is myoglobin, which has been known to cause renal failure in 10-50% of patients that develop rhabdomyolysis. In addition, the electrolytes contained within these cells are leached into the blood stream, which can lead to significant electrolyte abnormalities. The etiology of rhabdomyolysis is broad and includes inherited diseases, drugs, toxins, muscle compression or overexertion, infections, and more. This syndrome may carry a mortality rate ranging from 7-80%. We describe five patients assigned to various companies within 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) that developed exertional rhabdomyolysis of the bilateral upper extremities between June 2011 and January 2012. In this case series we will describe the events leading up to the diagnosis, lack of risk factors or family history, diagnostic criteria, treatment, and future concerns related to the condition.

Keywords: rhabdomyolysis; acute renal failure; myoglobinuria; creatinine kinase; overexertion exercise

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Keyword: advanced medic

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Conceptualized Use of Self-Expanding Foam to Rescue Special Operators From Abdominal Exsanguination: Percutaneous Damage Control for the Forward Deployed

Rago AP, Sharma U, Sims K, King DR. 15(3). 39 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Noncompressible hemorrhage is the leading cause of potentially survivable death on the battlefield. In Special Operations Forces (SOF), 50% of potentially survivable deaths have been related to noncompressible hemorrhage. Currently, there are no widely available presurgical interventions that can slow abdominal bleeding. Consequently, many of the preventable deaths occur en route to definitive care as a failure to rescue from exsanguination. A self-expanding polyurethane foam has been developed as a percutaneous damage control intervention to rescue casualties who would otherwise die of noncompressible hemorrhage, and allow them to survive long enough to reach surgical intervention. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the existing preclinical data, describe the role of SOF personnel in foam delivery-system development, and to integrate these together to conceptualize how foam could be incorporated into SOF medical care. Methods: All existing publications on self-expanding foam are reviewed. Additionally, eight SOF medical providers with combat experience provided end-user input to delivery-device design through an interactive human-factors testing process. Results: Ten preclinical publications described efficacy, safety, dose translation, and risk-benefit analysis of exsanguination rescue with percutaneous-foam damage control. SOF medical providers guided weight, cubic, operational requirements, and limits for the foam delivery device. Conclusion: Presurgical exsanguination rescue with percutaneous foam damage control is safe and effective with a favorable risk-benefit profile in preclinical studies. Battlefield, presurgical use by SOF medical providers is conceptually possible. Adoption of the technology on the battlefield should proceed with SOF medical provider input.

Keywords: hemorrhage; noncompressable; bleeding; foam; advanced medic; abdominal; austere; ResQFoam

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Keyword: adventure racing

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Unforeseen Risk: Leptospirosis and the U.S. Special Operations Community

Grambusch DM, Hoedebecke KL. 12(3). 36 - 42. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonosis with worldwide distribution and is potentially lethal to those infected if left untreated. Due to the global posture of the U.S. Special Operations community, there is a seemingly perfect overlap of the regions in which they deploy and areas with concurrent endemic leptospirosis infection. Furthermore, Special Operations Forces (SOF) personel are known for working by, with, and through the host nation defense force, who tend to be commonly affected and often serve as a reservoir for this infection. Other risk factors including the usage of infected military working dogs, contaminated training sites, and certain recreational activities associated with water increase the danger of exposure for this cohort. Due to this increased risk of leptospirosis by U.S. Special Operations service members, medical providers within this community must understand and utilize proper preventive medicine, prophylaxis, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for this potentially lethal infection.

Keywords: leptospirosis; operational medicine; adventure racing; zoonosis; zoonotic disease; spirochetes; working dogs; Special Operations

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Keyword: aeromedical evacuation

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Predicting When to Administer Blood Products During Tactical Aeromedical Evacuation: Evaluation of a US Model

Le Clerc S, McLennan J, Kyle A, Mann-Salinas EA, Russell RJ. 14(4). 48 - 52. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The administration of blood products to battlefield casualties in the prehospital arena has contributed significantly to the survival of critically injured patients in Afghanistan over the past 5 years. Given as part of an established military "chain of survival," blood product administration has represented a step-change improvement in capability for both UK and US tactical aeromedical evacuation (TACEVAC) platforms. The authors explore current concepts, analyzing and exploring themes associated with early use of blood products (fresh frozen plasma [FFP] and red blood cells [RBCs]), and they compare and evaluate a US/UK study analyzing the differences and recommending future strategy. The subject matter expert (SME) consensus guidelines developed for use by the US Army Air Ambulance units commonly known as call sign "DUSTOFF." These TACEVAC assets in Afghanistan were validated in this retrospective study. Using statistical analysis, the authors were able to ascertain that the current DUSTOFF SME-derived guidelines offer a sensitivity of 63.04% and a specificity of 89.07%. By adjusting the indicators to include a single above-ankle amputation with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 90mmHg and pulse greater than 120/min, the sensitivity could be increased to 67.39% while maintaining the specificity at 89.07%. In our data set, a single amputation above the ankle, in combination with an SBP of less than 100mmHg and a pulse of greater than 120/min, increased the sensitivity to 76% but with a slight drop in specificity to 86%. Further study of military prehospital casualty data is under way to identify additional physiological parameters that will allow simple scoring tools in the remote setting to guide the administration of prehospital blood products.

Keywords: trauma; prehospital; blood products; military; scoring tool; tactical; aeromedical evacuation

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Keyword: Afghan Campaign 2001-present

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Quality of Care Assessment in Forward Detection of Extremity Compartment Syndrome in War

King DR, Kragh JF, Blackbourne LH. 13(2). 20 - 24. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Recent efforts to improve the quality of care in the Afghanistan theater have focused on extremity compartment syndrome, a common, disabling, and costly problem. To identify opportunities to improve care, the present survey was undertaken to observe the use of two standard methods-the traditional, improvised method and the common, off-the-shelf method-for determining intracompartmental pressures in the lower extremities of combat casualties. Methods: As part of a quality of care improvement effort during Operation Enduring Freedom, all combat casualties presenting to a forward surgical team at Forward Operating Base Shank from August to November 2011 with lower-extremity major trauma were evaluated for signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome. Results: Ten casualties had pressure measurement surveyed simultaneously using both methods. A two one-sided test analysis demonstrated a mean difference of -0.13 (90% confidence interval, -0.36 to 0.096), which indicated that the methods were similar. A repeated-measures analysis yielded a p value of .72, indicating no statistical difference between the methods. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated excellent agreement within the prespecified limits (±2mm Hg, area under the curve 1.0), which indicated that the methods were similar. Conclusion: The main finding of the quality of care effort was that clinicians received similar information from use of two standard methods for far forward measurement of pressures to detect extremity compartment syndrome. This finding may help clinicians improve the quality of care in the theater in detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring compartment syndrome.

Keywords: fascia wounds; injuries; emergency medical services; Afghan Campaign 2001-present; military medicine

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Keyword: Afghan National Army

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Advanced Medical Technology Capacity Building and the Medical Mentoring Event: A Unique Application of SOF Counterinsurgency Medical Engagement Strategies

Irizarry DJ, Tate C, Bingham MT, Wey P, Batjom E, Nicholas TA, Boedecker BH. 12(1). 24 - 30. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Medical Civic Assistance Program (MEDCAP) is a military commander's tool developed during the Vietnam War to gain access to and positively influence an indigenous population through the provision of direct medical care provided by military medical personnel, particularly in Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN). An alternative to MEDCAPs is the medical seminar (MEDSEM). The MEDSEM uses a Commander's military medical assets to share culturally appropriate medical information with a defined indigenous population in order to create a sustainable training resource for the local population's health system. At the heart of the MEDSEM is the "train the trainer" concept whereby medical information is passed to indigenous trainers who then pass that information to an indigenous population. The MEDSEM achieves the Commander's objectives of increasing access and influence with the population through a medical training venue rather than direct patient care. Previous MEDSEMS conducted in Afghanistan by military forces focused on improvement of rural healthcare through creation of Village Health Care Workers. This model can also be used to engage host nation (HN) medical personnel and improve medical treatment capabilities in population centers. The authors describe a modification of the MEDSEM, a Medical Mentorship (MM), conducted in November 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the Afghan National Army (ANA) National Medical Hospital. This training was designed to improve intubation skills in Afghan National Army Hospitals by ANA medical providers, leave residual training capability, and build relationships within the institution that not only assist the institution, but can also be leveraged to foster Commanders' objectives, such as health and reconstruction initiatives and medical partnering for indigenous corps and medical forces described below.

Keywords: Counter-Insurgency; Medical Support; airway training; Afghan National Army

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Keyword: Afghanistan

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Accuracy and Reliability of Triage at the Point of Injury During Operation Enduring Freedom

Plackett TP, Nielsen JS, Hahn CD, Rames JM. 16(1). 51 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Accurate point-of-injury reports and casualty evacuation requests allow for optimal resource utilization. However, the accuracy of these reports has not been previously studied. Methods: All trauma patients treated at one of three forward surgical elements (FSE) in Western Afghanistan during May-August 2012 were prospectively included. North American Treaty Organization (NATO) 9-line medical evacuation request and mechanism, injuries, signs, and treatments (MIST) reports were compared to the initial findings on arrival to the FSE. Results: There were 179 casualty evacuation reports and 298 patients. NATO 9-line and/or MIST reports were available for 70% of these. Triage was accurate for 77%, but there was 17% overtriage and 6% undertriage (k = .619). The number of patients was accurate in 95% of reports, the mechanism of injury was accurate for 98%, and the body region involved was accurate for 92% (k = .850, .943, and .870, respectively). There was no difference between the mean vital signs at the point of injury or on arrival at the FSE. When analyzed individually, however, there was no correlation between each casualty's pulse, mean arterial pressure, or respiratory rate between the two time points. Discussion: There was a high degree of correlation between the triage category of casualty evacuation reports and the patient's actual medical needs. There was also a highly significant association with the number of patients, mechanism of injury, and bodily injuries. However, there was discordance between the vital signs at an individual level, which may represent regression toward the resuscitation threshold.

Keywords: triage; trauma; war; Afghanistan; combat; accuracy

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Keyword: Africa

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This Is Africa: An Introduction to Medical Operations on the African Continent

Givens ML, Lynch JH. 14(3). 107 - 110. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This article regarding Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical operations in Africa is an introduction to a follow- on series of articles that will address in more detail pertinent medical topics which pertain to operations on the African continent. Medical operations in Africa require dynamic and systematic approaches that consider the myriad challenges, yet offer flexible solutions applied as situations and environments dictate. We believe this series of articles will be of high interest to readers and provide key information that will be germane to future SOF operations.

Keywords: medical operations; evacuation; tropical infectious disease; tactical medicine; Africa; wilderness medicine

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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MEDCAN-GRO: Medical Capacity for African Nations-Growing Regional Operability. A Case Study in Special Operations Forces Capacity Building

Givens ML, Verlo AR. 15(1). 105 - 112. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Medical Capacity for African Nations-Growing Regional Operability (MEDCAN-GRO) is a framework for addressing healthcare engagements that are intended to provide sustainable capacity building with partner nations. MEDCAN-GRO provides SOF units with a model that can be scaled to partner nation needs and aligned with the goals of the TSOC in an effort to enhance partner nation security.

Keywords: MEDCAN-GRO; Africa; partner nations

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A Painful Rash in an Austere Environment

Hellums JS, Klapperich K. 15(1). 113 - 117. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Dermatologic complaints are common in the deployed environment. Preventive medicine and knowledge of indigenous flora and fauna are cornerstones for forward deployed medical personnel. This article describes a case of Paederus dermatitis in an austere environment, reviews dermatologic terminology, and provides a reminder of the importance of exercising good preventive medicine procedures.

Keywords: Africa; dermatology; Special Operations medic; Paederus dermatitis

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This Is Africa

Verlo AR, Bailey HH, Cook MR. 15(3). 114 - 119. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military deployments will always result in exposure to health hazards other than those from combat operations. The occupational and environmental health and endemic disease health risks are greater to the Special Operations Forces (SOF) deployed to the challenging conditions in Africa than elsewhere in the world. SOF are deployed to locations that lack life support infrastructures that have become standard for most military deployments; instead, they rely on local resources to sustain operations. Particularly, SOF in Africa do not generally have access to advanced diagnostic or monitoring capabilities or to medical treatment in austere locations that lack environmental or public health regulation. The keys to managing potential adverse health effects lie in identifying and documenting the health hazards and exposures, characterizing the associated risks, and communicating the risks to commanders, deployed personnel, and operational planners.

Keywords: Africa; health risk assessment; food and water ; occupational and environmental health; site survey

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Real-World Experience With Three Point-of-Care Blood Analyzers in Deployed Environments

Peffer J, Ley N, Wuelher J, d'Andrea P, Rittberg C, Losch J, Lynch JH. 15(4). 109 - 112. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Austere environments such as Africa pose clinical challenges, which are multiplied for Special Operations Forces (SOF) providers who must face these challenges with limited resources against the tyranny of distance. These limited resources apply not only to treatment tools but to diagnostic tools as well. Laboratory diagnostics may provide critical information in diagnosis, initial triage, and/or evacuation decisions, all of which may enhance a patient's survival. However, unlike in climatecontrolled, fixed-facility hospitals, the deployed SOF provider must have access to a simple, reliable device for point-of-care testing (POCT) to obtain clinically meaningful data in a practical manner given the surroundings.

Keywords: Africa; medicine, tactical; testing, laboratory; analyzers, blood, point-of-care; malaria; HIV; medicine, wilderness

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Schistosomiasis: Traverers in Africa

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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Keyword: after action review

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Review of 54 Cases of Prolonged Field Care

DeSoucy E, Shackelford S, DuBose JJ, Zweben S, Rush SC, Kotwal RS, Montgomery HR, Keenan S. 17(1). 121 - 129. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Prolonged field care (PFC) is field medical care applied beyond doctrinal planning time-lines. As current and future medical operations must include deliberate and contingency planning for such events, data are lacking to support efforts. A case review was conducted to define the epidemiology, environment, and operational factors that affect PFC outcomes. Methods: A survey distributed to US military medical providers solicited details of PFC encounters lasting more than 4 hours and included patient demographics, environmental descriptors, provider training, modes of transportation, injuries, mechanism of injury, vital signs, treatments, equipment and resources used, duration of PFC, and morbidity and mortality status on delivery to the next level of care. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze survey responses. Results: Surveys from 54 patients treated during 41 missions were analyzed. The PFC provider was on scene at time of injury or illness for 40.7% (22/54) of cases. The environment was described as remote or austere for 96.3% (52/54) of cases. Enemy activity or weather also contributed to need for PFC in 37.0% (20/54) of cases. Care was provided primarily outdoors (37.0%; 20/54) and in hardened nonmedical structures (37.0%; 20/54) with 42.6% (23/54) of cases managed in two or more locations or transport platforms. Teleconsultation was obtained in 14.8% (8/54) of cases. The prehospital time of care ranged from 4 to 120 hours (median 10 hours), and five (9.3%) patients died prior to transport to next level of care. Conclusion: PFC in the prehospital setting is a vital area of military medicine about which data are sparse. This review was a novel initial analysis of recent US military PFC experiences, with descriptive findings that should prove helpful for future efforts to include defining unique skillsets and capabilities needed to effectively respond to a variety of PFC contingencies.

Keywords: prolonged field care; after action review; military medicine; prehospital; medical evacuation

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Keyword: aftermath

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Warzone Stressor Exposure, Unit Support, and Emotional Distress Among U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen

Armstrong EL, Bryan CJ, Stephenson JA, Bryan AO, Morrow CE. 14(2). 26 - 34. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objectives: Combat exposure is associated with increased mental health symptom severity among military personnel, whereas unit support is associated with decreased severity. However, to date no studies have examined these relationships among U.S. Air Force pararescuemen (PJs), who have a unique and specialized career field that serves in both medical and combatant capacities. Design: Crosssectional self-report survey. Methods: Self-reported survey data regarding depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, perceived unit support, and exposure to traditional combat experiences (e.g., firefights) and medical consequences of combat (e.g., injuries and human remains) were collected from 194 PJs in seven rescue squadrons. Results: Levels of combat exposure were compared with previously published findings from combat units, and levels of medical exposure were compared with previously published findings among military medical professionals. Medical exposure intensity showed a stronger relationship with PTSD severity (ß = .365, p = .018) than with combat exposure intensity (ß = .136, ρ = .373), but neither combat nor medical exposure was associated with depression severity (ßs < .296, ρs > .164). Unit support was associated with less severe PTSD (ß = -.402, ρ < .001) and depression (ß = -.259, ρ = .062) symptoms and did not moderate the effects of combat or medical exposure. Conclusions: Medical stressors contribute more to PTSD among PJs than do traditional combat stressors. Unit support is associated with reduced PTSD and depression severity regardless of intensity of warzone exposure among PJs.

Keywords: unit support; military; trauma; combat exposure; pararescue; aftermath

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Keyword: Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: agitated patients

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The Agitated Patient

Goldstein S. 13(3). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Caring for an agitated patient can be a daunting task for the tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic. The cause, degree, and duration of agitation can vary among such individuals. These patients create a high-stress and disruptive environment, needing numerous people involved to control. One agitated patient can disrupt an entire tactical team or casualty evacuation. The patient's history and physical examination can give important clues to the cause, thereby directing treatment and leading to a quick and safe resolution. The variety of treatments for the agitated patient are just as numerous as the causes and range from verbal deescalation to medications and physical restraint, all of which have a risk-benefit profile to consider.

Keywords: agitated patients; brain; TBI; hypoxia; hypoglycemia; hypothermia; delirium; ketamine; dissociative; combative; sedation

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Keyword: aid station

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Preparedness for Resuscitation at a Geographically Isolated Army Troop Medical Clinic: Lessons From Camp Blanding, Florida

Studer NM, Horsley GW, Godbee DC. 14(2). 14 - 19. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Many Servicemembers rely on nondeployed Role 1 facilities, such as troop medical clinics, as their primary source of healthcare. At geographically isolated military installations, these facilities are the "only game in town" for medical care. Servicemembers may present to these facilities with emergent conditions, regardless of designed intent of the facility or the wishes of staff. The U.S. Army Troop Medical Clinic, Camp Blanding is such a facility. Methods: The clinic was reorganized with a 5S approach, streamlining supply, equipment, and workflow processes. This was accomplished to allow the facility to not only improve its general delivery of care but also ensure capability to handle at least one medical or trauma resuscitation. Equipment, disposable supplies, documentation, and staff training were addressed.Results/ Discussion/ Conclusion: Despite facility intention, lack of supplies/equipment, or staff inexperience with emergency care, an acute ill or injured Servicemember must be stabilized at the nondeployed Role 1 facility while awaiting transport to a higher level of care. This expectation is the same as that of deployed Role 1 facilities. A cost-savings can also be realized when minor "emergencies" are handled in-house.

Keywords: aid station; troop medical clinic; sick bay; resuscitation; emergency medicine; primary care; National Guard; rural medicine; sick call

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Keyword: Air Force

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Continuous One-Arm Kettlebell Swing Training on Physiological Parameters in US Air Force Personnel: A Pilot Study

Wade M, O'Hara R, Caldwell L, Ordway J, Bryant D. 16(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: airborne

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Scapula Fracture Secondary To Static Line Injury In A 22 Year Old Active Duty Soldier

Thompson WD. 10(3). 41 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This radiological case study of scapula fracture is reported in a 22 year-old active duty male Soldier who sustained a static line injury during an airborne operation at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This is the first reported scapula fracture secondary to this mechanism since a 1973 report by Heckman and Levine. The fracture was neither identified by Emergency Department nor Orthopedic Surgery providers, and was reported in the radiologist's formal read. Ten emergency physicians and emergency medicine physician assistants reviewed the radiographical studies and none successfully identified the injury. Because this injury was uniformly missed by experienced emergency medicine providers it is presented as a radiographic case study in hopes that this injury will not go undiagnosed, potentially causing increased morbidity and mortality in this patient population. The patient was treated with a posterior splint and immobilization and seen by the orthopedic service the next day. Interestingly, the orthopedic surgeon also did not recognize this fracture. This mechanism of injury is rarely seen in clinical practice outside of the airborne community. Scapula fractures can be an indicator of serious thoracic trauma and may prompt the need for further diagnostic studies. The fact that so many providers missed the injury reinforces the need to evaluate the patient as a whole and to be ever suspicious of missing concomitant injuries in the trauma patient.

Keywords: Scapula Fracture; emergency department; Orthopedic; Radiograph; airborne

Delayed Diagnosis of Pelvic hematoma without Fracture Due to Military Parachuting

Cunningham CW, Kotwal RS, Kragh JF. 13(2). 4 - 7. (Case Reports)

Abstract

The U.S. military has been conducting static-line parachute jumps for nearly a century. Beginning with World War II, military forces have also employed full-scale airborne operations as a method for insertion into combat. Through the years, injuries from blunt trauma as a result of static-line parachute jumps have evolved little with the refinement of equipment, training, and tactics. Parachute jumps continue to invoke primarily musculoskeletal injuries, especially to the lower extremities, back, neck, and head. These injuries are usually straightforward in their presentation and diagnosis. We describe the delayed diagnosis of a pelvic hematoma due to an uncommon blunt trauma jump injury. The purpose of this case report is to increase awareness of injury patterns during paratrooper operations, as well as to review the diagnosis and management of occult hemorrhage. Specific objectives for the readers are to (1) know the common injury types and patterns for airborne operations, (2) know the descent rate of T-10C/D parachutes and factors influencing the rate, (3) recognize signs and symptoms associated with a pelvic hematoma, and (4) recognize common complications resulting from a pelvic hematoma.

Keywords: airborne; paratrooper; parachute (T-10, T-11, SF-10); pelvic trauma; hemorrhage; hematoma; ultrasound; combat-load

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Pectoralis Major Injury During Basic Airborne Training

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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Keyword: airway

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Digital Intubation: The Two-Fingered Solution to Securing an Airway

Cashwell MJ, Wilcoxen AC, Meghoo CA. 13(3). 42 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Digital intubation is a useful technique that is rarely taught in conventional airway management courses. With limited equipment and minimal training, a Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic can use this technique to intubate an unconscious patient with a high degree of success. The objectives of this report are to (1) learn the sequence of events for successful digital intubation, (2) recognize and appreciate the advantages and limitations of this technique, and (3) appreciate the requirements for establishing a unit-level training program.

Keywords: digital intubation; airway

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Laryngeal Mask Airway Exchange Using a Gum Elastic Bougie With a Rotational Twist Technique

Stancil S, Miller J, Riddle M. 14(3). 74 - 77. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Previous studies have sought to determine the feasibility of exchanging the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) for an endotracheal tube (ETT) over a gum elastic bougie (GEB) and found the practice to have a success rate of about 50%. It has been speculated that the poor success rate may be due to the upward angle of the bougie tip meeting resistance against the anterior laryngeal wall. The use of a 90- to 180-degree twist technique to angle the bougie tip away from the anterior tracheal wall and caudally along the trachea theoretically could improve results. We conducted a prospective cadaveric study to determine if the use of a bougie 90- to 180-degree twist technique or the use of a more flexible pediatric bougie would improve previously published success rates. Emergency medicine personnel attempted exchange of an LMA for an ETT over a GEB using a twisting technique. Despite using the twisting technique, successful exchange over a bougie remained at 50%, similar to previous studies. Using a smaller, more flexible pediatric bougie led to a successful exchange in only 28% of attempts. In this study, the adding of a twist technique or using a pediatric bougie did not result in consistent successful exchange to an ETT from an LMA.

Keywords: laryngeal mask airway; endotracheal tube; gum elastic bougie; supraglottic airway devices; intubation; airway; tube exchange

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Prehospital and En Route Cricothyrotomy Performed in the Combat Setting: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Barnard EB, Ervin AT, Mabry RL, Bebarta VS. 14(4). 35 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of potentially preventable combat death. Surgical cricothyrotomy is an infrequently performed but lifesaving airway intervention. There are limited published data on prehospital cricothyrotomy in civilian or military settings. Our aim was to prospectively describe the survival rate and complications associated with cricothyrotomy performed in the military prehospital and en route setting. Methods: The Life-Saving Intervention (LSI) study is a prospective, institutional review boardapproved, multicenter trial examining LSIs performed in the prehospital combat setting. We prospectively recorded LSIs performed on patients in theater who were transported to six combat hospitals. Trained site investigators evaluated patients on arrival and recorded demographics, vital signs, and LSIs performed. LSIs were predefined and include cricothyrotomies, chest tubes, intubations, tourniquets, and other procedures. From the large dataset, we analyzed patients who had a cricothyrotomy performed. Hospital outcomes were cross-referenced from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Descriptive statistics or Wilcoxon test (nonparametric) were used for data comparisons; statistical significance was set at ρ < .05. The primary outcome was success of prehospital and en route cricothyrotomy. Results: Of the 1,927 patients enrolled, 34 patients had a cricothyrotomy performed (1.8%). Median age was 24 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22.5-25 years), 97% were men. Mechanisms of injury were blast (79%), penetrating (18%), and blunt force (3%), and 83% had major head, face, or neck injuries. Median Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) was 3 (IQR: 3-7.5) and four patients had GCS higher than 8. Cricothyrotomy was successful in 82% of cases. Reasons for failure included left main stem intubation (n = 1), subcutaneous passage (n = 1), and unsuccessful attempt (n = 4). Five patients had a prehospital basic airway intervention. Unsuccessful endotracheal intubation preceded 15% of cricothyrotomies. Of the 24 patients who had the provider type recorded, six had a cricothyrotomy by a combat medic (pre-evacuation), and 18 by an evacuation helicopter medic. Combat-hospital outcome data were available for 26 patients, 13 (50%) of whom survived to discharge. The cricothyrotomy patients had more LSIs than noncricothyrotomy patients (four versus two LSIs per patient; ρ < .0011). Conclusion: In our prospective, multicenter study evaluating cricothyrotomy in combat, procedural success was higher than previously reported. In addition, the majority of cricothyrotomies were performed by the evacuation helicopter medic rather than the prehospital combat medic. Prehospital military medics should receive training in decision making and be provided with adjuncts to facilitate this lifesaving procedure.

Keywords: airway management; airway obstruction; military medicine; war; emergency medical services; cricothyrotomy; airway

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Literature Evidence on Live Animal Versus Synthetic Models for Training and Assessing Trauma Resuscitation Procedures

Hart D, McNeil M, Hegarty C, Rush R, Chipman J, Clinton J, Reihsen T, Sweet R. 16(2). 44 - 51. (Journal Article)

Abstract

There are many models currently used for teaching and assessing performance of trauma-related airway, breathing, and hemorrhage procedures. Although many programs use live animal (live tissue [LT]) models, there is a congressional effort to transition to the use of nonanimal- based methods (i.e., simulators, cadavers) for military trainees. We examined the existing literature and compared the efficacy, acceptability, and validity of available models with a focus on comparing LT models with synthetic systems. Literature and Internet searches were conducted to examine current models for seven core trauma procedures. We identified 185 simulator systems. Evidence on acceptability and validity of models was sparse. We found only one underpowered study comparing the performance of learners after training on LT versus simulator models for tube thoracostomy and cricothyrotomy. There is insufficient data-driven evidence to distinguish superior validity of LT or any other model for training or assessment of critical trauma procedures.

Keywords: trauma; airway; hemorrhage; resuscitation; training; assessment; live tissue; simulation

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Keyword: airway device

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The Cric-Key™ and Cric-Knife™: A Combined Tube-Introducer and Scalpel-Hook Open Cricothyrotomy System

Levitan RM. 14(1). 45 - 49. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures- without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians' fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

Keywords: cricothyrotomy; airway device; Cric-Key™; Cric-Knife™

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Keyword: airway management

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Comparison of Airway Control Methods and Ventilation Success With an Automatic Resuscitator

Rodriquez D, Gomaa D, Blakeman T, Petroa M, Dorlac WC, Johannigman J, Branson R. 12(2). 65 - 70. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Mechanical ventilation in an austere environment is difficult owing to logistics, training, and environmental conditions. We evaluated the ability of professional caregivers to provide ventilatory support to a simulated patient using the Simplified Automated Ventilator (SAVe) with a mask hand attended ventilation, mask with single strap unattended ventilation, and supraglottic airway (King LT) ventilation. All three methods were performed using a SAVe with a set tidal volume of 600ml and respiratory rate of 10 breaths per minute. The simulator consisted of a head and upper torso with anatomically correct upper airway structures, trachea, esophagus, and lung which, also measured the delivered tidal volume, respiratory rate, inspiratory flow, and airway pressures. Volunteers used each airway control method to provide ventilation for 10 minutes in random order. Success of each technique was judged as a mean delivered tidal volume of > 500ml. The major finding of this study was that medical professionals using SAVe resuscitator and the manufacturer supplied face mask with single head strap failed to ventilate the airway model in every case.

Keywords: SAVe; ventilation; airway management; prehospital; mask ventilation

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Prehospital and En Route Cricothyrotomy Performed in the Combat Setting: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Barnard EB, Ervin AT, Mabry RL, Bebarta VS. 14(4). 35 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of potentially preventable combat death. Surgical cricothyrotomy is an infrequently performed but lifesaving airway intervention. There are limited published data on prehospital cricothyrotomy in civilian or military settings. Our aim was to prospectively describe the survival rate and complications associated with cricothyrotomy performed in the military prehospital and en route setting. Methods: The Life-Saving Intervention (LSI) study is a prospective, institutional review boardapproved, multicenter trial examining LSIs performed in the prehospital combat setting. We prospectively recorded LSIs performed on patients in theater who were transported to six combat hospitals. Trained site investigators evaluated patients on arrival and recorded demographics, vital signs, and LSIs performed. LSIs were predefined and include cricothyrotomies, chest tubes, intubations, tourniquets, and other procedures. From the large dataset, we analyzed patients who had a cricothyrotomy performed. Hospital outcomes were cross-referenced from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Descriptive statistics or Wilcoxon test (nonparametric) were used for data comparisons; statistical significance was set at ρ < .05. The primary outcome was success of prehospital and en route cricothyrotomy. Results: Of the 1,927 patients enrolled, 34 patients had a cricothyrotomy performed (1.8%). Median age was 24 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22.5-25 years), 97% were men. Mechanisms of injury were blast (79%), penetrating (18%), and blunt force (3%), and 83% had major head, face, or neck injuries. Median Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) was 3 (IQR: 3-7.5) and four patients had GCS higher than 8. Cricothyrotomy was successful in 82% of cases. Reasons for failure included left main stem intubation (n = 1), subcutaneous passage (n = 1), and unsuccessful attempt (n = 4). Five patients had a prehospital basic airway intervention. Unsuccessful endotracheal intubation preceded 15% of cricothyrotomies. Of the 24 patients who had the provider type recorded, six had a cricothyrotomy by a combat medic (pre-evacuation), and 18 by an evacuation helicopter medic. Combat-hospital outcome data were available for 26 patients, 13 (50%) of whom survived to discharge. The cricothyrotomy patients had more LSIs than noncricothyrotomy patients (four versus two LSIs per patient; ρ < .0011). Conclusion: In our prospective, multicenter study evaluating cricothyrotomy in combat, procedural success was higher than previously reported. In addition, the majority of cricothyrotomies were performed by the evacuation helicopter medic rather than the prehospital combat medic. Prehospital military medics should receive training in decision making and be provided with adjuncts to facilitate this lifesaving procedure.

Keywords: airway management; airway obstruction; military medicine; war; emergency medical services; cricothyrotomy; airway

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Ultrasound-Guided Airway Management in the Austere Setting

Rapp J, Hampton K. 17(1). 130 - 130. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: sonography; airway management

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Keyword: airway obstruction

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Prehospital and En Route Cricothyrotomy Performed in the Combat Setting: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Barnard EB, Ervin AT, Mabry RL, Bebarta VS. 14(4). 35 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of potentially preventable combat death. Surgical cricothyrotomy is an infrequently performed but lifesaving airway intervention. There are limited published data on prehospital cricothyrotomy in civilian or military settings. Our aim was to prospectively describe the survival rate and complications associated with cricothyrotomy performed in the military prehospital and en route setting. Methods: The Life-Saving Intervention (LSI) study is a prospective, institutional review boardapproved, multicenter trial examining LSIs performed in the prehospital combat setting. We prospectively recorded LSIs performed on patients in theater who were transported to six combat hospitals. Trained site investigators evaluated patients on arrival and recorded demographics, vital signs, and LSIs performed. LSIs were predefined and include cricothyrotomies, chest tubes, intubations, tourniquets, and other procedures. From the large dataset, we analyzed patients who had a cricothyrotomy performed. Hospital outcomes were cross-referenced from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Descriptive statistics or Wilcoxon test (nonparametric) were used for data comparisons; statistical significance was set at ρ < .05. The primary outcome was success of prehospital and en route cricothyrotomy. Results: Of the 1,927 patients enrolled, 34 patients had a cricothyrotomy performed (1.8%). Median age was 24 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22.5-25 years), 97% were men. Mechanisms of injury were blast (79%), penetrating (18%), and blunt force (3%), and 83% had major head, face, or neck injuries. Median Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) was 3 (IQR: 3-7.5) and four patients had GCS higher than 8. Cricothyrotomy was successful in 82% of cases. Reasons for failure included left main stem intubation (n = 1), subcutaneous passage (n = 1), and unsuccessful attempt (n = 4). Five patients had a prehospital basic airway intervention. Unsuccessful endotracheal intubation preceded 15% of cricothyrotomies. Of the 24 patients who had the provider type recorded, six had a cricothyrotomy by a combat medic (pre-evacuation), and 18 by an evacuation helicopter medic. Combat-hospital outcome data were available for 26 patients, 13 (50%) of whom survived to discharge. The cricothyrotomy patients had more LSIs than noncricothyrotomy patients (four versus two LSIs per patient; ρ < .0011). Conclusion: In our prospective, multicenter study evaluating cricothyrotomy in combat, procedural success was higher than previously reported. In addition, the majority of cricothyrotomies were performed by the evacuation helicopter medic rather than the prehospital combat medic. Prehospital military medics should receive training in decision making and be provided with adjuncts to facilitate this lifesaving procedure.

Keywords: airway management; airway obstruction; military medicine; war; emergency medical services; cricothyrotomy; airway

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Keyword: airway training

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Advanced Medical Technology Capacity Building and the Medical Mentoring Event: A Unique Application of SOF Counterinsurgency Medical Engagement Strategies

Irizarry DJ, Tate C, Bingham MT, Wey P, Batjom E, Nicholas TA, Boedecker BH. 12(1). 24 - 30. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Medical Civic Assistance Program (MEDCAP) is a military commander's tool developed during the Vietnam War to gain access to and positively influence an indigenous population through the provision of direct medical care provided by military medical personnel, particularly in Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN). An alternative to MEDCAPs is the medical seminar (MEDSEM). The MEDSEM uses a Commander's military medical assets to share culturally appropriate medical information with a defined indigenous population in order to create a sustainable training resource for the local population's health system. At the heart of the MEDSEM is the "train the trainer" concept whereby medical information is passed to indigenous trainers who then pass that information to an indigenous population. The MEDSEM achieves the Commander's objectives of increasing access and influence with the population through a medical training venue rather than direct patient care. Previous MEDSEMS conducted in Afghanistan by military forces focused on improvement of rural healthcare through creation of Village Health Care Workers. This model can also be used to engage host nation (HN) medical personnel and improve medical treatment capabilities in population centers. The authors describe a modification of the MEDSEM, a Medical Mentorship (MM), conducted in November 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the Afghan National Army (ANA) National Medical Hospital. This training was designed to improve intubation skills in Afghan National Army Hospitals by ANA medical providers, leave residual training capability, and build relationships within the institution that not only assist the institution, but can also be leveraged to foster Commanders' objectives, such as health and reconstruction initiatives and medical partnering for indigenous corps and medical forces described below.

Keywords: Counter-Insurgency; Medical Support; airway training; Afghan National Army

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Keyword: albinism

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: alcohol

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Associations Among Back and Extremity Pain With Alcohol, Tobacco, and Caffeine Use Among US Air Force Pararescuemen

Bryan CJ, Wolfe AL, Morrow CE, Stephenson JA, Haskell J, Bryan AO. 15(3). 66 - 71. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are the most widely used substances globally, but the majority of research on the associations among legal substance use and physical health has focused on the general population, not elite military personnel. The purpose of the current study was to describe patterns of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine use and to examine the relationship of legal substance use with self-reported physical health complaints among US Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) and Combat Rescue Officers (CROs). Methods: Participants were 196 US PJs and CROs. Participants completed self-report measures of legal drug use and somatic symptoms. Generalized linear modeling with robust maximum likelihood estimation was used for multivariate regression analyses. Chi-square analyses were conducted for univariate comparisons of categorical variables. Results: Reported rates of tobacco use (28.2%), alcohol consumption (83.2%), and regular caffeine consumption (88.8%) were similar to the general population. Daily caffeine intake was significantly higher among participants reporting they were bothered a lot by back pain [Wald χ²(2) = 11.39; ρ = .003] and extremity pain [Wald χ²(2) = 11.39; ρ = .003], even when controlling for age and deployment history. Participants with severe extremity pain also reported drinking approximately twice as many alcoholic beverages per week (mean, 5.46; standard error [SE], 0.91) than participants who were bothered a little (mean, 2.88; SE, 0.54) or not bothered at all (mean, 2.88; SE, 0.52) by extremity pain. Conclusion: Back and extremity pain is associated with greater caffeine and alcohol consumption among PJs.

Keywords: military; caffeine; alcohol; tobacco; pain; Pararescuemen

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Keyword: allergy, red ink

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Lesions Arising in a Tattoo of an Active Duty US Marine Corps Woman

Winn AE, Rivard SC, Green B. 16(2). 96 - 100. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Tattoos are ubiquitous in modern society; however, they do not come without risk of medical complications. When complications arise in the military community, a particularly thorough differential diagnosis should be considered based on the increased exposures service members have during deployment and throughout their military career. We present a case of a 38-year-old active duty US Marine Corps woman with worsening skin lesions arising within a tattoo 6 weeks after acquiring the tattoo on her right chest. Given environmental exposures from a recent deployment to the Middle East, a wide differential was considered. Ultimately, a skin biopsy revealed early hypertrophic scar formation responsive to therapy with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog&reg; [ILK]). However, given the Marine had recently deployed and is part of the active duty population, consideration of alternative, albeit rare, etiologies was imperative.

Keywords: scar, hypertrophic; keloid collagen; tattoo; allergy, red ink; Mycobacterium, cutaneous atypical; sacroidosis, cutaneous; foreign body granuloma; cellulitis

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Keyword: al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb

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Experience Of A US Air Force Surgical And Critical Care Team Deployed In Support Of Special Operations Command Africa

Delmonaco BL, Baker A, Clay J, Kilbourn J. 16(1). 103 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An eight-person team of conventional US Air Force (USAF) medical providers deployed to support US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in North and West Africa for the first time in November 2014. The predeployment training, operations while deployed, and lessons learned from the challenges of performing surgery and medical evacuations in the remote desert environment of Chad and Niger on the continent of Africa are described. The vast area of operations and far-forward posture of these teams requires cooperation between partner African nations, the French military, and SOF to make these medical teams effective providers of surgical and critical care in Africa. The continuous deployment of conventional USAF medical providers since 2014 in support of US Special Operations Command Africa is challenging and will benefit from more medical teams and effective air assets to provide casualty evacuation across the vast area of operations.

Keywords: US Special Operations Command North and West Africa; far-forward surgery; conventional US Air Force; Mobile Field Surgical Team; Niamey, Niger; N'Dhamena, Chad; CASEVAC; Boko Haram; al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb; French Military

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Keyword: altitude chamber

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Decompression Sickness Following Altitude-Chamber Training

Studer NM, Hughes JR, Puskar J. 15(1). 11 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Decompression sickness (DCS) is one of several dysbarisms (medical conditions resulting from a change in atmospheric pressure) that can be encountered by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider. DCS can present with several different manifestations. The authors present the case of a 23-year-old Airman who presented with vague neurologic symptoms following altitude-chamber training. They discuss the care of casualties with DCS and its implications for SOF.

Keywords: decompression sickness; Type II DCS; dysbarism; gas embolism; hyperbaric oxygen; altitude chamber; demand value; Oxylator®; hypoxia; hypobaric

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Keyword: amputations

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Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ Use in Afghanistan

Anonymous A. 13(2). 1 - 2. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ was used recently used in Afghanistan to control severe hemorrhage in a casualty who had traumatic bilateral amputations of the lower extremities. Excerpts from the medical provider's account of the tactical evacuation phase of care are provided.

Keywords: Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet ™; AAT; hemorrhage; amputations

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Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet Controls Junctional Hemorrhage From a Gunshot Wound of the Axilla

Croushorn J, McLester J, Thomas G, McCord SR. 13(3). 1 - 4. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Junctional hemorrhage, bleeding from the areas at the junction of the trunk and its appendages, is a difficult problem in trauma. These areas are not amenable to regular tourniquets as they cannot fit to give circumferential pressure around the extremity. Junctional arterial injuries can rapidly lead to death by exsanguination, and out-of-hospital control of junctional bleeding can be lifesaving. The present case report describes an offlabel use of the Abdominal Aortic Tourniquet™ in the axilla and demonstrates its safety and effectiveness of stopping hemorrhage from a challenging wound. To our knowledge, the present report is the first human use of a junctional tourniquet to control an upper extremity junctional hemorrhage.

Keywords: AAT; hemorrhage; amputations

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Keyword: analgesia

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Battlefield Analgesia: TCCC Guidelines Are Not Being Followed

Schauer SG, Robinson JB, Mabry RL, Howard JT. 15(1). 85 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Servicemembers injured in combat often experience moderate to severe acute pain. Early and effective pain control in the prehospital setting has been shown to reduce the sequelae of untreated pain. Current data suggest that lack of point-of-injury (POI) analgesia has significant, downstream effects on healthcare quality and associated costs. Methods: This was a process improvement project to determine the current rate of adherence to existing prehospital pain management guidelines. The records of patients who had sustained a major injury and met current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) criteria for POI analgesia from July 2013 through March 2014 were reviewed to determine if pain medication was given in accordance with existing guidelines, including medication administration and routes. On 31 October 2013, the new TCCC guidelines were released. The "before" period was from July 2013 through October 2013. The "after" period was from November 2013 through March 2014. Results: During the project period, there were 185 records available for review, with 135 meeting TCCC criteria for POI analgesia (68 pre-, 66 postintervention). Prior to 31 October 2013, 17% of study patients received analgesia within guidelines at the POI compared with 35% in the after period. The most common medication administered preand post-release was oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate. Special Operations Forces had higher adherence rates to TCCC analgesia guidelines than conventional forces, but these still were low. Conclusion: Less than half of all eligible combat casualties receive any analgesia at the POI. Further research is needed to determine the etiology of such poor adherence to current TCCC guidelines.

Keywords: analgesia; point of injury; combat; fentanyl; ketamine; morphine; military

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Analgesia and Sedation Management During Prolonged Field Care

Pamplin JC, Fisher AD, Penny A, Olufs R, Rapp J, Hampton K, Riesberg J, Powell D, Keenan S, Shackelford S. 17(1). 106 - 120. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: sedation; analgesia; prolonged field care; guidelines

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Keyword: analyzers, blood, point-of-care

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Real-World Experience With Three Point-of-Care Blood Analyzers in Deployed Environments

Peffer J, Ley N, Wuelher J, d'Andrea P, Rittberg C, Losch J, Lynch JH. 15(4). 109 - 112. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Austere environments such as Africa pose clinical challenges, which are multiplied for Special Operations Forces (SOF) providers who must face these challenges with limited resources against the tyranny of distance. These limited resources apply not only to treatment tools but to diagnostic tools as well. Laboratory diagnostics may provide critical information in diagnosis, initial triage, and/or evacuation decisions, all of which may enhance a patient's survival. However, unlike in climatecontrolled, fixed-facility hospitals, the deployed SOF provider must have access to a simple, reliable device for point-of-care testing (POCT) to obtain clinically meaningful data in a practical manner given the surroundings.

Keywords: Africa; medicine, tactical; testing, laboratory; analyzers, blood, point-of-care; malaria; HIV; medicine, wilderness

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Keyword: anaphylactic shock

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Management of Anaphylaxis in an Austere or Operational Environment

Ellis BC, Brown SG. 14(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

We present a case report of a Special Operations Soldier who developed anaphylaxis as a consequence of a bee sting, resulting in compromise of the operation. We review the current literature as it relates to the pathophysiology of the disease process, its diagnosis, and its management. An evidence-based field treatment algorithm is suggested.

Keywords: anaphylaxis; anaphylactic shock; epinephrine; epinephrine infusion; review; remote; austere

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Keyword: anaphylaxis

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Management of Anaphylaxis in an Austere or Operational Environment

Ellis BC, Brown SG. 14(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

We present a case report of a Special Operations Soldier who developed anaphylaxis as a consequence of a bee sting, resulting in compromise of the operation. We review the current literature as it relates to the pathophysiology of the disease process, its diagnosis, and its management. An evidence-based field treatment algorithm is suggested.

Keywords: anaphylaxis; anaphylactic shock; epinephrine; epinephrine infusion; review; remote; austere

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Keyword: androgen steroids

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Androgens and Androgen Derivatives: Science, Myths, and Theories. Explored From a Special Operations Perspective

Givens ML, Deuster PA. 15(3). 98 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Androgen use outside of legitimate medical therapy is a perceived concern that is drawing attention across military and specifically Special Operations Forces (SOF) communities. For leadership and the medical community to properly address the issue and relate to those individuals who are using or considering use, it will be crucial to understand the scope of the problem. Limited data suggest that the prevalence of androgen use may be increasing, and inferences made from the scientific literature suggest that SOF may be a population of concern. While risks of androgen use are well known, there are little data specific to military performance that can be applied to a rigorous risk:benefit analysis, allowing myths and poorly supported theories to perpetuate within the community. Further efforts to define the potential benefits balanced against the short- and longterm risks should be undertaken. Providers within the SOF community should arm themselves with information to engage androgen users and leadership in meaningful discussion regarding androgen use.

Keywords: androgen steroids; protein building

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Keyword: animal model

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A Salmon Thrombin-Fibrinogen Dressing Controls Hemorrhage in a Swine Model Compared to Standard Kaolin-Coated Gauze

Floyd CT, Rothwell SW, Martin R, Risdahl J, Olson CE. 12(1). 49 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Battlefield hemorrhage remains the primary cause of death in potentially survivable combat injuries with noncompressible hemorrhage. Fibrin dressings have great potential for reducing mortality, however are limited by cost, availability, and disease transmission. Methods: Dressings comprising a soluble dextran dressing with lyophilized salmon thrombin and fibrinogen (STF) were tested against Combat Gauze (CG) as a control in a standard swine femoral artery hemorrhage model. Ten female swine were used in each arm of the study. Results: Survival, blood loss, and time to hemostasis were similar between the two dressings. Two of the CGtreated animals that survived exsanguinated during the simulated walking maneuver. Three CG-treated animals formed a clot within the wound, but the clot did not adhere to the femoral artery injury. All ten of the STFtreated animals formed a clot in the wound that adhered and sealed the arterial injury site, even in three animals that did not survive. None of the STF-treated animals bled following the simulated walking maneuver. Three of five STF-treated animals reestablished blood flow distal to the injury as demonstrated by angiography. Conclusions: The STF dressing is as efficacious as CG in treating hemorrhage in this model of a lethal injury. Further, the STF dressing formed a fibrin sealant over the injury, whereas CG achieved hemostasis by occlusive compression of the artery. The sealant property of the STF dressing allowed reestablishment of antegrade blood flow into the distal limb, demonstrating that this dressing has the potential of limb salvage in addition to control of life-threatening hemorrhage.

Keywords: hemorrhage control; Fibrin dressing; Fibrinogen; Combat Gauze™; animal model

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Keyword: ankle fusion

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Return to Duty After Severe Bilateral Lower Extremity Trauma

Sheean AJ, Owens J, Suttles ST, Crossland BW, Stinner DJ. 15(1). 1 - 6. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Despite the preponderance of evidence demonstrating poor outcomes as a result of combat-related orthopaedic trauma, teams of medical professionals have remained undaunted in their pursuit of innovative techniques to maximize the functional capacity of Servicemembers with devastating extremity injuries. We present the case of an Active Duty Special Forces (SF) qualified senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) with severely injured extremities successfully salvaged with a multidisciplinary program involving cutting-edge prosthetic technology and a novel approach to physical rehabilitation.

Keywords: ankle fusion; outcomes; limb salvage; rehabilitation

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Keyword: ankle sprain

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A Novel Cryotherapy Compression Wrap in the Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: Potential Use for Special Operators on the Battlefield

Boland M, Mulligan I, Payette J, Serres J, O'Hara R, Maupin G. 12(4). 17 - 23. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Musculoskeletal injuries related to training and operational missions frequently affect military personnel. A common treatment for these injuries is the PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method, which is time consuming and impractical in the field. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the cryotherapy wrap compared to a traditional treatment in the management of acute ankle sprains. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in a university research laboratory with 13 subjects (9 males and 4 females) with the following physical characteristics: age (yr) 20.6 ± 2.2, height (cm) 177.0 ± 14.3, weight (kg) 76.6 ± 20.6, and body mass index (kg/m2) 24.1 ± 3.7. Participants were instructed to perform PRICE with a traditional ice pack and compression wrap (control group) or with an Arctic Ease® cryotherapy wrap (test group) for 48 hours following enrollment in the study. The Numeric Pain Scale, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and ankle/foot volumetric measurement were performed at initial presentation and 24-hour, 48-hour, and 7-day follow-up intervals. Results: While the comparison of the Numeric Pain Scale scores, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure scores, and volumetric changes between groups revealed no statistically significant differences (ρ > 0.01), there was an 86% compliance rate for subjects in the cryotherapy wrap group compared to a 17% compliance rate of subjects in the control group. Conclusions: The cryotherapy wraps performed comparably to ice therapy and therefore may be especially applicable to military personnel required to operate in austere and hostile environments where traditional therapies are unrealistic. Although this pilot study did not demonstrate that the cryotherapy wraps produce statistically superior results, trends emerged in the data suggesting that subject compliance rate may be improved by using an alternative form of cryotherapy compression, which could lead to better management of pain, edema, and functional recovery. Future research should include a larger sample size to verify this claim.

Keywords: crytotherapy; ankle sprain; ice; edema; compression

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Keyword: anthrax

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Erythema Multiforme

Sola CA, Beute TC. 14(3). 90 - 92. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty male Soldier presents to your clinic with concerns of blister-like lesions on both hands and feet several weeks after receiving immunizations. He is diagnosed with erythema multiforme (EM), a hypersensitivity reaction that is typically self-resolving. This article reviews the etiologies, pathophysiology, course, diagnosis, and treatment of erythema multiforme.

Keywords: erythema multiforme; vaccines; smallpox; typhoid; anthrax

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Keyword: antipersprants

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Prevention of Foot Blisters

Knapik JJ. 14(2). 95 - 97. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Foot blisters are the most common medical problem faced by Soldiers during foot march operations and, if untreated, they can lead to infection. Foot blisters are caused by boots rubbing on the foot (frictional forces), which separates skin layers and allows fluid to seep in. Blisters can be prevented by wearing properly sized boots, conditioning feet through regular road marching, wearing socks that reduce reduce friction and moisture, and possibly applying antiperspirants to the feet.

Keywords: blisters; injury prevention; foot blisters; road marching; footwear; load carriage; socks; antipersprants

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Keyword: antivenin

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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Keyword: anxiety

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Clinical Guidelines for Stellate Ganglion Block to Treat Anxiety Associated With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Mulvaney SW, Lynch JH, Kotwal RS. 15(2). 79 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Multiple case series published in the peer-reviewed medical literature have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of right-sided stellate ganglion block (SGB) for the treatment of anxiety symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As this is a new indication for a well-established procedure, there is relatively little information available to assist clinicians in determining the utility of SGB for their patients. Presented are clinical guidelines to assist the provider with patient selection, patient education, and follow-up. Also described is a technique to perform SGB under ultrasoundguidance. Although additional rigorous clinical research is needed to further investigate SGB for the treatment of anxiety symptoms associated with PTSD, these guidelines can also assist clinical investigators in their participant selection, design, and conduct of future research as it pertains to this important topic.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder; stellate ganglion block; ultrasound, guided; anxiety; clinical guidelines

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Keyword: APC III injuries

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Imaging Comparison of Pelvic Ring Disruption and Injury Reduction With Use of the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool for Preinjury and Postinjury Pelvic Dimensions: A Cadaveric Study With Computed Tomography

Gary JL, Kumaravel M, Gates K, Burgess AR, Routt ML, Welch T, Podbielski JM, Beeler AM, Holcomb JB. 14(4). 30 - 34. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Complex dismounted blast injuries from (improvised) explosive devices have caused amputations of the lower extremities associated with open injuries to the pelvic ring, resulting in life-threatening hemorrhage from disruption of blood vessels near the pelvic ring. Provisional stabilization of the skeletal pelvis by circumferential pelvic compression provides stability for intrapelvic clots and reduces the volume of the pelvis, thereby limiting the amount of hemorrhage. The Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool™ (JETT™; North American Rescue Products, http://www.narescue .com) is a junctional hemorrhage control device developed to treat pelvic and lower extremity injuries sustained in high-energy trauma on the battlefield and in the civilian environment. Our purpose was to evaluate the compressive function of the JETT in the reduction of pelvic ring injuries in a cadaveric model. Methods: Radiographic comparison of pre (intact) and post pelvic ring disruption and injury was compared with radiographic measurements post reduction with the JETT device in two cadavers. The device's ability to reduce pelvic disruption and injury in a human cadaver model was assessed through measurements of the anteroposterior (AP) and transverse diameters obtained at the inlet and outlet of the pelvis. Results: Computed tomography (CT) scans demonstrated that JETT application effectively induced circumferential soft tissue compression that was evoked near anatomic reduction of the sacroiliac joint and symphysis pubis. Conclusions: The JETT is capable of effectively reducing an AP compression type III injury (APC III) pelvic ring disruption and injury by approximating the inlet and outlet dimensions toward predisruption measurements. Such a degree of reduction suggests that the JETT device may be suitable in the acute setting for provisional pelvic stabilization.

Keywords: open book pelvis; pelvic binder; wounds and injuries; hemorrhage, junctional; combat casualty care; pelvic ring disruption and injury; APC III injuries

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Keyword: appendicitis

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Abdominal Pain

Banting J, Meriano T. 15(1). 118 - 122. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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: pain; abdominal pain; appendicitis; diagnosis; treatment

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Keyword: arthritis, psoriatic

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Treatment of Psoriasis in the Deployed Setting

Bongiorno MA, Rivard SC, Meyerle JH. 15(2). 12 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disorder that can be triggered by environmental changes, illness, smoking, or medications. This case describes a 25-year-old, activeduty Marine Corps Sergeant with a severe perideployment psoriatic flare, and illustrates treatment limitations, restricted access to specialized care, and the importance of mitigating triggers in the deployed setting.

Keywords: psoriasis; psoriasis, plaque; psoriasis, guttate; arthritis, psoriatic; smoking, cessation; ultraviolet light, exposure; deployment; military provider

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Psoriasis

Yetto T. 15(2). 132 - 135. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty Sailor has a long history of skin lesions on his scalp, chest, back, and legs. He was evaluated and treated previously but could not recall the specific details. He is diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, an immune-mediated chronic disease. This article reviews the etiology, morphology, diagnosis, and treatment of psoriasis.

Keywords: psoriasis; plaques; pustules; arthritis, psoriatic; nails

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Keyword: articulating tactical traction splint

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Articulating Tractical Traction Splint Use on Pulseless Forearm Fracture

Schwartz DS. 14(1). 6 - 8. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An articulating tactical traction splint (REEL™ Tactical Traction Splint), commonly issued to U.S. military per-sonnel, was used to maintain traction in a pulseless fore-arm fracture during a confined space rescue, with good peripheral perfusion maintained through transport. This enabled a single rescuer to focus attention and provide care for other critical aspects of a multisystem trauma patient.

Keywords: articulating tactical traction splint; pulseless forearm fracture; fracture

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Keyword: assessment

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Literature Evidence on Live Animal Versus Synthetic Models for Training and Assessing Trauma Resuscitation Procedures

Hart D, McNeil M, Hegarty C, Rush R, Chipman J, Clinton J, Reihsen T, Sweet R. 16(2). 44 - 51. (Journal Article)

Abstract

There are many models currently used for teaching and assessing performance of trauma-related airway, breathing, and hemorrhage procedures. Although many programs use live animal (live tissue [LT]) models, there is a congressional effort to transition to the use of nonanimal- based methods (i.e., simulators, cadavers) for military trainees. We examined the existing literature and compared the efficacy, acceptability, and validity of available models with a focus on comparing LT models with synthetic systems. Literature and Internet searches were conducted to examine current models for seven core trauma procedures. We identified 185 simulator systems. Evidence on acceptability and validity of models was sparse. We found only one underpowered study comparing the performance of learners after training on LT versus simulator models for tube thoracostomy and cricothyrotomy. There is insufficient data-driven evidence to distinguish superior validity of LT or any other model for training or assessment of critical trauma procedures.

Keywords: trauma; airway; hemorrhage; resuscitation; training; assessment; live tissue; simulation

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Keyword: atopic dermatitis

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: atrial fibriliation

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Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response following use of Dietary Supplement Containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine and Caffeine

Armstrong M. 12(4). 1 - 4. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Our nation's servicemembers commonly use dietary supplements to enhance their performance. Despite this prolific use, many of these products have detrimental side-effects that compromise servicemembers' health and could, by proxy, compromise a mission. This paper presents the case of a 32-year old Navy Special Operations Forces (SOF) Sailor who, prior to physical training, used a supplement containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), and then developed atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. He required intravenous calcium channel blocker administration, followed by beta blockers, for rate control. As military providers, we routinely ask our patients about their use of supplements and while the regulation of these products is beyond the scope of practice for most of us, it is our duty to become better educated about the risks and benefits of these supplements. We must educate our patients and our commands on the potential harm that these supplements may pose.

Keywords: atrial fibriliation; supplement; DMAA; Special Operations; 1,3 Dimethylamylamine

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Keyword: austere

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Management of Anaphylaxis in an Austere or Operational Environment

Ellis BC, Brown SG. 14(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

We present a case report of a Special Operations Soldier who developed anaphylaxis as a consequence of a bee sting, resulting in compromise of the operation. We review the current literature as it relates to the pathophysiology of the disease process, its diagnosis, and its management. An evidence-based field treatment algorithm is suggested.

Keywords: anaphylaxis; anaphylactic shock; epinephrine; epinephrine infusion; review; remote; austere

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Conceptualized Use of Self-Expanding Foam to Rescue Special Operators From Abdominal Exsanguination: Percutaneous Damage Control for the Forward Deployed

Rago AP, Sharma U, Sims K, King DR. 15(3). 39 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Noncompressible hemorrhage is the leading cause of potentially survivable death on the battlefield. In Special Operations Forces (SOF), 50% of potentially survivable deaths have been related to noncompressible hemorrhage. Currently, there are no widely available presurgical interventions that can slow abdominal bleeding. Consequently, many of the preventable deaths occur en route to definitive care as a failure to rescue from exsanguination. A self-expanding polyurethane foam has been developed as a percutaneous damage control intervention to rescue casualties who would otherwise die of noncompressible hemorrhage, and allow them to survive long enough to reach surgical intervention. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the existing preclinical data, describe the role of SOF personnel in foam delivery-system development, and to integrate these together to conceptualize how foam could be incorporated into SOF medical care. Methods: All existing publications on self-expanding foam are reviewed. Additionally, eight SOF medical providers with combat experience provided end-user input to delivery-device design through an interactive human-factors testing process. Results: Ten preclinical publications described efficacy, safety, dose translation, and risk-benefit analysis of exsanguination rescue with percutaneous-foam damage control. SOF medical providers guided weight, cubic, operational requirements, and limits for the foam delivery device. Conclusion: Presurgical exsanguination rescue with percutaneous foam damage control is safe and effective with a favorable risk-benefit profile in preclinical studies. Battlefield, presurgical use by SOF medical providers is conceptually possible. Adoption of the technology on the battlefield should proceed with SOF medical provider input.

Keywords: hemorrhage; noncompressable; bleeding; foam; advanced medic; abdominal; austere; ResQFoam

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Evaluating Alternatives to Traditional Cotton Laparotomy Sponges for Blood Absorption in the Austere and Mobile Surgical Environment

Sirkin MR, Cook P, Davis KG. 15(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The operative control of noncompressible hemorrhage is the single largest impact that could be addressed in reducing the mortality on the battlefield. Laprotomy pads, traditionally used for hemorrhage evacuation, are made of woven cotton, and, while effective, their use requires a substantial amount of space and adds weight. This poses no concern in traditional operating rooms but is a hindrance for mobile providers and providers in austere environments. We sought to compare different absorptive compunds to ascertain their utility as alternatives for traditional laparotomy pads. Methods: Samples of cotton laparotomy pads, pure rayon sheets, rayon-polypropylene composite sheets, and non-polyester composite "microfiber" sheets were weighed and submerged in heparinized whole bovine blood. After saturation, the favrics were weighed, wrung dry, reweighed, and resubmerged. This process was performed for a total of three sequential submersions. The saturated weights and dry weights of each fabric were used to calculate how much blood each fabric could absorb initially and after multiple repeated uses. The initial densities of the four fabrics was calculated and compared. Results: The initial submersions demonstrated that 1g each of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 7.58g, 12.98g, 10.16g, and 9.73g of blood respectively. The second and third sequential trials, which were statistically similar, demonstrated that 1g of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropolyene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 1.73g, 2.83g, 2.3g, and 2.3g of blood, respectively. The calculated densities of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were 0.087g/cm³, .012g/cm³, 0.098g/cm³, and 0.093g/cm³, respectively. Conclusion: Per gram, rayon absorbed approximately 1.7 times more blood thancotton and three-quarters the amount of the storage space. Rayon also retained its superior absorption abilites on repeated uses, demonstrating the potential for re-use in remote and austere environments. Thus, rayon could serve as a viable alternative to traditional cotton laparotomy pads in the austere environments.

Keywords: hemorrhage; laparotomy; cotton; rayon; sponge; austere; surgery; packing; combat casualty care; absorption; density

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A Novel Ultrasound Transmission Gel for Resource-Constrained Environments

Monti JD. 17(1). 22 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Ultrasound represents an ideal diagnostic adjunct for medical personnel operating in austere environments, because of its increasing portability and expanding number of point-of-care applications. However, these machines cannot be used without a transmission medium that allows for propagation of ultrasound waves from transducer to patient. This article describes a novel ultrasound gel alternative that may be better suited for resource-constrained environments than standard ultrasound gel, without compromising image quality.

Keywords: ultrasound; austere; ultrasound gel; military; POCUS

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Keyword: austere environments

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Preparing for Operations in a Resource-Depleted and/or Extended Evacuation Environment

Corey G, Lafayette T. 13(3). 74 - 80. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the only conflicts to which many medics have ever been exposed. These mature theaters have robust medical systems that ensure rapid access to full-spectrum medical care for all combat-wounded and medically injured personnel. As current conflicts draw to a close, U.S. medics may be deployed to environments that will require the ability to stabilize casualties for longer than 1 hour. Historical mission analysis reveals the need to review skills that have not been emphasized during upgrade and predeployment training. This unit's preparation for the extended care environment can be accomplished using a 4-point approach: (1) review of specific long-term skills training, (2) an extended care lab that reviews extended care skills and then lets the medic practice in a real-time scenario, (3) introduction to the HITMAN mnemonic tool, which helps identify and address patient needs, and (4) teleconsultation.

Keywords: extended care; austere environments; long-term skills training; teleconsultation

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Identification and Management of Bed Bug Infestations in Austere Environments

Amodt ZT. 13(4). 6 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military forces have missions that send them all over the globe. With the reemergence of bed bugs worldwide, the possibility of Servicemembers encountering them has increased. Special Operations Forces are often sent to locations that may not have integrated pest management support. Knowing how to identify and manage a bed bug infestation, with and without proper equipment and supplies, may become necessary in the very near future. It is also important that Servicemembers are aware of how bed bugs travel, to prevent their dispersal back to the United States and into their barracks and homes.

Keywords: bed bugs; bat bugs; infestations; austere environments; pest management

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A Modern Case Series of Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) in an Out-of-Hospital, Combat Casualty Care Setting

Manley JD, Mitchell BJ, DuBose JJ, Rasmussen TE. 17(1). 1 - 8. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Background: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is used to mitigate bleeding and sustain central aortic pressure in the setting of shock. The ER-REBOA™ catheter is a new REBOA technology, previously reported only in the setting of civilian trauma and injury care. The use of REBOA in an out-of-hospital setting has not been reported, to our knowledge. Methods: We present a case series of wartime injured patients cared for by a US Air Force Special Operations Surgical Team at an austere location fewer than 3km (5-10 minutes' transport) from point of injury and 2 hours from the next highest environment of care-a Role 2 equivalent. Results: In a 2-month period, four patients presented with torso gunshot or fragmentation wounds, hemoperitoneum, and class IV shock. Hand-held ultrasound was used to diagnose hemoperitoneum and facilitate 7Fr femoral sheath access. ER-REBOA balloons were positioned and inflated in the aorta (zone 1 [n = 3] and zone 3 [n = 1]) without radiography. In all cases, REBOA resulted in immediate normalization of blood pressure and allowed induction of anesthesia, initiation of whole-blood transfusion, damage control laparotomy, and attainment of surgical hemostasis (range of inflation time, 18-65 minutes). There were no access- or REBOArelated complications and all patients survived to achieve transport to the next echelon of care in stable condition. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first series to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of REBOA in modern combat casualty care and the first to describe use of the ER-REBOA catheter. Use of this device by nonsurgeons and surgeons not specially trained in vascular surgery in the out-of-hospital setting is useful as a stabilizing and damage control adjunct, allowing time for resuscitation, laparotomy, and surgical hemostasis.

Keywords: REBOA; endovascular balloon occulsion; shock, hemorrhagic; austere environments

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Keyword: austere setting

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Endovascular Resuscitation Techniques for Severe Hemorrhagic Shock and Traumatic Arrest in the Presurgical Setting

True NA, Siler S, Manning JE. 13(2). 33 - 37. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Novel aortic catheter-based resuscitation interventions aimed at control of noncompressible torso hemorrhage and resuscitative perfusion are undergoing active research and development. These methods have been reported as resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta, selective aortic arch perfusion, and profound hypothermia (emergency preservation and resuscitation). These interventions are advanced options to treat noncompressible torso hemorrhage and hemorrhage-induced traumatic cardiac arrest in the presurgical environment. However, to achieve maximum potential benefit, such interventions need to be initiated as soon as possible. This means that these advanced interventions should be adapted for use in austere military treatment facilities and, when feasible, initiated at the point of injury. This report argues for the feasibility of advanced endovascular resuscitation interventions in the austere military theater.

Keywords: resuscitation; traumatic hemorrhage; noncompressible torso hemorrhage; traumatic cardiac arrest; technology; austere setting; hemorrhagic shock

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Keyword: aviation

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Corneal Foreign Body Management at a Role 1 Flight Line Aid Station

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Wenkel JW, Henke JL, Rohrbough CK, Miller SL, Howerton PH, Schreffler JP. 14(2). 9 - 13. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Eye injuries are common in forward areas of operations. Definitive diagnosis and care may be limited not by provider skill but rather by available equipment. The ability to treat simple trauma such as corneal foreign bodies at the Role 1 level has advantages including rapid return to duty, decreased cost of treatment, and, most important, decreased risk of delayed care. We propose the device such as a hand-held portable slit lamp should be made available for appropriate Special Operations Medical Forces (SOFMED) or aviation providers.

Keywords: ocular; trauma; slit lamp; Role 1; aviation; Special Forces medicine

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Keyword: avulsion

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Pectoralis Major Injury During Basic Airborne Training

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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Keyword: Bacillus anthracis

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Case Report of an Anthrax Presentation Relevant to Special Operations Medicine

Winkler S, Enzenauer RW, Karesh JW, Pasteur N, Eisnor DL, Painter RB, Calvano CJ. 16(2). 9 - 12. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel function worldwide in environments where endemic anthrax (caused by Bacillus anthracis infection) may present in one of three forms: cutaneous, pulmonary, or gastrointestinal. This report presents a rare periocular anthrax case from Haiti to emphasize the need for heightened diagnostic suspicion of unusual lesions likely to be encountered in SOF theaters.

Keywords: periocular anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; ophthalmology; diagnostics

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Keyword: bacteria

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Recovery of Bacteria and Fungi From a Leg Wound

Washington MA, Barnhill JC, Duff MA, Griffin J. 15(4). 113 - 116. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Acute and chronic wound infections can both be encountered in the deployed setting. These wounds are often contaminated by bacteria and fungi derived from the external environment. In this article, we present the case of a wound infection simultaneously colonized by Enterobacter cloacae (a bacterial pathogen) and Trichosporon asahii (an unusual fungal pathogen). We describe the examination and treatment of the patient and review the distinguishing characteristics of each organism

Keywords: infection; bacteria; fungi; Enterobacter cloacae; Trichosporon asahii

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Keyword: bacteriology

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Staphylococcus sciuri: An Entomological Case Study and a Brief Review of the Literature

Washington MA, Kajiura L, Leong MK, Agee W, Barnhill JC. 15(1). 100 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Staphylococcus sciuri is an emerging gram-positive bacterial pathogen that is infrequently isolated from cases of human disease. This organism is capable of rapid conversion from a state of methicillin sensitivity to a state of methicillin resistance and has been shown to express a set of highly effective virulence factors. The antibioticresistance breakpoints of S. sciuri differ significantly from the more common Staphylococcus species. Therefore, the rapid identification of S. sciuri in clinical material is a prerequisite for the proper determination of the antibiotic- resistance profile and the rapid initiation of antimicrobial therapy. Here, we present a brief literature review of S. sciuri and an entomological case study in which we describe the colonization of an American cockroach with this agent. In addition, we discuss potential implications for the distribution and evolution of antibiotic- resistant members of the genus Staphylococcus.

Keywords: bacteriology; entomology; operating environment; preventive medicine

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Keyword: ballistic eye protection

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Rigid Eye Shields: A Critical Gap in the Individual First Aid Kit

Brunstetter T, Diaz GY, Wasner C, Hart S, Burrows S. 13(3). 26 - 28. (Journal Article)

Abstract

From 5% to 22% of all U.S. Department of Defense combat casualties between 2001 and 2010 suffered some form of ocular trauma. Ocular injuries have an inordinately dramatic impact on return to duty, retention, and reintegration; only 25% of warfighters with severe ocular trauma return to duty. After a traumatic ocular event, the likelihood of saving an eye and preserving vision depends on several factors, especially the treatment quality at the point of injury. Every major organization associated with combat casualty care (e.g., the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and the Department of Defense/VA Vision Center of Excellence) emphasizes the importance of placing a rigid eye shield on known/suspected eye injuries at point of injury. On the battlefield, there is no better way to protect an injured eye from further damage than with an eye shield, but shields are not readily available in individual first aid kits. Therefore, it is highly recommended that each Service rapidly integrate at least one rigid eye shield into every individual first aid kit, making them immediately available to every warfighter.

Keywords: rigid eye shield; ocular trauma; ballistic eye protection; eye injuries; open globe injuries; first aid kit

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Keyword: ballistics

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Medical Provider Ballistic Protection at Active Shooter Events

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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Keyword: bamboo

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Evaluation of NuStat®, a Novel Nonimpregnated Hemostatic Dressing, Compared With Combat Gauze™ in Severe Traumatic Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Hillis GR, Yi CJ, Amrani DL, Akers TW, Schwartz RB, Wedmore I, McManus JG. 14(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze™ (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat® (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage. Methods: A complex penetrating femoral artery groin injury was made using a 5.5mm vascular punch followed by 45 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage in 15 swine. The hemostatic dressings were randomized using a random sequence generator and then assigned to the animals. Three minutes of manual pressure was applied with each agent after the free bleed. Hextend™ bolus (500mL) was subsequently rapidly infused using a standard pressure bag along with the addition of maintenance fluids to maintain blood pressure. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded every 10 minutes and additionally at critical time points defined in the protocol. Primary end points included immediate hemostasis upon release of manual pressure (T0), hemostasis at 60 minutes, and rebleeding during the 60-minute observation period. Results: NS was statistically superior to CG in a 5.5mm traumatic hemorrhage model at T0 for immediate hemostasis (ρ = .0475), duration of application time (ρ = .0093), use of resuscitative fluids (ρ = .0042) and additional blood loss after application (ρ = .0385). NS and CG were statistically equivalent for hemostasis at 60 minutes, rebleeding during the study, and the additional secondary metrics, although the trend indicated that in a larger sample size, NS could prove statistical superiority in selected categories. Conclusions: In this porcine model of uncontrolled hemorrhage, NS improved immediate hemorrhage control, stability, and use of fluid in a 60-minute severe porcine hemorrhage model. In this study, NS demonstrated equivalence to CG at achieving long-term hemostasis and the prevention of rebleed after application. NS was shown to be an efficacious choice for hemorrhage control in combat and civilian emergency medical service environments.

Keywords: EMS; hemostatic dressing; hemorrhage, uncontrolled; hemorrhage, severe; traumatic injuries; NuStat; NS; CG; silica; bamboo; cellulose; Combat Gauze™; kaolin

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Keyword: bandage

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Management of External Hemorrhage in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: Chitosan-Based Hemostatic Gauze Dressings

Bennett BL, Littlejohn LF, Kheirabadi BS, Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Dubick MA, Bailey HH. 14(3). 40 - 57. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Hemorrhage remains the leading cause of combat death and a major cause of death from potentially survivable injuries. Great strides have been made in controlling extremity hemorrhage with tourniquets, but not all injuries are amenable to tourniquet application. Topical hemostatic agents and dressings have also contributed to success in controlling extremity and compressible junctional hemorrhage, and their efficacy continues to increase as enhanced products are developed. Since the addition of Combat Gauze™ (Z-Medica Corporation, Wallingford, CT, USA; http://www.z-medica.com/) in April 2008 to the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Guidelines, there are consistent data from animal studies of severe hemorrhage that chitosan-based hemostatic gauze dressings developed for battlefield application are, at least, equally efficacious as Combat Gauze. Successful outcomes are also reported using newer chitosan-based dressings in civilian hospitalbased surgical case reports and prehospital (battlefield) case reports and series. Additionally, there have been no noted complications or safety concerns in these cases or across many years of chitosan-based hemostatic dressing use in both the military and civilian prehospital sectors. Consequently, after a decade of clinical use, there is added benefit and a good safety record for using chitosan- based gauze dressings. For these reasons, many specific US military Special Operations Forces, NATO militaries, and emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement agencies have already implemented the widespread use of these new recommended chitosanbased hemostatic dressings. Based on the past battlefield success, this report proposes to keep Combat Gauze as the hemostatic dressing of choice along with the new addition of Celox™ Gauze (Medtrade Products Ltd., Crewe, UK; http://www.celoxmedical.com/usa/products /celox-gauze/) and ChitoGauze® (HemCon Medical Technologies, Portland, OR, USA; http://www.hemcon.com/) to the TCCC Guidelines.

Keywords: hemorrhage; hemostasis; hemostatic agents; topical; dressing; bandage

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Keyword: barotrauma, inner ear

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Inner Ear Barotrauma After Underwater Pool Competency Training Without the Use of Compressed Air Case and Review

McIntire S, Boujie L. 16(2). 52 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Inner ear barotrauma can occur when the gas-filled chambers of the ear have difficulty equalizing pressure with the outside environment after changes in ambient pressure. This can transpire even with small pressure changes. Hypobaric or hyperbaric environments can place significant stress on the structures of the middle and inner ear. If methods to equalize pressure between the middle ear and other connected gas-filled spaces (i.e., Valsalva maneuver) are unsuccessful, middle ear overpressurization can occur. This force can be transmitted to the fluid-filled inner ear, making it susceptible to injury. Damage specifically to the structures of the vestibulocochlear system can lead to symptoms of vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus. This article discusses the case of a 23-year-old male Marine who presented with symptoms of nausea and gait instability after performing underwater pool competency exercises to a maximum depth of 13 feet, without breathing compressed air. Diagnosis and management of inner ear barotrauma are reviewed, as is differentiation from inner ear decompression sickness.

Keywords: inner ear; barotrauma, inner ear; decompression sickness; inner ear; vertigo; tinnitus; hearing loss

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Keyword: basal cell carcinoma

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Giant Basal Cell Carcinoma

Rivard SC, Crandall ML, Gibbs NF. 14(1). 99 - 102. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Servicemembers are often exposed to extreme environments with sun exposure, often laying the foundation for future skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of skin cancers. We present the case of a 36-year-old male active duty Seabee who presents with a left shoulder plaque that initially started as an erythematous papule but has now increased to greater than 6cm in the past 10 years and is diagnosed as giant basal cell carcinoma (GBCC). Although only 0.5% to 1% of BCCs develop into GBCCs, there is the potential for metastasis and even death. This article addresses the concerning and potentially fatal diagnosis of GBCC, including your initial impressions and differential diagnoses, available treatment options, and ways to prevent it from ever occurring in our military population.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; giant basal cell carcinoma; enlarging plaque; electrodessication and curettage; UV damage; sun exposure; Seabee; military provider

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Keyword: bat bugs

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Identification and Management of Bed Bug Infestations in Austere Environments

Amodt ZT. 13(4). 6 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military forces have missions that send them all over the globe. With the reemergence of bed bugs worldwide, the possibility of Servicemembers encountering them has increased. Special Operations Forces are often sent to locations that may not have integrated pest management support. Knowing how to identify and manage a bed bug infestation, with and without proper equipment and supplies, may become necessary in the very near future. It is also important that Servicemembers are aware of how bed bugs travel, to prevent their dispersal back to the United States and into their barracks and homes.

Keywords: bed bugs; bat bugs; infestations; austere environments; pest management

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Keyword: battlefield

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Effects of Intraosseous and Intravenous Administration of Hextend® on Time of Administration and Hemodynamics in a Swine Model

Johnson D, Dial J, Ard J, Yourk T, Burke E, Paine C, Gegel B, Burgert J. 14(1). 79 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: The military recommends that a 500mL bolus of Hextend® be administered via an intravenous (IV) 18-gauge needle or via an intraosseous (IO) needle for patients in hypovolemic shock. Purposes: The purposes of this study were to compare the time of administration of Hextend and the hemodynamics of IV and IO routes in a Class II hemorrhage swine model. Methods: This was an experimental study using 27 swine. After 30% of their blood volume was exsanguinated, 500mL of Hextend was administered IV or IO, but not to the control group. Hemodynamic data were collected every 2 minutes until administration was complete. Results: Time for administration was not significant (p = .78). No significant differences existed between the IO and IV groups relative to hemodynamics (p > .05), but both were significantly different than the control group (p < .05). Conclusions: The IO route is an effective method of administering Hextend.

Keywords: hemorrhage; shock; Hextend®; hetastarch; battlefield

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Keyword: battlefield analgesia

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A Triple-Option Analgesia Plan for Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 13-04

Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Buckenmaier CC, Edgar EP, O'Connor KC, Montgomery HR, Shackelford S, Gandy JV, Wedmore I, Timby JW, Gross K, Bailey JA. 14(1). 13 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Although the majority of potentially preventable fatalities among U.S. combat forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq have died from hemorrhagic shock, the majority of U.S. medics carry morphine autoinjectors for prehospital battlefield analgesia. Morphine given intramuscularly has a delayed onset of action and, like all opioids, may worsen hemorrhagic shock. Additionally, on a recent assessment of prehospital care in Afghanistan, combat medical personnel noted that Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) battlefield analgesia recommendations need to be simplified-there are too many options and not enough clear guidance on which medication to use in specific situations. They also reported that ketamine is presently being used as a battlefield analgesic by some medics in theater with good results. This report proposes that battlefield analgesia be achieved using one or more of three options: (1) the meloxicam and Tylenol in the TCCC Combat Pill Pack for casualties with relatively minor pain who are still able to function as effective combatants; (2) oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC) for casualties who have moderate to severe pain, but who are not in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress and are not at significant risk for developing either condition; or (3) ketamine for casualties who have moderate to severe pain but who are in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress or are at significant risk for developing either condition. Ketamine may also be used to increase analgesic effect for casualties who have previously been given opioids (morphine or fentanyl.)

Keywords: battlefield analgesia; fentanyl; ketamine; morphine

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Keyword: battlefield resuscitation

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Pediatric Trauma: Management From an Austere Prospective

Gray J, Linklater DR, Johnston J, Donham B. 17(1). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Pediatric trauma represents a notable proportion of casualties encountered by Combat medics, physician assistants, and physicians while in the deployed setting. Most of these resuscitation teams receive limited pediatric- specific training and suffer subsequent emotional stress due the perceived high-stakes nature of caring for gravely wounded children. Even when children survive long enough to arrive at combat support hospitals, there remain high risks for morbidity and mortality for many of them. There are numerous reports of the epidemiological characteristics of these pediatric patients, the common mechanisms of injury, the hospital lengths of stay, and calls for pediatric-specific equipment and specialist presence in-theatre. There is scant literature, however, on child-specific battlefield resuscitation and training for initial providers, and we believe that, with appropriately tailored pediatric resuscitation education and training strategies, there is some potential for a reduction in the morbidity and mortality associated with childhood combat injury.

Keywords: pediatrics; combat injury; battlefield resuscitation

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A Perspective on the Potential for Battlefield Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta

Knight RM. 17(1). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) has a place in civilian trauma centers in the United States, and British physicians performed the first prehospital REBOA, proving the concept viable for civilian emergency medical service. Can this translate into battlefield REBOA to stop junctional hemorrhage and extend "golden hour" rings in combat? If yes, at what level is this procedure best suited and what does it entail? This author's perspective, after treating patients on the battlefield and during rotary wing evacuation, is that REBOA may have a place in prehospital resuscitation but patient and provider selection are paramount. The procedure, although simple in description, is quite complicated and can cause major physiologic changes best dealt with by experienced providers. REBOA is incapable of extending the golden hour limiting the procedure's utility.

Keywords: REBOA; resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta; battlefield resuscitation; junctional hemorrhage

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Keyword: bed bugs

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Identification and Management of Bed Bug Infestations in Austere Environments

Amodt ZT. 13(4). 6 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military forces have missions that send them all over the globe. With the reemergence of bed bugs worldwide, the possibility of Servicemembers encountering them has increased. Special Operations Forces are often sent to locations that may not have integrated pest management support. Knowing how to identify and manage a bed bug infestation, with and without proper equipment and supplies, may become necessary in the very near future. It is also important that Servicemembers are aware of how bed bugs travel, to prevent their dispersal back to the United States and into their barracks and homes.

Keywords: bed bugs; bat bugs; infestations; austere environments; pest management

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Oral Steroids for Dermatitis

Fisher AD, Clarke J, Williams TK. 15(2). 8 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Contact/allergic dermatitis is frequently treated inappropriately with lower-than-recommended doses or inadequate duration of treatment with oral and intramuscular glucocorticoids. This article highlights a case of dermatitis in a Ranger Assessment and Selection Program student who was improperly treated over 2 weeks with oral steroids after being bit by Cimex lectularius, commonly known as bed bugs. The article also highlights the pitfalls of improper oral steroid dosing and provides reasoning for longer-duration oral steroid treatment.

Keywords: dermatitis; steroids; bed bugs; military; Cimex lectularis

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Keyword: Bernhardt-Roth syndrome

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Load Carriage-Related Paresthesias (Part 2): Meralgia Paresthetica

Knapik JJ, Reynolds K, Orr R, Pope R. 17(1). 94 - 100. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This is the second of a two-part series addressing symptoms, evaluation, and treatment of load carriage- related paresthesias. Part 1 addressed rucksack palsy and digitalgia paresthetica; here, meralgia paresthetica (MP) is discussed. MP is a mononeuropathy involving the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). MP has been reported in load carriage situations where the LFCN was compressed by rucksack hipbelts, pistol belts, parachute harnesses, and body armor. In the US military, the rate of MP is 6.2 cases/10,000 personyears. Military Servicewomen have higher rates than Servicemen, and rates increase with age, longer loadcarriage distance or duration, and higher body mass index. Patients typically present with pain, itching, and paresthesia on the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. There are no motor impairments or muscle weakness, because the LFCN is entirely sensory. Symptoms may be present on standing and/or walking, and may be relieved by adopting other postures. Clinical tests to evaluate MP include the pelvic compression test, the femoral nerve neurodynamic test, and nerve blocks using lidocaine or procaine. In cases where these clinical tests do not confirm the diagnosis, specialized tests might be considered, including somatosensory evoked potentials, sensory nerve conduction studies, high-resolution ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment should initially be conservative. Options include identifying and removing the compression if it is external, nonsteroidal inflammatory medication, manual therapy, and/or topical treatment with capsaicin cream. Treatments for intractable cases include injection of corticosteroids or local anesthetics, pulsed radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and surgery. Military medical care providers may see cases of MP, especially if they are involved with units that perform regular operations involving load carriage.

Keywords: paresthesias, load carriage-related; meralgia paresthetica; mononeuropathy; nerve, lateral femoral cutaneous; Bernhardt-Roth syndrome

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Keyword: biostatics, statistics

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Basic Biostatistics and Clinical Medicine

Banting J, Meriano T. 17(1). 76 - 76. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: biostatics, statistics; tests; specificity; sensitivity

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Keyword: blast traumatic brain injury

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Blast Traumatic Brain Injury - What Do We Know?

Rolan T. 13(3). 45 - 50. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant problem in both the civilian and military worlds. Although much is understood about the effects of TBI, relatively few diagnostic or therapeutic modalities are available. Currently, TBI treatment is in a primitive phase and other than acute lifesaving interventions, is largely relegated to rehabilitation efforts. This article discusses known aspects of neuronal injury related to blast TBI, as well as a review of the current state of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: blast traumatic brain injury; neuronal dysfunction

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Keyword: bleeding

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Combat Ready Clamp Medic Technique

Tovmassian RV, Kragh JF, Dubick MA, Baer DG, Blackbourne LH. 12(4). 72 - 78. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Junctional hemorrhage control device use on the battlefield might be lifesaving, but little experience is reported. The purpose of the present case report is to detail prehospital use of the Combat Ready Clamp (called the CRoC by its users, Combat Medical Systems, Fayetteville, NC; Instructions for Use, 2010) in casualty care in order to increase awareness of junctional hemorrhage control. Methods: The CRoC was used to control difficult inguinal bleeding on the battlefield for an Afghani man with a hindquarter traumatic amputation. Results: The device promptly controlled exsanguination from a critical injury when placed during rotary-wing casualty evacuation. The flight medic applied the device in 90 seconds. The device performed well without complications to control bleeding. Discussion: The CRoC, a new junctional hemorrhage control device, was used as indicated on the battlefield with mechanical and physiologic success and without device problems. By controlling difficult inguinal bleeding resulting from battlefield trauma, the device facilitated casualty stabilization and delivery to a surgical facility. The device facilitated the ability of a new flight medic to focus his expertise on a critically injured battlefield casualty with demonstrable success.

Keywords: tourniquet; bleeding; shock; prehospital care; emergency medical services

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Design and Demonstration of a Battery-Less Fluid Warmer for Combat

Ndao S, Jensen KF, Velmahos GC, King DR. 13(3). 31 - 36. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Prehospital battlefield hypothermia remains an issue, with cold fluid resuscitation likely being a significant contributor. Currently, no prehospital battlefield technology exists to warm intravenous resuscitation fluids. Existing commercial fluid-warming technologies are either inadequate or unreliable or have an unacceptable weight and size, making them inappropriate for the austere combat environment. We propose the creation of a battery-less, flameless, portable, low- weight, small, chemically powered fluid warmer for the battlefield. Methods: A magnesium-based exothermic chemical reaction was used as the sole heating source. A low-weight, small insulated container was created to contain the reaction. The chemical reaction was manipulated to sustain fluid heating as long as required. Results: The exothermic reaction was used to boil a Fluorinert ™ liquid within an insulated container that heats resuscitation fluid passing through the heat exchanger. A working prototype device, 9 inches in length and 4 inches in diameter, was engineered and tested. Warming was maintained over a variety of clinically relevant flow rates. Conclusion: A chemically based, safe, battery-less, flameless, lightweight fluid warmer was created. This technology could represent a significant remote capability currently unavailable on the battlefield.

Keywords: trauma; bleeding; prehospital; resuscitation; warming; thermal

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Conceptualized Use of Self-Expanding Foam to Rescue Special Operators From Abdominal Exsanguination: Percutaneous Damage Control for the Forward Deployed

Rago AP, Sharma U, Sims K, King DR. 15(3). 39 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Noncompressible hemorrhage is the leading cause of potentially survivable death on the battlefield. In Special Operations Forces (SOF), 50% of potentially survivable deaths have been related to noncompressible hemorrhage. Currently, there are no widely available presurgical interventions that can slow abdominal bleeding. Consequently, many of the preventable deaths occur en route to definitive care as a failure to rescue from exsanguination. A self-expanding polyurethane foam has been developed as a percutaneous damage control intervention to rescue casualties who would otherwise die of noncompressible hemorrhage, and allow them to survive long enough to reach surgical intervention. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the existing preclinical data, describe the role of SOF personnel in foam delivery-system development, and to integrate these together to conceptualize how foam could be incorporated into SOF medical care. Methods: All existing publications on self-expanding foam are reviewed. Additionally, eight SOF medical providers with combat experience provided end-user input to delivery-device design through an interactive human-factors testing process. Results: Ten preclinical publications described efficacy, safety, dose translation, and risk-benefit analysis of exsanguination rescue with percutaneous-foam damage control. SOF medical providers guided weight, cubic, operational requirements, and limits for the foam delivery device. Conclusion: Presurgical exsanguination rescue with percutaneous foam damage control is safe and effective with a favorable risk-benefit profile in preclinical studies. Battlefield, presurgical use by SOF medical providers is conceptually possible. Adoption of the technology on the battlefield should proceed with SOF medical provider input.

Keywords: hemorrhage; noncompressable; bleeding; foam; advanced medic; abdominal; austere; ResQFoam

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Remote Telementored Ultrasound-Directed Compression to Potentially Accelerate Hemostasis in Exsanguinating Junctional Vascular Injuries

Kirkpatrick AW, McKee JL, McKee I, Panebianco NL, Ball CG. 15(4). 71 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Bleeding to death has been identified as the leading cause of potentially preventable injury-related death worldwide. Temporary hemorrhage control could allow the patient to be transported to a site capable of damage- control surgery. A novel device that may offer a fast and effective means of controlling nontruncal bleeding (junctional and extremity) is the iTClamp (Innovative Trauma Care; http://innovativetraumacare.com). This case study demonstrated that a motivated and intelligent, but untrained, first responder could successfully localize the actual anatomic site of an exsanguinating bleed and then could relatively easily compress this site to control the bleeding site by using ultrasound-guided manual-compression techniques.

Keywords: hemorrhage; iTClamp; ultrasound; bleeding; control

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Keyword: blisters

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Prevention of Foot Blisters

Knapik JJ. 14(2). 95 - 97. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Foot blisters are the most common medical problem faced by Soldiers during foot march operations and, if untreated, they can lead to infection. Foot blisters are caused by boots rubbing on the foot (frictional forces), which separates skin layers and allows fluid to seep in. Blisters can be prevented by wearing properly sized boots, conditioning feet through regular road marching, wearing socks that reduce reduce friction and moisture, and possibly applying antiperspirants to the feet.

Keywords: blisters; injury prevention; foot blisters; road marching; footwear; load carriage; socks; antipersprants

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Keyword: blood bank, walking

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Early, Prehospital Activation of the Walking Blood Bank Based on Mechanism of Injury Improves Time to Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion

Bassett AK, Auten JD, Zieber TJ, Lunceford NL. 16(2). 5 - 8. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Balanced component therapy (BCT) remains the mainstay in trauma resuscitation of the critically battle injured. In austere medical environments, access to packed red blood cells, apheresis platelets, and fresh frozen plasma is often limited. Transfusion of warm, fresh whole blood (FWB) has been used to augment limited access to full BCT in these settings. The main limitation of FWB is that it is not readily available for transfusion on casualty arrival. This small case series evaluates the impact early, mechanism-of-injury (MOI)-based, preactivation of the walking blood bank has on time to transfusion. We report an average time of 18 minutes to FWB transfusion from patient arrival. Early activation of the walking blood bank based on prehospital MOI may further reduce the time to FWB transfusion.

Keywords: blood bank, walking; blood, fresh whole; therapy, blood component

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Keyword: blood flow restriction

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Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation for Extremity Weakness: A Case Series

Hylden C, Burns T, Stinner DJ, Owens J. 15(1). 50 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Blood flow restricted (BFR) training, the brief and partial restriction of venous outflow of an extremity during low load resistance exercises, is a safe and effective method of improving strength in healthy, active individuals. A relatively unexplored potential of this adjunctive modality lies in treating patients with severe musculoskeletal trauma, persistent chronic quadriceps and hamstring weakness despite traditional therapy, and low improvement during early postoperative strengthening. Methods: This case series describes patients with chronic quadriceps and hamstring weakness who received an intervention of BFR at low loads, 20% of 1 repetition max (1RM), to restore strength. A case series was conducted of seven patients, all located at one hospital and all with traumatic lower extremity injuries. The seven patients were treated at the same medical center and with the same BFR protocol. All seven patients had isokinetic dynamometer testing that showed persistent thigh muscle weakness despite previous rehabilitation with traditional therapy and 35% to 75% peak torque deficit in either knee extension or flexion compared with the contralateral lower extremity. Patients underwent 2 weeks of BFR training therapy using a pneumatic tourniquet set at 110mmHg while performing leg extensions, leg presses, and reverse leg presses. All affected extremities were retested after 2 weeks (six treatment sessions). Dynamometer measurements were done with flexion and extension at two speeds: 90° and 300°/sec. The data recorded included peak torque normalized for body weight, average power, and total work. Results: All seven patients demonstrated improvements in peak torque, average power, and total work for both knee flexion and extension, with power being the most improved overall. Peak torque improved an average of 13% to 37%, depending on contraction direction and speed. Average power improved an average of 42% to 81%, and total work improved an average of 35% to 55%. Conclusion: BFR therapy at low loads can affect improvement in muscle strength in patients who are unable to perform high-resistance exercise or patients who have persistent extremity weakness despite traditional therapy.

Keywords: strengthening; muscle mass; tourniquet; physical therapy; blood flow restriction; vascular occlusion

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Keyword: blood products

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Fluid Resuscitation for Hemorrhagic Shock in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 14-01 - 2 June 2014

Butler FK, Holcomb JB, Schreiber MA, Kotwal RS, Jenkins DA, Champion HR, Bowling F, Cap AP, DuBose JJ, Dorlac WC, Dorlac GR, McSwain NE, Timby JW, Blackbourne LH, Stockinger Z, Strandenes G, Weiskopf RB, Gross K, Bailey JA. 14(3). 13 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This report reviews the recent literature on fluid resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock and considers the applicability of this evidence for use in resuscitation of combat casualties in the prehospital Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) environment. A number of changes to the TCCC Guidelines are incorporated: (1) dried plasma (DP) is added as an option when other blood components or whole blood are not available; (2) the wording is clarified to emphasize that Hextend is a less desirable option than whole blood, blood components, or DP and should be used only when these preferred options are not available; (3) the use of blood products in certain Tactical Field Care (TFC) settings where this option might be feasible (ships, mounted patrols) is discussed; (4) 1:1:1 damage control resuscitation (DCR) is preferred to 1:1 DCR when platelets are available as well as plasma and red cells; and (5) the 30-minute wait between increments of resuscitation fluid administered to achieve clinical improvement or target blood pressure (BP) has been eliminated. Also included is an order of precedence for resuscitation fluid options. Maintained as recommendations are an emphasis on hypotensive resuscitation in order to minimize (1) interference with the body's hemostatic response and (2) the risk of complications of overresuscitation. Hextend is retained as the preferred option over crystalloids when blood products are not available because of its smaller volume and the potential for long evacuations in the military setting.

Keywords: hemorrhage; fluid resuscitation; shock; plasma; blood products; damage control resuscitation

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Predicting When to Administer Blood Products During Tactical Aeromedical Evacuation: Evaluation of a US Model

Le Clerc S, McLennan J, Kyle A, Mann-Salinas EA, Russell RJ. 14(4). 48 - 52. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The administration of blood products to battlefield casualties in the prehospital arena has contributed significantly to the survival of critically injured patients in Afghanistan over the past 5 years. Given as part of an established military "chain of survival," blood product administration has represented a step-change improvement in capability for both UK and US tactical aeromedical evacuation (TACEVAC) platforms. The authors explore current concepts, analyzing and exploring themes associated with early use of blood products (fresh frozen plasma [FFP] and red blood cells [RBCs]), and they compare and evaluate a US/UK study analyzing the differences and recommending future strategy. The subject matter expert (SME) consensus guidelines developed for use by the US Army Air Ambulance units commonly known as call sign "DUSTOFF." These TACEVAC assets in Afghanistan were validated in this retrospective study. Using statistical analysis, the authors were able to ascertain that the current DUSTOFF SME-derived guidelines offer a sensitivity of 63.04% and a specificity of 89.07%. By adjusting the indicators to include a single above-ankle amputation with a systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 90mmHg and pulse greater than 120/min, the sensitivity could be increased to 67.39% while maintaining the specificity at 89.07%. In our data set, a single amputation above the ankle, in combination with an SBP of less than 100mmHg and a pulse of greater than 120/min, increased the sensitivity to 76% but with a slight drop in specificity to 86%. Further study of military prehospital casualty data is under way to identify additional physiological parameters that will allow simple scoring tools in the remote setting to guide the administration of prehospital blood products.

Keywords: trauma; prehospital; blood products; military; scoring tool; tactical; aeromedical evacuation

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Keyword: blood, fresh whole

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Prolonged Field Care Working Group Fluid Therapy Recommendations

Baker BL, Powell D, Riesberg J, Keenan S. 16(1). 112 - 117. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Prolonged Field Care Working Group concurs that fresh whole blood (FWB) is the fluid of choice for patients in hemorrhagic shock, and the capability to transfuse FWB should be a basic skill set for Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medics. Prolonged field care (PFC) must also address resuscitative and maintenance fluid requirements in nonhemorrhagic conditions.

Keywords: prolonged field care; blood, fresh whole; shock, hemorrhagic; transfusion

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Early, Prehospital Activation of the Walking Blood Bank Based on Mechanism of Injury Improves Time to Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion

Bassett AK, Auten JD, Zieber TJ, Lunceford NL. 16(2). 5 - 8. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Balanced component therapy (BCT) remains the mainstay in trauma resuscitation of the critically battle injured. In austere medical environments, access to packed red blood cells, apheresis platelets, and fresh frozen plasma is often limited. Transfusion of warm, fresh whole blood (FWB) has been used to augment limited access to full BCT in these settings. The main limitation of FWB is that it is not readily available for transfusion on casualty arrival. This small case series evaluates the impact early, mechanism-of-injury (MOI)-based, preactivation of the walking blood bank has on time to transfusion. We report an average time of 18 minutes to FWB transfusion from patient arrival. Early activation of the walking blood bank based on prehospital MOI may further reduce the time to FWB transfusion.

Keywords: blood bank, walking; blood, fresh whole; therapy, blood component

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Keyword: body armor

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Medical Provider Ballistic Protection at Active Shooter Events

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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Keyword: body mass index

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The Importance of Physical Fitness for Injury Prevention: Part 2

Knapik JJ. 15(2). 112 - 115. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This report examines associations between injuries and flexibility, stretching, warm-up, and body composition. Military studies show that either too much or too little flexibility increases injury risk. Static stretching prior to exercise does not appear to reduce the overall injury incidence, although further research is needed on some types of injuries. Static stretching also appears to reduce strength and power (explosive strength). Warm-up (low intensity activity prior to exercise or sports) appears to reduce injury risk. Body mass index (BMI; weight in kg/ height in m²) is a surrogate measure of body fat because it is highly related to laboratory measures of body fat. However, Soldiers can also have a high BMI because of higher muscle mass. If high BMI reflects a larger percentage of body fat relative to height, injury risk might be increased because the additional fat would increase the intensity of physical activity, leading to more rapid fatigue and repetitive stress on the musculoskeletal system. Low BMI could reflect a paucity of fat or muscle/ bone, or both. Low BMI may make Soldiers more susceptible to injury if they lack the muscle mass or strength in the supportive structures (ligaments, bones) required to perform certain physical tasks, and if they overexert or overuse the available muscle mass or supportive structures. Studies in basic combat training show that both high and low BMI increases injury risk. However, studies among active duty Soldiers only show that injury risk increases as BMI increases, possibly because very few active duty Soldiers have very low BMI (i.e., less than 18 kg/m²).

Keywords: body mass index; physical fitness; injury prevention

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Keyword: Boko Haram

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Experience Of A US Air Force Surgical And Critical Care Team Deployed In Support Of Special Operations Command Africa

Delmonaco BL, Baker A, Clay J, Kilbourn J. 16(1). 103 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An eight-person team of conventional US Air Force (USAF) medical providers deployed to support US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in North and West Africa for the first time in November 2014. The predeployment training, operations while deployed, and lessons learned from the challenges of performing surgery and medical evacuations in the remote desert environment of Chad and Niger on the continent of Africa are described. The vast area of operations and far-forward posture of these teams requires cooperation between partner African nations, the French military, and SOF to make these medical teams effective providers of surgical and critical care in Africa. The continuous deployment of conventional USAF medical providers since 2014 in support of US Special Operations Command Africa is challenging and will benefit from more medical teams and effective air assets to provide casualty evacuation across the vast area of operations.

Keywords: US Special Operations Command North and West Africa; far-forward surgery; conventional US Air Force; Mobile Field Surgical Team; Niamey, Niger; N'Dhamena, Chad; CASEVAC; Boko Haram; al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb; French Military

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Keyword: brachial plexus lesion

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Load Carriage-Related Paresthesias: Part 1: Rucksack Palsy and Digitalgia Paresthetica

Knapik JJ, Reynolds K, Orr R, Pope R. 16(4). 74 - 79. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: brain

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The Agitated Patient

Goldstein S. 13(3). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Caring for an agitated patient can be a daunting task for the tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic. The cause, degree, and duration of agitation can vary among such individuals. These patients create a high-stress and disruptive environment, needing numerous people involved to control. One agitated patient can disrupt an entire tactical team or casualty evacuation. The patient's history and physical examination can give important clues to the cause, thereby directing treatment and leading to a quick and safe resolution. The variety of treatments for the agitated patient are just as numerous as the causes and range from verbal deescalation to medications and physical restraint, all of which have a risk-benefit profile to consider.

Keywords: agitated patients; brain; TBI; hypoxia; hypoglycemia; hypothermia; delirium; ketamine; dissociative; combative; sedation

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Keyword: bruxing

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Use of a Removable Mandibular Neuroprosthesis for the Reduction of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/PTSD-Associated Nightmares, Headaches, and Sleep Disturbances

Moeller DR, Duffey JM, Goolsby AM, Gallimore JT. 14(3). 64 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with nighttime headaches (HAs), nightmares (NMs), and difficulty falling or staying asleep (sleep disturbances [SD]). The authors of the current study evaluated the correlative elements of using a removable mandibular neuroprosthesis (RMN) and the reduction of these symptoms in participants diagnosed with PTSD or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)/PTSD. The RMN device is a form of specialized dental splint that has a potential to reduce the painful stimuli of bruxing and potential upregulation of threat response systems that may occur during sleep. Method: A sample of 32 individuals was selected through random assignment from a volunteer base of 200 volunteers for examination by self-report according to an A-B-A-B design. The sample included 25 men and 7 women between the ages of 21 and 65; 21 had military experience and 11 were civilians. Participants were asked to rate the frequency and intensity of their HAs, NMs, and SD during each phase. Their responses were scored using a custom survey (equivalent forms reliability) that provides ratio-scaled results for symptom frequency and intensity. The original number of participants was 35 with three participants dropping out before the conclusion of the study. Results: Survey scores for PTSD-related sleep symptoms were relatively high at baseline (x̄ = 0.52) and significantly lower in the first experimental phase (x̄ = 0.20). Scores in the second experimental phase were likewise lower (x̄ = 0.38). Significant reductions in symptoms were reported across all three dimensions. Discussion: All participants reported some improvement in symptoms while using the device. No participants reported worsening of any symptoms as a result of using the RMN. Participants commonly reported that improvements in symptoms were immediate and did not diminish over time. Data indicate that there is a negative correlation between the use of an RMN and the reduction of HAs, NMs, and SD in persons diagnosed with PTSD or mTBI/PTSD.

Keywords: PTSD; mTBI; nightmares; headaches; sleep disturbances; DIMS; bruxism; bruxing; splint

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Keyword: bruxism

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Use of a Removable Mandibular Neuroprosthesis for the Reduction of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/PTSD-Associated Nightmares, Headaches, and Sleep Disturbances

Moeller DR, Duffey JM, Goolsby AM, Gallimore JT. 14(3). 64 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with nighttime headaches (HAs), nightmares (NMs), and difficulty falling or staying asleep (sleep disturbances [SD]). The authors of the current study evaluated the correlative elements of using a removable mandibular neuroprosthesis (RMN) and the reduction of these symptoms in participants diagnosed with PTSD or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)/PTSD. The RMN device is a form of specialized dental splint that has a potential to reduce the painful stimuli of bruxing and potential upregulation of threat response systems that may occur during sleep. Method: A sample of 32 individuals was selected through random assignment from a volunteer base of 200 volunteers for examination by self-report according to an A-B-A-B design. The sample included 25 men and 7 women between the ages of 21 and 65; 21 had military experience and 11 were civilians. Participants were asked to rate the frequency and intensity of their HAs, NMs, and SD during each phase. Their responses were scored using a custom survey (equivalent forms reliability) that provides ratio-scaled results for symptom frequency and intensity. The original number of participants was 35 with three participants dropping out before the conclusion of the study. Results: Survey scores for PTSD-related sleep symptoms were relatively high at baseline (x̄ = 0.52) and significantly lower in the first experimental phase (x̄ = 0.20). Scores in the second experimental phase were likewise lower (x̄ = 0.38). Significant reductions in symptoms were reported across all three dimensions. Discussion: All participants reported some improvement in symptoms while using the device. No participants reported worsening of any symptoms as a result of using the RMN. Participants commonly reported that improvements in symptoms were immediate and did not diminish over time. Data indicate that there is a negative correlation between the use of an RMN and the reduction of HAs, NMs, and SD in persons diagnosed with PTSD or mTBI/PTSD.

Keywords: PTSD; mTBI; nightmares; headaches; sleep disturbances; DIMS; bruxism; bruxing; splint

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Keyword: building partner capacity in health (BPC-H)

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A Case Study of MEDCANGRO Relative to RAND Conceptual Framework*

Scott A, Hogan R. 15(2). 123 - 131. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The 2010 Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction 6000.16, Military Health Support for Stability Operations, established medical stability operations as a core military mission. National military leaders appreciated that to better manage risks for US military personnel operating in far forward locations, reduce cost and footprint requirements for operations, and aid partner nations with providing service to relevant populations in underserviced/undergoverned the US military would need to be employed strategically in efforts to build partner nation medical capacity. Medical Stability Operations has evolved into Global Health Engagement in the lexicon of planners but the goal is still the same. This article used a technical report authored by the RAND Corporation as the basis of a case study of a Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) Mission to the country of Niger to build a casualty evacuation capability. The case study evaluates the utility of a hypothetical framework developed by the RAND researchers relative to the actual events and outcomes of an actual mission. The principal finding is that the RAND technical report is of value to planners, Operators, and trainers as a systematic approach to successful building partner capacity in health (BPC-H) missions. The article also offers several examples of metrics that aid leadership in making better decisions as to when corrective actions might be required.

Keywords: building partner capacity in health (BPC-H); global health engagement (GHE); international health mission; medical stability operations (MSO)

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Keyword: burn injury

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Care of the Burn Casualty in the Prolonged Field Care Environment

Studer NM, Driscoll IR, Daly IM, Graybill JC. 15(3). 86 - 93. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Burns are frequently encountered on the modern battlefield, with 5% - 20% of combat casualties expected to sustain some burn injury. Addressing immediate lifethreatening conditions in accordance with the MARCH protocol (massive hemorrhage, airway, respirations, circulation, hypothermia/head injury) remains the top priority for burn casualties. Stopping the burning process, total burn surface area (TBSA) calculation, fluid resuscitation, covering the wounds, and hypothermia management are the next steps. If transport to definitive care is delayed and the prolonged field care stage is entered, the provider must be prepared to provide for the complex resuscitation and wound care needs of a critically ill burn casualty.

Keywords: burn injury; inhalation injury; Tactical Combat Casualty Care; prolonged field care; Silverlon; Water-Jel; Burntec

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Keyword: burns, chemical

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Garlic Burn to the Face

Oberle M, Wachs T, Brisson P. 16(4). 80 - 81. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: Burntec

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Care of the Burn Casualty in the Prolonged Field Care Environment

Studer NM, Driscoll IR, Daly IM, Graybill JC. 15(3). 86 - 93. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Burns are frequently encountered on the modern battlefield, with 5% - 20% of combat casualties expected to sustain some burn injury. Addressing immediate lifethreatening conditions in accordance with the MARCH protocol (massive hemorrhage, airway, respirations, circulation, hypothermia/head injury) remains the top priority for burn casualties. Stopping the burning process, total burn surface area (TBSA) calculation, fluid resuscitation, covering the wounds, and hypothermia management are the next steps. If transport to definitive care is delayed and the prolonged field care stage is entered, the provider must be prepared to provide for the complex resuscitation and wound care needs of a critically ill burn casualty.

Keywords: burn injury; inhalation injury; Tactical Combat Casualty Care; prolonged field care; Silverlon; Water-Jel; Burntec

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Keyword: cadaver

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A Comparison Of Direct Versus Indirect Laryngoscopic Visualization During Endotracheal Intubation Of Lightly Embalmed Cadavers Utilizing The Glide Scope®, Storz Medi Pack Mobile Imaging Systemt™ And The New Storz C-MAC™ Videolaryngoscope

Boedecker BH, Nicholas TA, Carpenter J, Leighton S, Bernhagen MA, Murray WB, Wadman MC. 11(2). 21 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Studies indicate that the skills needed to use video laryngoscope systems are easily learned by healthcare providers. This study compared several video laryngoscopic (VL) systems and a direct laryngoscope (DL) view when used by medical residents practicing intubation on cadavers. The video devices used included the Storz Medi Pack Mobile Imaging SystemTM, the Storz CMAC® VL System and the GlideScope®. Methods:After Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine (UNMC EM) residents were recruited and given a brief pre-study informational period. The cadavers were lightly embalmed. The study subjects were asked to perform intubations on two cadavers using both DL and VL while using the three different VL systems. Procedural data was recorded for each attempt and pre and post experience perceptions were collected. Results: N=14. All subjects reported their varied previous intubation experience. The average airway score using DL: for the Storz VL was 1.54 (SD = 0.576) and for the C-MAC was 1.46 (SD = 0.637). Success in intubation of the standard airway using DL was 93% versus a 100% success rate when intubating with indirect VL visualization. Conclusion: Based on our data, we believe that the incorporation of VL into cadaver airway management training provided an improved learning environment for the study residents. In our study, the resident subjects were 93% successful with DL intubation even though 50% had less than 30 intubations. As well, there was a 100% success rate when intubating with indirect VL visualization. In conclusion, the researchers believe this cadaver model incorporated with VL is a powerful tool which may help improve the overall learning curve for orotracheal intubation.

Keywords: videolaryngoscopy; prehospital; direct laryngoscopy; indirect laryngoscopy; intubation; cadaver

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Keyword: cadaver training

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A Medical Training Event for Special Forces Medical Sergeants

Hellums JS. 12(1). 56 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Special Forces Medical Sergeants (SFMS) are independent multidisciplinary medical personnel who possess unique medical skill sets that require regular practice in order to maintain proficiency. Due to high operational tempo, the windows of opportunity to practice these abilities are usually limited to short periods of required training to maintain credentials. A Special Forces (SF) Battalion allowed their medical section to orchestrate a weeklong medical training event that included emergency procedure lectures, human cadaver training, ultrasound familiarization, medical administration instruction, and behavioral health discussions. This training enabled the SFMS to hone their competencies and increase their clinical confidence while working and learning from each other and other medical providers. The training event was a great success.

Keywords: Special Forces; skills sustainment; cadaver training; ultrasound; emergency medical procedures

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Keyword: caffeine

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Associations Among Back and Extremity Pain With Alcohol, Tobacco, and Caffeine Use Among US Air Force Pararescuemen

Bryan CJ, Wolfe AL, Morrow CE, Stephenson JA, Haskell J, Bryan AO. 15(3). 66 - 71. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are the most widely used substances globally, but the majority of research on the associations among legal substance use and physical health has focused on the general population, not elite military personnel. The purpose of the current study was to describe patterns of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine use and to examine the relationship of legal substance use with self-reported physical health complaints among US Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) and Combat Rescue Officers (CROs). Methods: Participants were 196 US PJs and CROs. Participants completed self-report measures of legal drug use and somatic symptoms. Generalized linear modeling with robust maximum likelihood estimation was used for multivariate regression analyses. Chi-square analyses were conducted for univariate comparisons of categorical variables. Results: Reported rates of tobacco use (28.2%), alcohol consumption (83.2%), and regular caffeine consumption (88.8%) were similar to the general population. Daily caffeine intake was significantly higher among participants reporting they were bothered a lot by back pain [Wald χ²(2) = 11.39; ρ = .003] and extremity pain [Wald χ²(2) = 11.39; ρ = .003], even when controlling for age and deployment history. Participants with severe extremity pain also reported drinking approximately twice as many alcoholic beverages per week (mean, 5.46; standard error [SE], 0.91) than participants who were bothered a little (mean, 2.88; SE, 0.54) or not bothered at all (mean, 2.88; SE, 0.52) by extremity pain. Conclusion: Back and extremity pain is associated with greater caffeine and alcohol consumption among PJs.

Keywords: military; caffeine; alcohol; tobacco; pain; Pararescuemen

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Sleep As A Strategy For Optimizing Performance

Yarnell AM, Deuster PA. 16(1). 81 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Recovery is an essential component of maintaining, sustaining, and optimizing cognitive and physical performance during and after demanding training and strenuous missions. Getting sufficient amounts of rest and sleep is key to recovery. This article focuses on sleep and discusses (1) why getting sufficient sleep is important, (2) how to optimize sleep, and (3) tools available to help maximize sleep-related performance. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts safety and readiness through reduced cognitive function, more accidents, and increased military friendly-fire incidents. Sufficient sleep is linked to better cognitive performance outcomes, increased vigor, and better physical and athletic performance as well as improved emotional and social functioning. Because Special Operations missions do not always allow for optimal rest or sleep, the impact of reduced rest and sleep on readiness and mission success should be minimized through appropriate preparation and planning. Preparation includes periods of "banking" or extending sleep opportunities before periods of loss, monitoring sleep by using tools like actigraphy to measure sleep and activity, assessing mental effectiveness, exploiting strategic sleep opportunities, and consuming caffeine at recommended doses to reduce fatigue during periods of loss. Together, these efforts may decrease the impact of sleep loss on mission and performance.

Keywords: actigraphy; caffeine; cognitive; napping; readiness; sleep

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Caffeine and Performance

Yarnell AM, Deuster PA. 16(4). 64 - 70. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: CAMELBAK Cleaning Tab&tm;

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An Evaluation of Common Cleaning Methods for the Removal of a Clinical Isolate of Escherichia coli in Personal Hydration System Water Reservoirs

Helmus S, Blythe J, Guevara P, Washington MA. 16(2). 101 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Waterborne infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Personal hydration packs have been used by military personnel since the Gulf War and are now a common issue item. Since military personnel tend to operate under austere conditions and may use a variety of water sources, preventing the acquisition of waterborne infections is extremely important. Further, since hydration pack water reservoir replacements may not be available during combat operations, the development of a reliable cleaning protocol for use in the field is essential. Several methods for cleaning have been described. In the current study, three common cleaning methodologies-bleach treatment, baking soda treatment, and proprietary CAMELBAK Cleaning Tabs™-were evaluated for the ability to remove Escherichia coli contamination from hydration pack water reservoirs. The study results suggest that the use of bleach and proprietary CAMELBAK tablets should be encouraged since they both operate by releasing bactericidal chlorine compounds into solution, which is more effective at reducing post-treatment bacterial burden. It should be noted that no method was 100% effective at completely eliminating bacteria from the reservoirs and that mechanical cleaning was not attempted.

Keywords: CAMELBAK Cleaning Tab&tm;; infection, waterborne; hydration packs, personal; cleaning methodologies; Escherichia coli contamination

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Keyword: Canadian C-spine rule, NEXUS Criteria

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Walking the Plank

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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Keyword: canine

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Review of Canine Deaths While in Service in US Civilian Law Enforcement (2002-2012)

Stojsih SE, Baker JL, Les CM, Bir CA. 14(4). 86 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Working dogs have been proven effective in multiple military and law enforcement applications. Similar to their human counterparts, understanding mortality while still in service can help improve treatment of injuries, and improve equipment and training, to potentially reduce deaths. This is a retrospective study to characterize mortality of working dogs used in civilian law enforcement. Methods: Reported causes of death were gathered from two working dog and law enforcement officer memorial websites. Results: Of the 867 civilian law enforcement dogs reported to these memorial websites from 2002 to 2012 with reported causes of death while in service, the deaths of 318 were categorized as traumatic. The leading reported causes of traumatic death or euthanasia include trauma as a result of a vehicle strike, 25.8% (n = 82); heatstroke, 24.8% (n = 79); and penetrating ballistic trauma, 23.0% (n = 73). Conclusion: Although the information gathered was from online sources, this study casts some light on the risks that civilian law enforcement dogs undergo as part of the tasks to which they are assigned. These data underscore the need for a comprehensive database for this specialized population of working dogs to provide the robust, reliable data needed to develop prevention and treatment strategies for this valuable resource.

Keywords: canine; mortality; law enforcement; trauma

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The Operational Canine and K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Initiative

Palmer LE, Maricle R, Brenner J. 15(3). 32 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Approximately 20% to 25% of traumarelated, prehospital fatalities in humans are due to preventable deaths. Data are lacking, however, on the nature and the prevalence of operational canine (OC) prehospital deaths. It is plausible that OCs engaged in high-threat operations are also at risk for suffering some type of preventable death. Tactical Combat Casualty Care has significantly reduced human fatality rates on the battlefield. Standardized guidelines specifically for prehospital trauma care have not been developed for the OC caregiver. An initiation has been approved by the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care to form a K9-Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) working group to develop such guidelines. Significance: The intent of the K9-TECC initiative is to form best practice recommendations for the civilian high-risk OC caregiver. These recommendations are to focus on interventions that (1) eliminate the major causes of canine out-of-hospital preventable deaths, (2) are easily learned and applied by any civilian first responder, and (2) minimize resource consumption.

Keywords: canine; trauma; preventable death; Tactical Emergency Casualty Care; K9-TECC; guidelines

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Keyword: captivity

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An Introduction to Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Medicine

Smith MB. 13(2). 25 - 32. (Journal Article)

Abstract

When an individual finds himself/herself in a survival, evasion, resistance, or escape (SERE) scenario, the ability to treat injuries/illnesses can be the difference between life and death. SERE schools are responsible for preparing military members for these situations, but the concept of SERE medicine is not particularly well defined. To provide a comprehensive working description of SERE medicine, operational and training components were examined. Evidence suggests that SERE medicine is diverse, injury/illness patterns are situationally dependent, and treatment options often differ from conventional clinical medicine. Ideally, medical lessons taught in SERE training are based on actual documented events. Unfortunately, the existing body of literature is dated and does not appear to be expanding. In this article, four distinct facets of SERE medicine are presented to establish a basis for future discussion and research. Recommendations to improve SERE medical curricula and data-gathering processes are also provided.

Keywords: SERE; survival, evasion, resistance, escape; captivity; isolation; wilderness

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Keyword: carbohydrate

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The 10 Commandments of Nutrition: 2014

Deuster PA, Lindsey AT, Butler FK. 14(3). 80 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The US Special Operations Command requires sound recommendations on nutrition to ensure optimal performance of Special Operations personnel. New information continues to emerge, and previous recommendations need to be modified as the evidence base continues to grow. The first 10 Commandments of Nutrition were published in the SEAL professional journal Full Mission Profile in 1992, published for the second time in this journal in 2005, and now revised a second time to reflect the newest science. Whether you are part of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community or an athlete seeking to improve your performance, these are simple and helpful nutrition guidelines to follow.

Keywords: dietary supplements; omega-3 fatty acids; protein; carbohydrate; grains; fresh fruits and vegetables

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Keyword: cardiac

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A Soldier With an Exertional Heat Injury, Ischemic-Appearing Electrocardiogram, and Elevated Troponins: A Clinical Case Report

Schauer SG, Pfaff JA. 17(1). 14 - 16. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Heat injuries are a common occurrence in the military training setting due to both the physically demanding nature of the training and the environments in which we train. Testing is often done after the diagnosis of a heat injury to screen for abnormalities. We present the case of a 20-year-old male Soldier with an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) with a possible injury pattern and an elevated troponin level. He underwent a diagnostic cardiac angiogram, which demonstrated no abnormal findings. He was returned to duty upon recovery from the catheterization. Ischemic-appearing ECG and troponin findings may be noted after heat injury. In this case, it was not associated with any cardiac lesions.

Keywords: injury, heat; heat-associated injuries; electrocardiogram; cardiac

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Keyword: cardiac risk

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Special Operations Soldier With Cardiac Family History: Use of CCTA and Protein Biomarker Testing to Detect Risk of Heart Attack From Noncalcified Plaque

Singh M, Kroman A, Singh J, Tariq H, Amin S, Morales-Pablon CA, Cahill KV, Harrison EE. 15(1). 7 - 10. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: We sought to characterize the risk of a heart attack in a 48-year-old asymptomatic US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Soldier without known coronary artery disease (CAD). Background: CAD continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among most age groups in the United States. Much research is dedicated to establishing new techniques to predict myocardial infarction (MI). Methods: Coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography, also known as CCTA, along with 7-protein serum biomarker risk assessment was performed for risk evaluation. Results: A 48-year-old SOCOM Soldier with a family history of heart disease had skeletal chest pain from war injuries and a 5-fold higher risk of heart attack over the next 5 years on the basis of protein markers. A nonobstructive left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) plaque with a lipid-rich core and a thin fibrous cap (i.e., vulnerable plaque) was detected by CCTA. The patient was warned about his risk and prescribed four cardiac medications and scheduled for angioplasty even though he fell outside the guidelines by not having a severe obstructive blockage. Four days later, unfortunately, he had a heart attack before starting his medications and before angioplasty. Conclusion: CCTA with biomarker testing may have an important role in predicating acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in Special Operations Forces (SOF) Soldiers with at least one risk factor. Conventional stress testing and nuclear scanning would not detect non-flow-limiting vulnerable plaques in vulnerable patients. In order to collect more data, the PROTECT Registry has been started to evaluate asymptomatic Soldiers with at least one risk factor referred to the clinic by military physicians.

Keywords: cardiac risk; heart attack; CCTA; risk assessment

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Keyword: cardiorespiratory endurance

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The Importance of Physical Fitness for Injury Prevention: Part 1

Knapik JJ. 15(1). 123 - 127. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Physical fitness can be defined as a set of attributes that allows the ability to perform physical activity. The attributes or components of fitness were identified by testing large numbers of individuals on physical performance tests (e.g., sit-ups, push-ups, runs, pull-ups, rope climbs, vertical jump, long jumps), and using statistical techniques to find tests that seem to share common performance requirements. These studies identified strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, coordination, balance, flexibility, and body composition as important fitness components. Military studies have clearly shown that individuals with lower levels of cardiorespiratory endurance or muscular endurance are more likely to be injured and that improving fitness lowers injury risk. Those who are more fit perform activity at a lower percentage of their maximal capability and so can perform the task for a longer period of time, fatigue less rapidly, recover faster, and have greater reserve capacity for subsequent tasks. Fatigue alters movement patterns, putting stress on parts of the body unaccustomed to it, possibly increasing the likelihood of injury. Soldiers should develop and maintain high levels of physical fitness, not only for optimal performance of occupational tasks but also to reduce injury risk.

Keywords: physical fitness; injury prevention; activity; stress; cardiorespiratory endurance; injuries; muscular endurance

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Keyword: care under fire

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CBRNE TC3: A Hybrid Approach to Casualty Care in the CBRNE Environment

Strain JE. 13(2). 44 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The implementation of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines for the Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom contingency operations has dramatically reduced preventable combat deaths. A study of these principles and their application to medical treatment in the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives (CBRNE), weapons of mass destruction (WMD) environment is presented as a potential readiness and force multiplier for units engaged in this area of operations. Preparing medical operators for support of WMD sampling and mitigation missions requires extensive preventive medicine and post-exposure and downrange trauma threat preparedness. Training and equipping CBRN operators with treatment skills and appropriate interventional material requires pre-implementation planning specific to WMD threats (e.g., anthrax, radiation, organophosphates, and contaminated trauma). A scenario-based study reveals the tactics, techniques, and procedures for training, resourcing, and fielding the CBRN operator of the future.

Keywords: TCCC Guideline; tactical field care; care under fire; WMD threats

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Keyword: care, out-of-hospital

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Resuscitation During Critical Care Transportation in Afghanistan

Tobin JM, Nordmann GR, Kuncir EJ. 15(3). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: These data describe the critical care procedures performed on, and the resuscitation markers of, critically wounded personnel in Afghanistan following point of injury (POI) transports and intratheater transports. Providing this information may help inform discussion on the design of critical care transportation platforms for future conflicts. Methods: The Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR) was queried for descriptive data on combat casualties with Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15 who were transported in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. Both POI transportation events and interfacility transportation events were reviewed. Base deficit (BD) was evaluated as a maker of resuscitation, and international normalized ratio (INR) was evaluated as a measure of coagulopathy. Results: There were 1198 transportation events that occurred during the study period - 634 (53%) transports from the POI and 564 (47%) intratheater transports. Critical care interventions were performed during 147 (12.3%) transportation events, including intubation, cricothyrotomy, double-lumen endotracheal tube placement, needle or tube thoracostomy, central venous access placement, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The mean BD on arrival in the emergency department was -5.4 mEq/L for POI transports and 0.68 mEq/L intratheater transports (ρ < .001). The mean INR on arrival in the emergency department was 1.48 for POI transports and 1.21 for intratheater transports (ρ < .001). Conclusions: Critical care interventions were needed frequently during evacuation of severely injured personnel. Furthermore, many troops arrived acidotic and coagulopathic following initial transport from POI. Together, these data suggest that a platform capable of damage control resuscitation and critical care interventions may be warranted on longer transports of more critically injured patients.

Keywords: transportation; critical care; resuscitation, trauma; damage control; emergency medical services; care, out-of-hospital

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Keyword: caregivers

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Learning Curves of Emergency Tourniquet Use Exploring for Utility in Training

Kragh JF, Mabry RL, Parsons DL, Broussard DW, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 16(4). 7 - 14. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: CASEVAC

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Experience Of A US Air Force Surgical And Critical Care Team Deployed In Support Of Special Operations Command Africa

Delmonaco BL, Baker A, Clay J, Kilbourn J. 16(1). 103 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An eight-person team of conventional US Air Force (USAF) medical providers deployed to support US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in North and West Africa for the first time in November 2014. The predeployment training, operations while deployed, and lessons learned from the challenges of performing surgery and medical evacuations in the remote desert environment of Chad and Niger on the continent of Africa are described. The vast area of operations and far-forward posture of these teams requires cooperation between partner African nations, the French military, and SOF to make these medical teams effective providers of surgical and critical care in Africa. The continuous deployment of conventional USAF medical providers since 2014 in support of US Special Operations Command Africa is challenging and will benefit from more medical teams and effective air assets to provide casualty evacuation across the vast area of operations.

Keywords: US Special Operations Command North and West Africa; far-forward surgery; conventional US Air Force; Mobile Field Surgical Team; Niamey, Niger; N'Dhamena, Chad; CASEVAC; Boko Haram; al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb; French Military

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Keyword: casualty evacuations

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Searching for Sustainability: How Niger's CASEVAC Success Is Leading the African Continent and Educating the GHE/IHS Community

Flatau P. 16(2). 111 - 114. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Against all odds and despite significant challenges and scarce resources, Niger's Armed Forces (FAN) continues to lead a successful casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) program. This program and the Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFR) model that influenced it has become a template for the Global Health Engagement (GHE)/International Health Specialist (IHS) community. This article provides a summary of the overall CASEVAC mission, outlines the final phase sustainable execution of this program, and provides the reader with critical lessons learned for best practice GHE approaches.

Keywords: Niger; casualty evacuations; Special Operations Command Africa

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Keyword: CCTA

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Special Operations Soldier With Cardiac Family History: Use of CCTA and Protein Biomarker Testing to Detect Risk of Heart Attack From Noncalcified Plaque

Singh M, Kroman A, Singh J, Tariq H, Amin S, Morales-Pablon CA, Cahill KV, Harrison EE. 15(1). 7 - 10. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: We sought to characterize the risk of a heart attack in a 48-year-old asymptomatic US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Soldier without known coronary artery disease (CAD). Background: CAD continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among most age groups in the United States. Much research is dedicated to establishing new techniques to predict myocardial infarction (MI). Methods: Coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography, also known as CCTA, along with 7-protein serum biomarker risk assessment was performed for risk evaluation. Results: A 48-year-old SOCOM Soldier with a family history of heart disease had skeletal chest pain from war injuries and a 5-fold higher risk of heart attack over the next 5 years on the basis of protein markers. A nonobstructive left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) plaque with a lipid-rich core and a thin fibrous cap (i.e., vulnerable plaque) was detected by CCTA. The patient was warned about his risk and prescribed four cardiac medications and scheduled for angioplasty even though he fell outside the guidelines by not having a severe obstructive blockage. Four days later, unfortunately, he had a heart attack before starting his medications and before angioplasty. Conclusion: CCTA with biomarker testing may have an important role in predicating acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in Special Operations Forces (SOF) Soldiers with at least one risk factor. Conventional stress testing and nuclear scanning would not detect non-flow-limiting vulnerable plaques in vulnerable patients. In order to collect more data, the PROTECT Registry has been started to evaluate asymptomatic Soldiers with at least one risk factor referred to the clinic by military physicians.

Keywords: cardiac risk; heart attack; CCTA; risk assessment

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Keyword: cellulitis

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Lesions Arising in a Tattoo of an Active Duty US Marine Corps Woman

Winn AE, Rivard SC, Green B. 16(2). 96 - 100. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Tattoos are ubiquitous in modern society; however, they do not come without risk of medical complications. When complications arise in the military community, a particularly thorough differential diagnosis should be considered based on the increased exposures service members have during deployment and throughout their military career. We present a case of a 38-year-old active duty US Marine Corps woman with worsening skin lesions arising within a tattoo 6 weeks after acquiring the tattoo on her right chest. Given environmental exposures from a recent deployment to the Middle East, a wide differential was considered. Ultimately, a skin biopsy revealed early hypertrophic scar formation responsive to therapy with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog&reg; [ILK]). However, given the Marine had recently deployed and is part of the active duty population, consideration of alternative, albeit rare, etiologies was imperative.

Keywords: scar, hypertrophic; keloid collagen; tattoo; allergy, red ink; Mycobacterium, cutaneous atypical; sacroidosis, cutaneous; foreign body granuloma; cellulitis

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Keyword: cellulose

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Evaluation of NuStat®, a Novel Nonimpregnated Hemostatic Dressing, Compared With Combat Gauze™ in Severe Traumatic Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Hillis GR, Yi CJ, Amrani DL, Akers TW, Schwartz RB, Wedmore I, McManus JG. 14(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze™ (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat® (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage. Methods: A complex penetrating femoral artery groin injury was made using a 5.5mm vascular punch followed by 45 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage in 15 swine. The hemostatic dressings were randomized using a random sequence generator and then assigned to the animals. Three minutes of manual pressure was applied with each agent after the free bleed. Hextend™ bolus (500mL) was subsequently rapidly infused using a standard pressure bag along with the addition of maintenance fluids to maintain blood pressure. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded every 10 minutes and additionally at critical time points defined in the protocol. Primary end points included immediate hemostasis upon release of manual pressure (T0), hemostasis at 60 minutes, and rebleeding during the 60-minute observation period. Results: NS was statistically superior to CG in a 5.5mm traumatic hemorrhage model at T0 for immediate hemostasis (ρ = .0475), duration of application time (ρ = .0093), use of resuscitative fluids (ρ = .0042) and additional blood loss after application (ρ = .0385). NS and CG were statistically equivalent for hemostasis at 60 minutes, rebleeding during the study, and the additional secondary metrics, although the trend indicated that in a larger sample size, NS could prove statistical superiority in selected categories. Conclusions: In this porcine model of uncontrolled hemorrhage, NS improved immediate hemorrhage control, stability, and use of fluid in a 60-minute severe porcine hemorrhage model. In this study, NS demonstrated equivalence to CG at achieving long-term hemostasis and the prevention of rebleed after application. NS was shown to be an efficacious choice for hemorrhage control in combat and civilian emergency medical service environments.

Keywords: EMS; hemostatic dressing; hemorrhage, uncontrolled; hemorrhage, severe; traumatic injuries; NuStat; NS; CG; silica; bamboo; cellulose; Combat Gauze™; kaolin

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Keyword: cervical collar

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Walking the Plank

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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Keyword: cervical spinal injury

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Walking the Plank

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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Keyword: CG

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Evaluation of NuStat®, a Novel Nonimpregnated Hemostatic Dressing, Compared With Combat Gauze™ in Severe Traumatic Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Hillis GR, Yi CJ, Amrani DL, Akers TW, Schwartz RB, Wedmore I, McManus JG. 14(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze™ (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat® (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage. Methods: A complex penetrating femoral artery groin injury was made using a 5.5mm vascular punch followed by 45 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage in 15 swine. The hemostatic dressings were randomized using a random sequence generator and then assigned to the animals. Three minutes of manual pressure was applied with each agent after the free bleed. Hextend™ bolus (500mL) was subsequently rapidly infused using a standard pressure bag along with the addition of maintenance fluids to maintain blood pressure. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded every 10 minutes and additionally at critical time points defined in the protocol. Primary end points included immediate hemostasis upon release of manual pressure (T0), hemostasis at 60 minutes, and rebleeding during the 60-minute observation period. Results: NS was statistically superior to CG in a 5.5mm traumatic hemorrhage model at T0 for immediate hemostasis (ρ = .0475), duration of application time (ρ = .0093), use of resuscitative fluids (ρ = .0042) and additional blood loss after application (ρ = .0385). NS and CG were statistically equivalent for hemostasis at 60 minutes, rebleeding during the study, and the additional secondary metrics, although the trend indicated that in a larger sample size, NS could prove statistical superiority in selected categories. Conclusions: In this porcine model of uncontrolled hemorrhage, NS improved immediate hemorrhage control, stability, and use of fluid in a 60-minute severe porcine hemorrhage model. In this study, NS demonstrated equivalence to CG at achieving long-term hemostasis and the prevention of rebleed after application. NS was shown to be an efficacious choice for hemorrhage control in combat and civilian emergency medical service environments.

Keywords: EMS; hemostatic dressing; hemorrhage, uncontrolled; hemorrhage, severe; traumatic injuries; NuStat; NS; CG; silica; bamboo; cellulose; Combat Gauze™; kaolin

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Keyword: Chain of Survival

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The Ranger First Responder Program and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Implementation: A Whole-Community Approach to Reducing Mortality From Active Violent Incidents

Fisher AD, Callaway DW, Robertson JN, Hardwick SA, Bobko JP, Kotwal RS. 15(3). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Active violent incidents are dynamic and challenging situations that can produce a significant amount of preventable deaths. Lessons learned from the military's experience in Afghanistan and Iraq through the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the 75th Ranger Regiment's Ranger First Responder Program have helped create the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC) to address the uniqueness of similar wounding patterns and to end preventable deaths. We propose a whole-community approach to active violent incidents, using the C-TECC Trauma Chain of Survival and a tiered approach for training and responsibilities: the first care provider, nonmedical professional first responders, medical first responders, and physicians and trauma surgeons. The different tiers are critical early links in the Chain of Survival and this approach will have a significant impact on active violent incidents.

Keywords: Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care; Ranger First Responder Program; Committee on Emergency Casualty Care; wounding patterns; Chain of Survival; preventable death

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Keyword: chemdestruction

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: chemoprophylaxis

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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Keyword: chest seal

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Management of Open Pneumothorax in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 13-02

Butler FK, DuBose JJ, Otten EJ, Bennett DR, Gerhardt RT, Kheirabadi BS, Gross K, Cap AP, Littlejohn LF, Edgar EP, Shackelford S, Blackbourne LH, Kotwal RS, Holcomb JB, Bailey JA. 13(3). 81 - 86. (Journal Article)

Abstract

During the recent United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) and Joint Trauma System (JTS) assessment of prehospital trauma care in Afghanistan, the deployed director of the Joint Theater Trauma System (JTTS), CAPT Donald R. Bennett, questioned why TCCC recommends treating a nonlethal injury (open pneumothorax) with an intervention (a nonvented chest seal) that could produce a lethal condition (tension pneumothorax). New research from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) has found that, in a model of open pneumothorax treated with a chest seal in which increments of air were added to the pleural space to simulate an air leak from an injured lung, use of a vented chest seal prevented the subsequent development of a tension pneumothorax, whereas use of a nonvented chest seal did not. The updated TCCC Guideline for the battlefield management of open pneumothorax is: "All open and/ or sucking chest wounds should be treated by immediately applying a vented chest seal to cover the defect. If a vented chest seal is not available, use a non-vented chest seal. Monitor the casualty for the potential development of a subsequent tension pneumothorax. If the casualty develops increasing hypoxia, respiratory distress, or hypotension and a tension pneumothorax is suspected, treat by burping or removing the dressing or by needle decompression." This recommendation was approved by the required two-thirds majority of the Committee on TCCC in June 2013.

Keywords: pneumothorax; chest seal; TCCC Guideline

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Keyword: chest trauma, penetrating

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Prolonged Field Care of a Casualty With Penetrating Chest Trauma

Barnhart G, Cullinan W, Pickett JR. 16(4). 99 - 101. (Case Reports)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: Chikungunya

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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Chikungunya

Burnett MW. 14(4). 129 - 130. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Chikungunya is a rapidly emerging infectious disease caused by a virus of the genus Alphavirus, family Togaviridae. Most commonly, patients have an acute onset of fever with often debilitating symmetric joint discomfort that can relapse months after the initial infection. This infection is typically transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito, vectors that also transmit dengue and yellow fever. Special Operations Forces Medical Providers should be aware of this disease, which is currently being diagnosed worldwide.

Keywords: Chikungunya; infectious disease; virus; mosquito vector

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Keyword: chromoblastomycosis

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: Cimex lectularis

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Oral Steroids for Dermatitis

Fisher AD, Clarke J, Williams TK. 15(2). 8 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Contact/allergic dermatitis is frequently treated inappropriately with lower-than-recommended doses or inadequate duration of treatment with oral and intramuscular glucocorticoids. This article highlights a case of dermatitis in a Ranger Assessment and Selection Program student who was improperly treated over 2 weeks with oral steroids after being bit by Cimex lectularius, commonly known as bed bugs. The article also highlights the pitfalls of improper oral steroid dosing and provides reasoning for longer-duration oral steroid treatment.

Keywords: dermatitis; steroids; bed bugs; military; Cimex lectularis

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Keyword: cinnarizine

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Cinnarizine for Sea Sickness During a Remote Pacific Ocean Rescue Mission

Lyon RF, Rush SC, Roland T, Jethanamest D, Schawn CP, Kharod C. 15(2). 1 - 6. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Motion sickness can be a limiting factor for sea and air missions. We report the experience of a Pararescue (PJ) team on a Pacific Ocean rescue mission in which motion sickness was prevalent. Cinnarizine, an antagonist of H1-histamine receptors, was used to treat affected PJs. We also report findings of a survey of PJs regarding motion sickness. A family of four on a disabled sailboat 900 miles off the coast of Mexico sent out a distress call because their 1-year-old daughter became severely ill with fever and diarrhea. Four PJs were deployed on a C-130, performed a free-fall parachute insertion into the ocean, and boarded the sailboat. All four PJs experienced onset of motion sickness at some point during the early part of the mission and symptoms persisted through the first 24 hours. Three PJs experienced ongoing nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensory imbalances. The captain of the sailboat offered the three sick PJs approximately 18mg of cinnarizine two or three times a day with relief of symptoms and improvement on operational effectiveness. A new, anonymous, voluntary survey of Air National Guard PJs and combat rescue officers revealed that 78.4% of Operators have experienced motion sickness at sea. We discuss the current theories on motion sickness, the effect of motion sickness on operational effectiveness, and research on treatment of motion sickness, including the medication cinnarizine.

Keywords: motion sickness; cinnarizine; military operations; military medicine; sea sickness; medication, motion sickness; pararescue

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Keyword: cleaning methodologies

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An Evaluation of Common Cleaning Methods for the Removal of a Clinical Isolate of Escherichia coli in Personal Hydration System Water Reservoirs

Helmus S, Blythe J, Guevara P, Washington MA. 16(2). 101 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Waterborne infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Personal hydration packs have been used by military personnel since the Gulf War and are now a common issue item. Since military personnel tend to operate under austere conditions and may use a variety of water sources, preventing the acquisition of waterborne infections is extremely important. Further, since hydration pack water reservoir replacements may not be available during combat operations, the development of a reliable cleaning protocol for use in the field is essential. Several methods for cleaning have been described. In the current study, three common cleaning methodologies-bleach treatment, baking soda treatment, and proprietary CAMELBAK Cleaning Tabs™-were evaluated for the ability to remove Escherichia coli contamination from hydration pack water reservoirs. The study results suggest that the use of bleach and proprietary CAMELBAK tablets should be encouraged since they both operate by releasing bactericidal chlorine compounds into solution, which is more effective at reducing post-treatment bacterial burden. It should be noted that no method was 100% effective at completely eliminating bacteria from the reservoirs and that mechanical cleaning was not attempted.

Keywords: CAMELBAK Cleaning Tab&tm;; infection, waterborne; hydration packs, personal; cleaning methodologies; Escherichia coli contamination

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Keyword: clinical evidence

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No Shit, There I Was: The Case for Narrative-Based Clinical Knowledge

Froede K. 11(4). 21 - 24. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Relevant literature demonstrates the absolute necessity of Special Operations Forces (SOF) clinical narratives to the medics they teach and care they deliver, and discusses the concept of narrative pedagogy via review of extant literature and also SOF-specific clinical literature. SOF clinicians (medics, physicians' assistants, physicians, etc.) provide advanced trauma, clinical, and preventive care in the most austere of combat environments. SOF clinicians have adopted specific paradigms for schooling, teaching, learning, and practice. An overarching theme within SOF-generated clinical literature is that of hermeneutics and the narrative pedagogy; SOF clinicians generate their evidence from experience and frequently tell stories to educate their peers, colleagues, and student medics to increase the knowledge of the entire community.

Keywords: Special Forces; medics; narrative pedagogy; hermeneutics; clinical evidence

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Keyword: clinical guidelines

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Clinical Guidelines for Stellate Ganglion Block to Treat Anxiety Associated With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Mulvaney SW, Lynch JH, Kotwal RS. 15(2). 79 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Multiple case series published in the peer-reviewed medical literature have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of right-sided stellate ganglion block (SGB) for the treatment of anxiety symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As this is a new indication for a well-established procedure, there is relatively little information available to assist clinicians in determining the utility of SGB for their patients. Presented are clinical guidelines to assist the provider with patient selection, patient education, and follow-up. Also described is a technique to perform SGB under ultrasoundguidance. Although additional rigorous clinical research is needed to further investigate SGB for the treatment of anxiety symptoms associated with PTSD, these guidelines can also assist clinical investigators in their participant selection, design, and conduct of future research as it pertains to this important topic.

Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder; stellate ganglion block; ultrasound, guided; anxiety; clinical guidelines

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Keyword: clinical presentation

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Shishido AA, Letizia A. 15(4). 99 - 101. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012, and subsequently spread to other countries in Europe and Asia, and to the United States. As of August 2015, the disease has infected 1,400 patients, of whom 500 have died, yielding a 36% mortality rate. The exact mode of transmission is unknown and there are no proven treatments. While the overall case rate for MERS has been low, its presence in countries that house US troops, unknown mode of transmission, and high mortality rate make it a significant health concern among US military personnel.

Keywords: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome; Coronavirus; epidemiology; clinical presentation

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Keyword: coagulation

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Point-of-Care Coagulation Testing for Trauma Patients in a Military Setting: A Prospective Study

Cotte J, d'Aranda E, Chauvin V, Kaiser E, Meaudre E. 13(4). 59 - 62. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background and Objective: Almost 50% of military trauma patients who need transfusions develop a coagulopathy. Immediately treating this coagulopathy improves the patient's prognosis. Field military hospitals often lack laboratory devices needed to diagnose a clinically significant coagulopathy and have limited blood product resources such as plasma. Point-of-care (POC) devices for the measurement of prothrombin time (PT) are available and have been tested in a variety of situations, including hemorrhagic surgery. The authors compared a POC device, the Coaguchek XS Pro (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Basel, Switzerland), with laboratory measures for determining the PT in military trauma patients in a field hospital. Methods: This single-center prospective study was designed to compare POC coagulation monitoring with traditional laboratory testing. It was conducted at the French military hospital located at Kabul International Airport. All patients with trauma injuries resulting from war operations were included. A blood sample was drawn immediately on admission. PT was determined both in the laboratory and with use of the Coaguchek XS pro. Results: Forty patients with war trauma were enrolled during a 3-month period. The authors recorded 69 measurements. The two methods were correlated with a correlation coefficient of 0.78 (ρ < .001). The Bland- Altman plot showed a mean difference of 5.8% (95% confidence interval -14.9% to 26.6%). Using a PT cutoff of 60%, POC had a sensitivity of 77.1% and a specificity of 94.1%. Results from POC PT measurement were available within a mean of 25.8 minutes before laboratory measures. Conclusions: The Coaguchek XS Pro device can be used successfully in an austere environment without compromising its performance.

Keywords: point-of-care; coagulation; prothrombin time; military trauma

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Keyword: cocaine

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: cognitive

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Sleep As A Strategy For Optimizing Performance

Yarnell AM, Deuster PA. 16(1). 81 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Recovery is an essential component of maintaining, sustaining, and optimizing cognitive and physical performance during and after demanding training and strenuous missions. Getting sufficient amounts of rest and sleep is key to recovery. This article focuses on sleep and discusses (1) why getting sufficient sleep is important, (2) how to optimize sleep, and (3) tools available to help maximize sleep-related performance. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts safety and readiness through reduced cognitive function, more accidents, and increased military friendly-fire incidents. Sufficient sleep is linked to better cognitive performance outcomes, increased vigor, and better physical and athletic performance as well as improved emotional and social functioning. Because Special Operations missions do not always allow for optimal rest or sleep, the impact of reduced rest and sleep on readiness and mission success should be minimized through appropriate preparation and planning. Preparation includes periods of "banking" or extending sleep opportunities before periods of loss, monitoring sleep by using tools like actigraphy to measure sleep and activity, assessing mental effectiveness, exploiting strategic sleep opportunities, and consuming caffeine at recommended doses to reduce fatigue during periods of loss. Together, these efforts may decrease the impact of sleep loss on mission and performance.

Keywords: actigraphy; caffeine; cognitive; napping; readiness; sleep

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Keyword: colloid

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Effect of Hetastarch Bolus in Trauma Patients Requiring Emergency Surgery

Ryan ML, Ogilvie MP, Pereira BM, Gomez-Rodriguez JC, Livingstone AS, Proctor KG. 12(3). 57 - 67. (Journal Article)

Abstract

If blood products are not available, current military guidelines recommend a hetastarch bolus (HEX, Hextend ™ 6% hetastarch in lactated electrolyte buffer, www. hospira.com) for initial treatment of hypovolemic shock in the field. We previously reported that a HEX bolus plus standard of care (SOC = crystalloid plus blood products) was safe during initial resuscitation in 1714 trauma patients. This study tests the hypothesis that HEX+SOC is more effective than SOC alone for volume expansion in trauma patients requiring urgent operation. Methods: From July 2009 to August 2010, the records from all adults who required emergency surgery within 4 hours of admission were screened for a retrospective cohort observational study. Burns, and those with primary neurosurgical or orthopedic indications, were excluded. The study population was comprised of 281 patients with blunt (n = 72) or penetrating (n = 209) trauma; 141 received SOC and 140 received SOC+HEX in the emergency room only (ER, n = 81) or the ER and operating room (OR, n = 59). Each case was reviewed with waiver of consent. Results: After penetrating injury, with SOC, the injury severity score was 17 and mortality was 12%; the corresponding values in the HEX(ER) and HEX(OR) groups were 19-21 and 8%, but these apparent differences did not reach significance. However, in patients receiving HEX, initial heart rate was higher, base deficit was lower, and hematocrit was lower (consistent with relative hypovolemia), even though blood product requirements were reduced, and urine output was greater (all ρ < 0.05). These effects were absent in patients with blunt trauma. Platelet consumption was higher with HEX after either penetrating (ρ = 0.004) or blunt trauma (ρ = 0.045), but coagulation tests were unchanged. Conclusion: HEX is safe for initial resuscitation in young patients who required urgent operation after penetrating trauma, but there was no apparent effect after blunt trauma. A bolus of HEX reduced transfusion requirements without inducing coagulopathy or causing renal dysfunction, but a randomized controlled trial is necessary to eliminate the possibility of selection bias.

Keywords: hydroxyethyl starch; Hextend®; trauma resuscitation; colloid; Tactical Combat Casualty Care; first responder; field medic

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Keyword: Colombia

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Surveillance for Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Dirofilaria immitis in Dogs From Three Cities in Colombia

McCown ME, Monterroso VH, Cardona W. 14(1). 86 - 90. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases are made up in large proportion by vector-borne diseases (VBD). Dogs are parasitized by disease vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes, making dogs adequate reservoirs for zoonoses. Risk of exposure to VBD exists for the U.S. military personnel and Military Working Dogs (MWD) when deployed globally. The importance of canine VBD surveillance relates to veterinary and public health significance for the host nations as well as for the U.S. troops and MWDs. The objective of this work was to survey dogs from the cities of Medellin, Barranquilla, and Cartagena in Colombia to determine the prevalence of heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis), Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), and anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum). Methods: Canine (n = 498) blood samples (1-3mL) were collected during July 2011 from Medellin (n = 175), Barranquilla (n = 223), and Cartagena (n = 100) and were tested on-site using IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® Test Kits. Results: The overall combined sample prevalence of E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, D. immitis, and B. burgdorferi was 62%, 33%, 1.6%, and 0%, respectively. In Medellin, 26% of the samples were positive for E. canis, 12% for A. phagocytophilum, and 0% for D. immitis. In Barranquilla, sample prevalence for E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis was 83%, 40%, and 2%, respectively. In Cartagena, E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis prevalence was 80%, 51%, and 3%, respectively. Conclusion: E. canis and A. phagocytophilum are present in all three surveyed cities. There is a higher sample prevalence for E. canis and A. phagocytophilum than for D. immitis. In addition, the prevalence for these organisms is higher in Barranquilla and Cartagena than in Medellin. Overall, this study emphasizes the value of surveillance for VBDs in order to determine disease prevalence, develop risk assessments, and implement control measures.

Keywords: zoonotic disease; parasites; vector-borne disease; dogs; public health; surveillance; Colombia

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Point Prevalence Survey for Tick-Borne Pathogens in Military Working Dogs, Shelter Animals, and Pet Populations in Northern Colombia

McCown ME, Alleman A, Sayler KA, Chandrashekar R, Thatcher B, Tyrrell P, Stillman B, Beall M, Barbet AF. 14(4). 81 - 85. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Based on the high tick-borne pathogen results from a 2011 surveillance study in three Colombian cities, an in-depth point prevalence survey was conducted to determine the seroprevalence of tick-borne pathogens at a specific point in time in 70 working dogs, 101 shelter dogs, and 47 client-owned dogs in Barranquilla, Colombia. Results: Of the 218 serum samples, 163 (74%) were positive for Ehrlichia canis and 116 (53%) for Anaplasma platys. Exposure to tick-borne pathogens was highest in shelter and working dogs where more than 90% of the samples were seropositive or positive on polymerase chain reaction for one or more organisms as compared to 51% in client-owned animals. Conclusion: Surveillance for exposure to tickborne pathogens provides vital information necessary to protect and conserve the health of local humans and animals, deployed military service members, and working dogs in various parts of the world. This study and resultant data demonstrate the value of following a broadbased surveillance study with a more specific, focused analysis in an area of concern. This area's high levels of exposure warrant emphasis by medical planners and advisors on precautionary measures for military dogs, Special Operations Forces personnel, and the local public.

Keywords: tick-borne pathogens; point prevalence; surveillance; US Military SOF; military working dogs; Colombia

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Keyword: combat

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Development of a Rugged handheld Device for Real-Time Analysis of heart Rate: Entropy in Critically Ill Patients

Mejaddam AY, van der Wilden GM, Chang Y, Cropano CM, Sideris AC, Hwbejire JO, Velmahos GC, Alam HB, de Moya MA, King DR. 13(1). 29 - 33. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: The usefulness of heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate complexity (HRC) analysis as a potential triage tool has been limited by the inability to perform real-time analysis on a portable, handheld monitoring platform. Through a multidisciplinary effort of academia and industry, we report on the development of a rugged, handheld and noninvasive device that provides HRV and HRC analysis in real-time in critically ill patients. Methods: After extensive re-engineering, real-time HRV and HRC analyses were incorporated into an existing, rugged, handheld monitoring platform. Following IRB approval, the prototype device was used to monitor 20 critically ill patients and 20 healthy controls to demonstrate real-world discriminatory potential. Patients were compared to healthy controls using a Student's t test as well as repeated measures analysis. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were generated for HRV and HRC. Results: Critically ill patients had a mean APACHE-2 score of 15, and over 50% were mechanically ventilated and requiring vasopressor support. HRV and HRC were both lower in the critically ill patients compared to healthy controls (ρ < 0.0001) and remained so after repeated measures analysis. The area under the ROC for HRV and HRC was 0.95 and 0.93, respectively. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of real-time, handheld HRV and HRC analysis. This prototype device successfully discriminates critically ill patients from healthy controls. This may open up possibilities for real-world use as a trauma triage tool, particularly on the battlefield.

Keywords: heart rate complexity; heart rate variability; entropy; triage; combat

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A Study of Prehospital Medical Documentation by Military Medical Providers During Precombat Training

McGarry AB, Mott JC, Kotwal RS. 15(1). 79 - 84. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Documentation of medical care provided is paramount for improving performance and ultimately reducing morbidity and mortality. However, documentation of prehospital trauma care on the battlefield has historically been suboptimal. Modernization of prehospital documentation tools have aligned data and information to be gathered with up-to-date treatment being rendered through Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) protocols and practices. Our study was conducted to evaluate TCCC Card completion, and accuracy of card completion, by military medical providers conducting precombat training through the Tactical Combat Medical Care Course. Study results do not show a deficiency in TCCC documentation training as provided by this course which should translate to adequate ability to accurately document prehospital trauma care on the battlefield. Leadership emphasis and community acceptance is required to increase compliance with prehospital documentation.

Keywords: combat; documentation; prehospital; trauma

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Battlefield Analgesia: TCCC Guidelines Are Not Being Followed

Schauer SG, Robinson JB, Mabry RL, Howard JT. 15(1). 85 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Servicemembers injured in combat often experience moderate to severe acute pain. Early and effective pain control in the prehospital setting has been shown to reduce the sequelae of untreated pain. Current data suggest that lack of point-of-injury (POI) analgesia has significant, downstream effects on healthcare quality and associated costs. Methods: This was a process improvement project to determine the current rate of adherence to existing prehospital pain management guidelines. The records of patients who had sustained a major injury and met current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) criteria for POI analgesia from July 2013 through March 2014 were reviewed to determine if pain medication was given in accordance with existing guidelines, including medication administration and routes. On 31 October 2013, the new TCCC guidelines were released. The "before" period was from July 2013 through October 2013. The "after" period was from November 2013 through March 2014. Results: During the project period, there were 185 records available for review, with 135 meeting TCCC criteria for POI analgesia (68 pre-, 66 postintervention). Prior to 31 October 2013, 17% of study patients received analgesia within guidelines at the POI compared with 35% in the after period. The most common medication administered preand post-release was oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate. Special Operations Forces had higher adherence rates to TCCC analgesia guidelines than conventional forces, but these still were low. Conclusion: Less than half of all eligible combat casualties receive any analgesia at the POI. Further research is needed to determine the etiology of such poor adherence to current TCCC guidelines.

Keywords: analgesia; point of injury; combat; fentanyl; ketamine; morphine; military

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Accuracy and Reliability of Triage at the Point of Injury During Operation Enduring Freedom

Plackett TP, Nielsen JS, Hahn CD, Rames JM. 16(1). 51 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Accurate point-of-injury reports and casualty evacuation requests allow for optimal resource utilization. However, the accuracy of these reports has not been previously studied. Methods: All trauma patients treated at one of three forward surgical elements (FSE) in Western Afghanistan during May-August 2012 were prospectively included. North American Treaty Organization (NATO) 9-line medical evacuation request and mechanism, injuries, signs, and treatments (MIST) reports were compared to the initial findings on arrival to the FSE. Results: There were 179 casualty evacuation reports and 298 patients. NATO 9-line and/or MIST reports were available for 70% of these. Triage was accurate for 77%, but there was 17% overtriage and 6% undertriage (k = .619). The number of patients was accurate in 95% of reports, the mechanism of injury was accurate for 98%, and the body region involved was accurate for 92% (k = .850, .943, and .870, respectively). There was no difference between the mean vital signs at the point of injury or on arrival at the FSE. When analyzed individually, however, there was no correlation between each casualty's pulse, mean arterial pressure, or respiratory rate between the two time points. Discussion: There was a high degree of correlation between the triage category of casualty evacuation reports and the patient's actual medical needs. There was also a highly significant association with the number of patients, mechanism of injury, and bodily injuries. However, there was discordance between the vital signs at an individual level, which may represent regression toward the resuscitation threshold.

Keywords: triage; trauma; war; Afghanistan; combat; accuracy

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The Highest-Impact Combat Orthopedic and Extremity Injury Articles in the Past 70 Years: A Citation Analysis

Nam J, Do WS, Stinner DJ, Wenke JC, Orman JA, Kragh JF. 17(1). 55 - 66. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify the most-cited peer-reviewed combat orthopedic and extremity injury articles published during the past 70 years. Orthopedic trauma presents ongoing challenges to both US civilian and military healthcare personnel. Improvements in combat trauma and extremity injury survival and quality of life are the result of advances in orthopedic trauma research. The Web of Science (including Science Citation Index) was searched for the most cited articles related to combat orthopedic trauma, published from 1940 to 2013. The most-cited article was by Owens et al. (Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, 2007; 137 citations). Between the 1990s and 2000s, there was a 256% increase in the number of highly cited publications. A total of 69% of the articles were on the topics of comorbid vascular trauma (25%), epidemiology (23%), or orthopedic trauma (21%). This study identifies some of the most important contributions to combat orthopedic trauma and research and the areas of greatest scientific interest to the specialty during the past seven decades and highlights key research that has contributed to the evolution of modern combat orthopedic traumatology.

Keywords: combat; orthopaedics; trauma; extremity injury

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Keyword: Combat Application Tourniquet

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Tourniquet Effectiveness When Placed Over the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology

Peponis T, Ramly E, Roth KA, King DR. 16(2). 17 - 19. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats (CBRNs) are uncommon; however, Special Operations Forces (SOF) are likely at the highest risk for tactical exposure. In the event of exposure, SOF will rely on the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) for survival. Doctrine dictates that a tourniquet should be applied over the JSLIST after a severe limb injury with hemorrhage. There is no evidence in the literature that the Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T), which is currently the most widely available tourniquet on the battlefield, can effectively occlude arterial blood flow when applied over the JSLIST. We hypothesized that C-A-T application over the JSLIST would be ineffective at occluding arterial blood flow in the lower extremity. Materials and Methods: Following institutional review board approval, 20 healthy volunteers were recruited to participate. All volunteers wore the G3 Combat Pant and they donned the JSLIST. First, an operating room pneumatic tourniquet (gold standard) was applied in the proximal thigh and inflated to 300mmHg. Distal arterial interrogation was performed by examination of distal pulses and noninvasive arterial plethysmography wave-form analysis. After a 1-hour recovery period, the C-A-T was applied and tightened. A double routing technique was used, with three 180° turns of the windlass. The same distal interrogation followed. Half of the volunteers had the pneumatic tourniquet applied first, and the other half had the C-A-T applied first. Results: All volunteers had palpable pulses at baseline despite a wide range in volunteer body mass index. Distal pulses were absent in all volunteers following inflation of the pneumatic tourniquet as well as tightening of the C-A-T. The observed difference between the mean amplitude of plethysmographic waveforms was not different. Conclusion: The C-A-T effectively occludes arterial flow in the lower extremity, even when applied over the JSLIST. This finding supports existing military doctrine for tourniquet application over the JSLIST in the nonpermissive CBRN environment to control extremity exsanguination.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; Combat Application Tourniquet; Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology

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Keyword: combat burns

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Experience in Treating Combat Burns in Afghanistan by Using Silver-Nylon Dressing

Pozza M, Matthew P, Lunardi F. 14(1). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Background: On the battlefield, insidious and devastating weapons like the improvised explosive device (IED) rapidly emit extreme heat (thousands of degrees), create a shock wave (overpressure) that can hurl bodies long distances (inducing secondary fall lesions), and deliver thousands of pieces of shrapnel over hundreds of meters. Materials and Methods: Very often, Soldiers injured by an IED blast are inside their vehicle. Subsequently, they are exposed to the thermal effects of the blast. Frequently, these patients have complex wounds that consist of extensive burn areas, bone fractures, and internal organ lesions. The use of silver-nylon burn wrap dressing is widely documented for its bactericidal properties. Silverlon® Burn Dressings is an elastic bandage made of nylon and plated with pure metallic silver. Results: In summer 2008, in a U.S. advanced Role 2 facility, two U.S. Soldiers with extensive second- and third-degree burn injuries were successfully treated with the use of Silverlon Burn Dressings and Silverlon® Burn Gloves. Conclusions: From this experience emerged the ease of use silver-nylon dressing in treating badly burned Soldiers on the battlefield.

Keywords: silver-nylon dressing; combat burns; emergency burn treatment

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Keyword: combat casualty care

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Prehospital Emergency Care: Evaluation of the Junctional Emergency Tourniquet Tool With a Perfused Cadaver Model

Gates K, Baer L, Holcomb JB. 14(1). 40 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Junctional bleeding from the groin is a leading cause of potentially preventable death on the battlefield. To address this problem, a novel device called the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT™) was developed. The JETT was designed to stabilize pelvic ring fractures while controlling lower extremity bleeding sustained during high-energy traumatic events on the battlefield and in the civilian environment. Our purpose was to assess the effectiveness of the JETT in the control of simulated life threatening hemorrhage from proximal injuries in the groin of a perfused cadaver. Methods: The JETT was compared with the standard issue combat tourniquet and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared junctional hemorrhage control clamp (CRoC™) in a perfused human cadaver model. The JETT's ability to stop pulsatile flow at the common femoral artery was assessed through proximal aorta and distal measurements of arterial flow rates and pressures. Results: In three cadavers, when the JETT or the CRoC was applied in the groin, there was an immediate cessation of fluid flow from the common femoral artery while the inlet flow aortic pulsatile pressure was maintained. However, the time to bilateral application of the JETT was faster (10 seconds vs. 68 seconds) than bilateral sequential application of two CRoC devices. Conclusions: The JETT is a single device capable of effectively and quickly controlling bilateral lower extremity junctional hemorrhage at normal physiological blood pressures.

Keywords: hemorrhage; tourniquet; wounds and injuries; junctional hemorrhage; combat casualty care; femoral artery

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Imaging Comparison of Pelvic Ring Disruption and Injury Reduction With Use of the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool for Preinjury and Postinjury Pelvic Dimensions: A Cadaveric Study With Computed Tomography

Gary JL, Kumaravel M, Gates K, Burgess AR, Routt ML, Welch T, Podbielski JM, Beeler AM, Holcomb JB. 14(4). 30 - 34. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Complex dismounted blast injuries from (improvised) explosive devices have caused amputations of the lower extremities associated with open injuries to the pelvic ring, resulting in life-threatening hemorrhage from disruption of blood vessels near the pelvic ring. Provisional stabilization of the skeletal pelvis by circumferential pelvic compression provides stability for intrapelvic clots and reduces the volume of the pelvis, thereby limiting the amount of hemorrhage. The Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool™ (JETT™; North American Rescue Products, http://www.narescue .com) is a junctional hemorrhage control device developed to treat pelvic and lower extremity injuries sustained in high-energy trauma on the battlefield and in the civilian environment. Our purpose was to evaluate the compressive function of the JETT in the reduction of pelvic ring injuries in a cadaveric model. Methods: Radiographic comparison of pre (intact) and post pelvic ring disruption and injury was compared with radiographic measurements post reduction with the JETT device in two cadavers. The device's ability to reduce pelvic disruption and injury in a human cadaver model was assessed through measurements of the anteroposterior (AP) and transverse diameters obtained at the inlet and outlet of the pelvis. Results: Computed tomography (CT) scans demonstrated that JETT application effectively induced circumferential soft tissue compression that was evoked near anatomic reduction of the sacroiliac joint and symphysis pubis. Conclusions: The JETT is capable of effectively reducing an AP compression type III injury (APC III) pelvic ring disruption and injury by approximating the inlet and outlet dimensions toward predisruption measurements. Such a degree of reduction suggests that the JETT device may be suitable in the acute setting for provisional pelvic stabilization.

Keywords: open book pelvis; pelvic binder; wounds and injuries; hemorrhage, junctional; combat casualty care; pelvic ring disruption and injury; APC III injuries

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Evaluating Alternatives to Traditional Cotton Laparotomy Sponges for Blood Absorption in the Austere and Mobile Surgical Environment

Sirkin MR, Cook P, Davis KG. 15(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The operative control of noncompressible hemorrhage is the single largest impact that could be addressed in reducing the mortality on the battlefield. Laprotomy pads, traditionally used for hemorrhage evacuation, are made of woven cotton, and, while effective, their use requires a substantial amount of space and adds weight. This poses no concern in traditional operating rooms but is a hindrance for mobile providers and providers in austere environments. We sought to compare different absorptive compunds to ascertain their utility as alternatives for traditional laparotomy pads. Methods: Samples of cotton laparotomy pads, pure rayon sheets, rayon-polypropylene composite sheets, and non-polyester composite "microfiber" sheets were weighed and submerged in heparinized whole bovine blood. After saturation, the favrics were weighed, wrung dry, reweighed, and resubmerged. This process was performed for a total of three sequential submersions. The saturated weights and dry weights of each fabric were used to calculate how much blood each fabric could absorb initially and after multiple repeated uses. The initial densities of the four fabrics was calculated and compared. Results: The initial submersions demonstrated that 1g each of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 7.58g, 12.98g, 10.16g, and 9.73g of blood respectively. The second and third sequential trials, which were statistically similar, demonstrated that 1g of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropolyene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 1.73g, 2.83g, 2.3g, and 2.3g of blood, respectively. The calculated densities of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were 0.087g/cm³, .012g/cm³, 0.098g/cm³, and 0.093g/cm³, respectively. Conclusion: Per gram, rayon absorbed approximately 1.7 times more blood thancotton and three-quarters the amount of the storage space. Rayon also retained its superior absorption abilites on repeated uses, demonstrating the potential for re-use in remote and austere environments. Thus, rayon could serve as a viable alternative to traditional cotton laparotomy pads in the austere environments.

Keywords: hemorrhage; laparotomy; cotton; rayon; sponge; austere; surgery; packing; combat casualty care; absorption; density

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Telemedicine to Reduce Medical Risk in Austere Medical Environments: The Virtual Critical Care Consultation (VC3) Service

Powell D, McLeroy RD, Riesberg J, Vasios WN, Miles EA, Dellavolpe J, Keenan S, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 102 - 109. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Case of a 5-Year-Old Foreign National Who Sustained Penetrating Abdominal Trauma

McLeroy RD, Ellis JL, Karnopp JM, Dellavolpe J, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Edwards M, Matos R, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 110 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Embedded Fragment Removal and Wound Debridement in a Non-US Partner Force Soldier

McLeroy RD, Spelman S, Jacobson E, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 114 - 116. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: combat exposure

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Warzone Stressor Exposure, Unit Support, and Emotional Distress Among U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen

Armstrong EL, Bryan CJ, Stephenson JA, Bryan AO, Morrow CE. 14(2). 26 - 34. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objectives: Combat exposure is associated with increased mental health symptom severity among military personnel, whereas unit support is associated with decreased severity. However, to date no studies have examined these relationships among U.S. Air Force pararescuemen (PJs), who have a unique and specialized career field that serves in both medical and combatant capacities. Design: Crosssectional self-report survey. Methods: Self-reported survey data regarding depression symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, perceived unit support, and exposure to traditional combat experiences (e.g., firefights) and medical consequences of combat (e.g., injuries and human remains) were collected from 194 PJs in seven rescue squadrons. Results: Levels of combat exposure were compared with previously published findings from combat units, and levels of medical exposure were compared with previously published findings among military medical professionals. Medical exposure intensity showed a stronger relationship with PTSD severity (ß = .365, p = .018) than with combat exposure intensity (ß = .136, ρ = .373), but neither combat nor medical exposure was associated with depression severity (ßs < .296, ρs > .164). Unit support was associated with less severe PTSD (ß = -.402, ρ < .001) and depression (ß = -.259, ρ = .062) symptoms and did not moderate the effects of combat or medical exposure. Conclusions: Medical stressors contribute more to PTSD among PJs than do traditional combat stressors. Unit support is associated with reduced PTSD and depression severity regardless of intensity of warzone exposure among PJs.

Keywords: unit support; military; trauma; combat exposure; pararescue; aftermath

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Keyword: Combat Gauze™

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A Salmon Thrombin-Fibrinogen Dressing Controls Hemorrhage in a Swine Model Compared to Standard Kaolin-Coated Gauze

Floyd CT, Rothwell SW, Martin R, Risdahl J, Olson CE. 12(1). 49 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Battlefield hemorrhage remains the primary cause of death in potentially survivable combat injuries with noncompressible hemorrhage. Fibrin dressings have great potential for reducing mortality, however are limited by cost, availability, and disease transmission. Methods: Dressings comprising a soluble dextran dressing with lyophilized salmon thrombin and fibrinogen (STF) were tested against Combat Gauze (CG) as a control in a standard swine femoral artery hemorrhage model. Ten female swine were used in each arm of the study. Results: Survival, blood loss, and time to hemostasis were similar between the two dressings. Two of the CGtreated animals that survived exsanguinated during the simulated walking maneuver. Three CG-treated animals formed a clot within the wound, but the clot did not adhere to the femoral artery injury. All ten of the STFtreated animals formed a clot in the wound that adhered and sealed the arterial injury site, even in three animals that did not survive. None of the STF-treated animals bled following the simulated walking maneuver. Three of five STF-treated animals reestablished blood flow distal to the injury as demonstrated by angiography. Conclusions: The STF dressing is as efficacious as CG in treating hemorrhage in this model of a lethal injury. Further, the STF dressing formed a fibrin sealant over the injury, whereas CG achieved hemostasis by occlusive compression of the artery. The sealant property of the STF dressing allowed reestablishment of antegrade blood flow into the distal limb, demonstrating that this dressing has the potential of limb salvage in addition to control of life-threatening hemorrhage.

Keywords: hemorrhage control; Fibrin dressing; Fibrinogen; Combat Gauze™; animal model

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Evaluation of NuStat®, a Novel Nonimpregnated Hemostatic Dressing, Compared With Combat Gauze™ in Severe Traumatic Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Hillis GR, Yi CJ, Amrani DL, Akers TW, Schwartz RB, Wedmore I, McManus JG. 14(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze™ (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat® (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage. Methods: A complex penetrating femoral artery groin injury was made using a 5.5mm vascular punch followed by 45 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage in 15 swine. The hemostatic dressings were randomized using a random sequence generator and then assigned to the animals. Three minutes of manual pressure was applied with each agent after the free bleed. Hextend™ bolus (500mL) was subsequently rapidly infused using a standard pressure bag along with the addition of maintenance fluids to maintain blood pressure. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded every 10 minutes and additionally at critical time points defined in the protocol. Primary end points included immediate hemostasis upon release of manual pressure (T0), hemostasis at 60 minutes, and rebleeding during the 60-minute observation period. Results: NS was statistically superior to CG in a 5.5mm traumatic hemorrhage model at T0 for immediate hemostasis (ρ = .0475), duration of application time (ρ = .0093), use of resuscitative fluids (ρ = .0042) and additional blood loss after application (ρ = .0385). NS and CG were statistically equivalent for hemostasis at 60 minutes, rebleeding during the study, and the additional secondary metrics, although the trend indicated that in a larger sample size, NS could prove statistical superiority in selected categories. Conclusions: In this porcine model of uncontrolled hemorrhage, NS improved immediate hemorrhage control, stability, and use of fluid in a 60-minute severe porcine hemorrhage model. In this study, NS demonstrated equivalence to CG at achieving long-term hemostasis and the prevention of rebleed after application. NS was shown to be an efficacious choice for hemorrhage control in combat and civilian emergency medical service environments.

Keywords: EMS; hemostatic dressing; hemorrhage, uncontrolled; hemorrhage, severe; traumatic injuries; NuStat; NS; CG; silica; bamboo; cellulose; Combat Gauze™; kaolin

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The Effects of Movement on Hemorrhage When QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ Is Used in a Hypothermic Hemodiluted Porcine Model

Garcia-Blanco J, Gegel B, Burgert J, Johnson S, Johnson D. 15(1). 57 - 60. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of QuikClot® Combat Gauze™ (QCG) to a control wound dressing to withstand movement in a porcine model with hemodilution and hypothermia. Design: This was a prospective study with a between-subjects experimental design. Twenty-six Yorkshire swine were randomly assigned to two groups: QCG (n = 13) or a control dressing (n = 13). Methods: The subjects were exsanguinated to 30% of the blood volume; hypothermia was induced for 10 minutes. The hemostatic agent, QCG, was placed into the wound, followed by standard wound packing. If hemostasis was achieved, 5L of crystalloid solution were rapidly administered intravenously, and the wound was again observed for rebleeding. If no bleeding occurred, the extremity on the side of the injury was systematically moved through flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction sequentially 10 times or until rebleeding occurred. Results: An independent t test indicated there were significant differences in the number of movements before rebleeding between the QCG group (mean ± standard deviation [SD], 32.92 ± 14.062) and the control group (mean ± SD, 6.15 ± 15.021) (ρ < .0001). Conclusion: QCG produces a robust clot that can withstand more movement than a control dressing.

Keywords: movement; hemorrhage; QuikClot®; Combat Gauze™; hypothermic hemodiluted porcine model

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Keyword: combat injury

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Pediatric Trauma: Management From an Austere Prospective

Gray J, Linklater DR, Johnston J, Donham B. 17(1). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Pediatric trauma represents a notable proportion of casualties encountered by Combat medics, physician assistants, and physicians while in the deployed setting. Most of these resuscitation teams receive limited pediatric- specific training and suffer subsequent emotional stress due the perceived high-stakes nature of caring for gravely wounded children. Even when children survive long enough to arrive at combat support hospitals, there remain high risks for morbidity and mortality for many of them. There are numerous reports of the epidemiological characteristics of these pediatric patients, the common mechanisms of injury, the hospital lengths of stay, and calls for pediatric-specific equipment and specialist presence in-theatre. There is scant literature, however, on child-specific battlefield resuscitation and training for initial providers, and we believe that, with appropriately tailored pediatric resuscitation education and training strategies, there is some potential for a reduction in the morbidity and mortality associated with childhood combat injury.

Keywords: pediatrics; combat injury; battlefield resuscitation

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Keyword: combat load

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Risk Factors for Injuries During Airborne Static Line Operations

Knapik JJ, Steelman R. 14(3). 95 - 97. (Journal Article)

Abstract

US Army airborne operations began in World War II. Continuous improvements in parachute technology, aircraft exit procedures, and ground landing techniques have reduced the number of injuries over time from 27 per 1,000 descents to about 6 per 1,000 jumps. Studies have identified a number of factors that put parachutists at higher injury risk, including high wind speeds, night jumps, combat loads, higher temperatures, lower fitness, heavier body weight, and older age. Airborne injuries can be reduced by limiting risker training (higher wind speeds, night jumps, combat load) to the minimum necessary for tactical and operational proficiency. Wearing a parachute ankle brace (PAB) will reduce ankle injuries without increasing other injuries and should be considered by all parachutists, especially those with prior ankle problems. A high level of upper body muscular endurance and aerobic fitness is not only beneficial for general health but also associated with lower injury risk during airborne training.

Keywords: wind; night; combat load; temperature; fitness; parachute ankle brace

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Keyword: combat medic

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Evaluation of Commercially Available Traction Splints for Battlefield Use

Studer NM, Grubb SM, Horn GT, Danielson PD. 14(2). 46 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Femoral fracture is a common battlefield injury with grave complications if not properly treated. Traction splinting has been proved to decrease morbidity and mortality in battlefield femur fractures. However, little standardization of equipment and training exists within the United States Armed Forces. Currently, four traction splints that have been awarded NATO Stock Numbers are in use: the CT-6 Leg Splint, the Kendrick Traction Device (KTD), the REEL Splint (RS), and the Slishman Traction Splint (STS). Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the differences between the four commercially available traction devices sold to the U.S. Government. Methods: After standardized instruction, subjects were timed and evaluated in the application of each of the four listed splints. Participant confidence and preferences were assessed by using Likert-scaled surveys. Free response remarks were collected before and after timed application. Results: Subjects had significantly different application times on the four devices tested (analysis of variance [ANOVA], ρ < .01). Application time for the STS was faster than that for both the CT-6 (t-test, ρ < .0028) and the RS (ρ < .0001). Subjects also rated the STS highest in all post-testing subjective survey categories and reported significantly higher confidence that the STS would best treat a femoral fracture (ρ < .00229). Conclusions: The STS had the best objective performance during testing and the highest subjective evaluation by participants. Along with its ability to be used in the setting of associated lower extremity amputation or trauma, this splint is the most suitable for battlefield use of the three devices tested.

Keywords: combat medic; medical training; traction splinting; Tactical Combat Casualty Care; femoral

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Keyword: combat readiness

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Clinical Relevance of Optimizing Vitamin D Status in Soldiers to Enhance Physical and Cognitive Performance

Wentz LM, Eldred JD, Henry MD, Berry-Caban CS. 14(1). 58 - 66. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency initiates a loss of combat effectiveness by impairing physical and cognitive functioning of combat Operators. Synthesized in response to sunlight and consumed in the diet, vitamin D functions as a hormone and regulates gene expression for nearly 300 genes throughout the human body. These target genes are involved processes essential to combat operations, such as immune function, response to stress, inflammation, and regulation of calcium movement. Since widespread vitamin D deficiency is observed across the U.S. population, poor vitamin D status is expected in Servicemembers. Physical conditions linked to vitamin D deficiency include increased risk for muscle or bone injury, muscle weakness, and reduced neuromuscular function. Hormonally, vitamin D levels have been positively correlated with testosterone levels. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with cognitive decline, depression, and may prolong recovery following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Since vitamin D deficiency elevates systemic inflammation, poor vitamin D status at the time of brain injury may prolong the inflammatory response and exacerbate postconcussive symptoms. Furthermore, veterans with mTBI experience chronic endocrine dysfunction. While vitamin D status has not been assessed post-mTBI, it is plausible that vitamin D levels are altered along with testosterone and growth hormone, raising the question of whether vitamin D deficiency results from trauma-related hormonal abnormalities or whether vitamin D deficiency increases the risk for endocrine dysfunction. Through its association with testosterone production, vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since testosterone levels are altered in veterans with PTSD. Therefore, vitamin D status has a significant impact on Operator health and performance. Supplementing vitamin D to deficient Operators provides a noninvasive and low-cost intervention to maintain combat force.

Keywords: vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; inflammation; neuroprotection; musculoskeletal performance; combat readiness

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Keyword: Combat Ready Clamp

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Evaluation and Testing of Junctional Tourniquets by Special Operation Forces Personnel: A Comparison of the Combat Ready Clamp and the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool

Theodoridis CA, Kafka KE, Perez AM, Curlee JB, Yperman PC, Oppermann N, Holmstroem E, Niegsch DD, Mannino A, Ramundo N. 16(1). 44 - 50. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Previous research has shown that external hemorrhage from proximal leg amputations and junctional sites represents 19.2% of potentially survivable lethal hemorrhage. A recent effort to address this problem has resulted in the development of various junctional tourniquets. This study assessed and compared two Tactical Combat Casualty Care Committee-approved junctional tourniquets, the Combat Ready Clamp (CRoC) and the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT), to contribute to their future development and to better inform on the decisions for device selection by military units. Aims of the study also were to provide concrete feedback and suggestions on how to effectively apply the devices. Methods: Via a specific questionnaire, 75 international attendees of the International Special Training Centre Medical Branch Special Operations Forces Advanced Medical First Responder course evaluated the CRoC and the JETT on different parameters. Both devices were tested objectively through timed applications aimed at stopping unilateral lower-extremity distal pulse on 33 of these 75 students, verified by palpation by Medical Branch instructors. Subjective and objective data were examined for mutual correlation. Results: Users ranked the JETT higher than the CRoC on all parameters, including effectiveness on the battlefield (ρ < .001), ease of use (ρ < .039), speed of application (ρ < .001), and not slipping in use (ρ < .001), although the difference on other parameters such as effectiveness in hemorrhage control was not statistically significant. Considering all parameters together, the JETT was evaluated as a better device than the CRoC (ρ < .001). The application time measurement suggested that the JETT was applied faster (by approximately 15 seconds on average; p < .001). The fastest CRoC and JETT applications were 37 and 29 seconds, respectively. The JETT was not easier to use or more effective than the CRoC; there was a 9% failure rate of the JETT occluding a unilateral common femoral artery. The JETT's efficacy in occluding a unilateral common femoral artery can be compromised if the device's pelvic binder is not sufficiently tightened prior to threading the T-handled pad. The CRoC's application time can be drastically reduced if the device is kept assembled and firm pressure is immediately asserted upon placement on the intended location through the vertical arm, then threading the device. Both devices were applied safely; no adverse effects were reported during or after application. Conclusion: Even though the JETT might be preferred by military medical providers, the CRoC still has merits. As both devices proved to occlude the arterial flow in no less than 54 seconds on average, they could be used to supplement direct pressure and wound packing, the latter two still being considered the immediate actions for inguinal bleeding control. Considering that the CRoC and the JETT can be applied in as little as 37 and 29 seconds, respectively, users should be effectively trained and entirely proficient on either device to justify their election as the primary countermeasure to hemorrhage not amenable to regular tourniquets.

Keywords: hemorrhage, junctional; tourniquet, junctional; Combat Ready Clamp; Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool; Tactical Combat Casualty Care Committee; hemorrhage control

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

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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Keyword: combat stress

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Preparing Soldiers for the Stress of Combat

Flanagan SC, Kotwal RS, Forsten RD. 12(2). 33 - 41. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Protracted use of stressors during military training courses does not necessarily enhance a Soldier's ability to regulate stress on the battlefield. Extensive stress during training can be a contributing factor to suboptimal neurologic and overall long-term health. Prolonged high-stress military training programs, as well as extended duration combat deployments, should be comprehensively scrutinized for opportunities to preserve health and increase combat effectiveness. Contemporary research in neuroscience and psychology can provide insight into training techniques that can be used to control stress and optimize performance in combat. Physical fitness training programs can elevate the stress threshold. Extensive situational training can also inoculate Soldiers to specific combat stressors. Training methods such as these will enable Soldiers to achieve higher levels of performance while under enemy fire and are encouraged for units deploying to combat.

Keywords: combat stress; military training; military deployment; physical training; posttraumatic stress disorder; sleep deprivation; stress inoculation training

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Keyword: combative

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The Agitated Patient

Goldstein S. 13(3). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Caring for an agitated patient can be a daunting task for the tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic. The cause, degree, and duration of agitation can vary among such individuals. These patients create a high-stress and disruptive environment, needing numerous people involved to control. One agitated patient can disrupt an entire tactical team or casualty evacuation. The patient's history and physical examination can give important clues to the cause, thereby directing treatment and leading to a quick and safe resolution. The variety of treatments for the agitated patient are just as numerous as the causes and range from verbal deescalation to medications and physical restraint, all of which have a risk-benefit profile to consider.

Keywords: agitated patients; brain; TBI; hypoxia; hypoglycemia; hypothermia; delirium; ketamine; dissociative; combative; sedation

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Keyword: combat-load

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Delayed Diagnosis of Pelvic hematoma without Fracture Due to Military Parachuting

Cunningham CW, Kotwal RS, Kragh JF. 13(2). 4 - 7. (Case Reports)

Abstract

The U.S. military has been conducting static-line parachute jumps for nearly a century. Beginning with World War II, military forces have also employed full-scale airborne operations as a method for insertion into combat. Through the years, injuries from blunt trauma as a result of static-line parachute jumps have evolved little with the refinement of equipment, training, and tactics. Parachute jumps continue to invoke primarily musculoskeletal injuries, especially to the lower extremities, back, neck, and head. These injuries are usually straightforward in their presentation and diagnosis. We describe the delayed diagnosis of a pelvic hematoma due to an uncommon blunt trauma jump injury. The purpose of this case report is to increase awareness of injury patterns during paratrooper operations, as well as to review the diagnosis and management of occult hemorrhage. Specific objectives for the readers are to (1) know the common injury types and patterns for airborne operations, (2) know the descent rate of T-10C/D parachutes and factors influencing the rate, (3) recognize signs and symptoms associated with a pelvic hematoma, and (4) recognize common complications resulting from a pelvic hematoma.

Keywords: airborne; paratrooper; parachute (T-10, T-11, SF-10); pelvic trauma; hemorrhage; hematoma; ultrasound; combat-load

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Keyword: Committee on Emergency Casualty Care

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The Ranger First Responder Program and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Implementation: A Whole-Community Approach to Reducing Mortality From Active Violent Incidents

Fisher AD, Callaway DW, Robertson JN, Hardwick SA, Bobko JP, Kotwal RS. 15(3). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Active violent incidents are dynamic and challenging situations that can produce a significant amount of preventable deaths. Lessons learned from the military's experience in Afghanistan and Iraq through the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the 75th Ranger Regiment's Ranger First Responder Program have helped create the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC) to address the uniqueness of similar wounding patterns and to end preventable deaths. We propose a whole-community approach to active violent incidents, using the C-TECC Trauma Chain of Survival and a tiered approach for training and responsibilities: the first care provider, nonmedical professional first responders, medical first responders, and physicians and trauma surgeons. The different tiers are critical early links in the Chain of Survival and this approach will have a significant impact on active violent incidents.

Keywords: Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care; Ranger First Responder Program; Committee on Emergency Casualty Care; wounding patterns; Chain of Survival; preventable death

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Keyword: Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care

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The Ranger First Responder Program and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Implementation: A Whole-Community Approach to Reducing Mortality From Active Violent Incidents

Fisher AD, Callaway DW, Robertson JN, Hardwick SA, Bobko JP, Kotwal RS. 15(3). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Active violent incidents are dynamic and challenging situations that can produce a significant amount of preventable deaths. Lessons learned from the military's experience in Afghanistan and Iraq through the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the 75th Ranger Regiment's Ranger First Responder Program have helped create the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC) to address the uniqueness of similar wounding patterns and to end preventable deaths. We propose a whole-community approach to active violent incidents, using the C-TECC Trauma Chain of Survival and a tiered approach for training and responsibilities: the first care provider, nonmedical professional first responders, medical first responders, and physicians and trauma surgeons. The different tiers are critical early links in the Chain of Survival and this approach will have a significant impact on active violent incidents.

Keywords: Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care; Ranger First Responder Program; Committee on Emergency Casualty Care; wounding patterns; Chain of Survival; preventable death

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Integration of Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Into the National Tactical Emergency Medical Support Competency Domains

Pennardt A, Callaway DW, Kamin R, Llewellyn C, Shapiro G, Carmona PA, Schwartz RB. 16(2). 62 - 66. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) is a critical component of the out-of-hospital response to domestic high-threat incidents such as hostage scenarios, warrant service, active shooter or violent incidents, terrorist attacks, and other intentional mass casualty-producing acts. From its grass-roots inception in the form of medical support of select law enforcement special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units in the 1980s, the TEMS subspecialty of prehospital care has rapidly grown and evolved over the past 40 years. The National TEMS Initiative and Council (NTIC) competencies and training objectives are the only published recommendations of their kind and offer the opportunity for national standardization of TEMS training programs and a future accreditation process. Building on the previous work of the NTIC and the creation of acknowledged competency domains for TEMS and the acknowledged civilian translation of TCCC by the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC), the Joint Review Committee (JRC) has created an opportunity to bring forward the work in a form that could be operationally useful in an all-hazards and whole of community format.

Keywords: National TEMS Initiative and Council; tactical emergency medical support; Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care; incidents, domestic high-threat

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Keyword: competency, procedural

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Garrison Clinical Setting Inadequate for Maintenance of Procedural Skills for Emergency Medicine Physicians: A Cross-Sectional Study

Schauer SG, Varney SM, Cox KL. 15(4). 67 - 70. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Emergency medicine physicians (EPs) are often placed in far-forward, isolated areas in theater. Maintenance of their emergency intervention skills is vital to keep the medical forces deployment ready. The US Army suggests that working at a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is sufficient to keep emergency procedural skills at a deployment-ready level. We sought to compare the volume of emergency procedures that providers reported necessary to maintain their skills with the number available in the MTF setting. Methods: EPs were surveyed to quantify the number of procedures they reported they would need to perform yearly to stay deployment-ready. We obtained procedure data for their duty stations and compared the procedure volume with the survey responses to determine if working at an MTF is sufficient to keep providers' skills deployment ready. Results: The reported necessary average numbers per year were as follows: tube thoracostomy (5.9), intubation (11.4), cricothyrotomy (4.2), lumbar puncture (5.2), central line (10.0), focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) (21.3), reductions (10.6), splints (10.5), and sedations (11.7). None of the procedure volumes at MTFs met provider requirements with the exception of FAST examinations at the only trauma center. Conclusions: This suggests the garrison clinical environment is inadequate for maintaining procedure skills. Further research is needed to determine modalities that will provide adequate training volume.

Keywords: procedure; skills, procedural; competency, procedural; physicians, emergency medicine; skills; maintenance; deployment; volume

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Keyword: compression

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A Novel Cryotherapy Compression Wrap in the Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: Potential Use for Special Operators on the Battlefield

Boland M, Mulligan I, Payette J, Serres J, O'Hara R, Maupin G. 12(4). 17 - 23. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Musculoskeletal injuries related to training and operational missions frequently affect military personnel. A common treatment for these injuries is the PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method, which is time consuming and impractical in the field. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the cryotherapy wrap compared to a traditional treatment in the management of acute ankle sprains. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in a university research laboratory with 13 subjects (9 males and 4 females) with the following physical characteristics: age (yr) 20.6 ± 2.2, height (cm) 177.0 ± 14.3, weight (kg) 76.6 ± 20.6, and body mass index (kg/m2) 24.1 ± 3.7. Participants were instructed to perform PRICE with a traditional ice pack and compression wrap (control group) or with an Arctic Ease® cryotherapy wrap (test group) for 48 hours following enrollment in the study. The Numeric Pain Scale, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and ankle/foot volumetric measurement were performed at initial presentation and 24-hour, 48-hour, and 7-day follow-up intervals. Results: While the comparison of the Numeric Pain Scale scores, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure scores, and volumetric changes between groups revealed no statistically significant differences (ρ > 0.01), there was an 86% compliance rate for subjects in the cryotherapy wrap group compared to a 17% compliance rate of subjects in the control group. Conclusions: The cryotherapy wraps performed comparably to ice therapy and therefore may be especially applicable to military personnel required to operate in austere and hostile environments where traditional therapies are unrealistic. Although this pilot study did not demonstrate that the cryotherapy wraps produce statistically superior results, trends emerged in the data suggesting that subject compliance rate may be improved by using an alternative form of cryotherapy compression, which could lead to better management of pain, edema, and functional recovery. Future research should include a larger sample size to verify this claim.

Keywords: crytotherapy; ankle sprain; ice; edema; compression

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Keyword: concussion

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Deployed Assessment and Management of mTBI Casualties

Garfin B. 13(3). 51 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have placed a spotlight on screening, evaluation, and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as concussion. The author presents a mass casualty case in which a Ranger company medical section assessed and managed 30 Servicemembers (SM) diagnosed with concussion. Through the process of treating these Servicemembers, a consolidated checklist was created based on existing Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) guidelines. During this and subsequent clinical encounters, utilization of this checklist resulted in efficient identification of concussed personnel, appropriate treatment, and documentation.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury; concussion

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Potential of Visual Sensory Screening, Diagnostic Evaluation, and Training for Treatment of Postconcussive Symptoms and Performance Enhancement for Special Forces Qualified Personnel

Suttles ST. 15(2). 54 - 63. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussive injuries remain a challenge for both athletes and clinicians, given high incidence rates and heterogeneous clinical trajectories. Moreover, exposure to blast in combat is compounded by chronic, frequent exposure to a variety of subclinical impacts and overpressure, in some cases annually over many years. Subsequent injuries are often more severe than the original and lead to higher incidence of chronic symptoms in combat units, particularly Special Operations Forces (SOF), which is compounded by a propensity to underreport or avoid Army medical systems altogether. The unique nature and psychological makeup of SOF Soldiers suggest that new guidelines for progressive return-to-activity and return-to-duty decision-making within the traditional medical setting may not be generalizable to this population. Further, the traditional criteria for return to duty and return to play in sport may be insensitive to persistent deficits, resulting in premature return. There is presidential and Department of Defense mandates for continued research in the areas of diagnostics, treatment, and assessments for return to duty. With recent shift toward understanding clinical trajectories, particularly visual and vestibular trajectories, promising new technology from the field of sports vision may prove useful toward that endeavor. Since the advent of performance programs within SOF units, these Soldiers build trust with performance personnel, which include rehabilitative personnel, through consistent and regular shared experience. Implementation of comprehensive vision and visual performance screening in conjunction with the study of sports vision technology within the performance setting, in conjunction with unit medical personnel, may yield important findings for diagnosis and treatment of mTBI; to include the chronically symptomatic postconcussive Soldiers. Last, with a wealth of literature supporting visual skills training for athlete populations, to include competitive shooters, the implementation of visual skills training will likely be a useful adjunct to performance training of SOF personnel.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, mild; concussion; sensory station; rehabilitation; visual skills; return to duty; Special Operations; human performance

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Keyword: conducted energy weapons

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Taser and Conducted Energy Weapons

LeClair TG, Meriano T. 15(4). 83 - 88. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: taser; conducted energy weapons

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Keyword: conductive energy weapon

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: contrast sensitivity

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Tactical Lighting in Special Operations Medicine: Survey of Current Preferences

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Eisnor DL, LaPorta AJ. 13(1). 15 - 21. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) is dependent on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty position when under fire. There is no single ideal light source suitable for varied SOFMED environments. We present the results of an online survey of Special Operations Medical Operators in an attempt to determine strengths and weaknesses of current systems. There was no consensus ideal hue for tactical illumination. Most Operators own three or more lights, and most lights were not night vision compatible. Most importantly, nearly 25% of respondents reported that lighting issues contributed to a poor casualty outcome; conversely, a majority (50 of 74) stated their system helped prevent a poor outcome. Based on the results of this initial survey, we can affirm that the design and choice of lighting is critical to SOFMED success. We are conducting ongoing studies to further define ideal systems for tactical applications including field, aviation, and marine settings.

Keywords: lighting; tactical; dark adaptation; contrast sensitivity; illumination

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Tactical Lighting in Special Operations Medicine: Survey of Current Preferences

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Eisnor DL, LaPorta AJ. 13(4). 15 - 21. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) is dependent on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty position when under fire. There is no single ideal light source suitable for varied SOFMED environments. We present the results of an online survey of Special Operations Medical Operators in an attempt to determine strengths and weaknesses of current systems. There was no consensus ideal hue for tactical illumination. Most Operators own three or more lights, and most lights were not night vision compatible. Most importantly, nearly 25% of respondents reported that lighting issues contributed to a poor casualty outcome; conversely, a majority (50 of 74) stated their system helped prevent a poor outcome. Based on the results of this initial survey, we can affirm that the design and choice of lighting is critical to SOFMED success. We are conducting ongoing studies to further define ideal systems for tactical applications including field, aviation, and marine settings.

Keywords: lighting; tactical; dark adaptation; contrast sensitivity; illumination

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Keyword: control

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Remote Telementored Ultrasound-Directed Compression to Potentially Accelerate Hemostasis in Exsanguinating Junctional Vascular Injuries

Kirkpatrick AW, McKee JL, McKee I, Panebianco NL, Ball CG. 15(4). 71 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Bleeding to death has been identified as the leading cause of potentially preventable injury-related death worldwide. Temporary hemorrhage control could allow the patient to be transported to a site capable of damage- control surgery. A novel device that may offer a fast and effective means of controlling nontruncal bleeding (junctional and extremity) is the iTClamp (Innovative Trauma Care; http://innovativetraumacare.com). This case study demonstrated that a motivated and intelligent, but untrained, first responder could successfully localize the actual anatomic site of an exsanguinating bleed and then could relatively easily compress this site to control the bleeding site by using ultrasound-guided manual-compression techniques.

Keywords: hemorrhage; iTClamp; ultrasound; bleeding; control

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Keyword: conventional US Air Force

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Experience Of A US Air Force Surgical And Critical Care Team Deployed In Support Of Special Operations Command Africa

Delmonaco BL, Baker A, Clay J, Kilbourn J. 16(1). 103 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An eight-person team of conventional US Air Force (USAF) medical providers deployed to support US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in North and West Africa for the first time in November 2014. The predeployment training, operations while deployed, and lessons learned from the challenges of performing surgery and medical evacuations in the remote desert environment of Chad and Niger on the continent of Africa are described. The vast area of operations and far-forward posture of these teams requires cooperation between partner African nations, the French military, and SOF to make these medical teams effective providers of surgical and critical care in Africa. The continuous deployment of conventional USAF medical providers since 2014 in support of US Special Operations Command Africa is challenging and will benefit from more medical teams and effective air assets to provide casualty evacuation across the vast area of operations.

Keywords: US Special Operations Command North and West Africa; far-forward surgery; conventional US Air Force; Mobile Field Surgical Team; Niamey, Niger; N'Dhamena, Chad; CASEVAC; Boko Haram; al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb; French Military

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Keyword: cooling

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Effects of a New Cooling Technology on Physical Performance in US Air Force Military Personnel

O'Hara R, Vojta C, Henry A, Caldwell L, Wade M, Swanton S, Linderman JK, Ordway J. 16(2). 57 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Heat-related illness is a critical factor for military personnel operating in hyperthermic environments. Heat illness can alter cognitive and physical performance during sustained operations missions. Therefore, the primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of a novel cooling shirt on core body temperature in highly trained US Air Force personnel. Methods: Twelve trained (at least 80th percentile for aerobic fitness according to the American College of Sports Medicine, at least 90% on the US Air Force fitness test), male Air Force participants (mean values: age, 25 ± 2.8 years; height, 178 ± 7.9cm; body weight 78 ± 9.6kg; maximal oxygen uptake, 57 ± 1.9mL/kg/ min; and body fat, 10% ± 0.03%) completed this study. Subjects performed a 70-minute weighted treadmill walking test and 10-minute, 22.7kg sandbag shuttle test under two conditions: (1) "loaded" (shirt with cooling inserts) and (2) "unloaded" (shirt with no cooling inserts). Results: Core body temperature, exercise heart rate, capillary blood lactate, and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded. Core body temperature was lower (ρ = .001) during the 70-minute treadmill walking test in the loaded condition. Peak core temperature during the 70-minute walking test was also significantly lower (ρ = .038) in the loaded condition. Conclusion: This lightweight (471g), passive cooling technology offers multiple hours of sustained cooling and reduced core and peak body temperature during a 70-minute, 22.7kg weighted-vest walking test.

Keywords: cooling; Special Forces; physical activity; hyperthermia; fatigue, volitional

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Keyword: Coronavirus

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Shishido AA, Letizia A. 15(4). 99 - 101. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012, and subsequently spread to other countries in Europe and Asia, and to the United States. As of August 2015, the disease has infected 1,400 patients, of whom 500 have died, yielding a 36% mortality rate. The exact mode of transmission is unknown and there are no proven treatments. While the overall case rate for MERS has been low, its presence in countries that house US troops, unknown mode of transmission, and high mortality rate make it a significant health concern among US military personnel.

Keywords: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome; Coronavirus; epidemiology; clinical presentation

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Keyword: cortisol

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High Intensity Scenario Training of Military Medical Students to Increase Learning Capacity and Management of Stress Response

Mueller G, Moloff A, Wedmore I, Schoeff J, LaPorta AJ. 12(2). 71 - 76. (Journal Article)

Abstract

A delicate balance exists between a beneficial stress response that enhances memory and recall performance and a detrimental high stress response that impairs memory and learning. Repetitive training in stressful situations enables people to lower their stress levels from the detrimental range to a more beneficial one.1 This is particularly true for physicians in training as they seek to achieve advanced skills and knowledge in the fields of triage, emergency medicine, and surgery prior to graduation. This need is significant for medical students entering military service after graduation. We theorize that military medical students can advance their proficiencies through an Intensive Skills Week (ISW) prior to entering their third and forth year rotations. To test this theory, Rocky Vista University will hold a week long high-intensity first-responder, emergency medicine and surgical training course, facilitated by military medical physicians, to further students' skills and maximize training using the Human Worn Partial Surgical Task Simulator (Cut Suit). We also see the possible benefit to physician and non-physician military personnel, especially Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel, from developing and implementing similar training programs when live tissue or cadaver models are unavailable or not feasible.

Keywords: stress; cortisol; medical student; enhanced learning scenario; high intensisty

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Keyword: cotton

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Evaluating Alternatives to Traditional Cotton Laparotomy Sponges for Blood Absorption in the Austere and Mobile Surgical Environment

Sirkin MR, Cook P, Davis KG. 15(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The operative control of noncompressible hemorrhage is the single largest impact that could be addressed in reducing the mortality on the battlefield. Laprotomy pads, traditionally used for hemorrhage evacuation, are made of woven cotton, and, while effective, their use requires a substantial amount of space and adds weight. This poses no concern in traditional operating rooms but is a hindrance for mobile providers and providers in austere environments. We sought to compare different absorptive compunds to ascertain their utility as alternatives for traditional laparotomy pads. Methods: Samples of cotton laparotomy pads, pure rayon sheets, rayon-polypropylene composite sheets, and non-polyester composite "microfiber" sheets were weighed and submerged in heparinized whole bovine blood. After saturation, the favrics were weighed, wrung dry, reweighed, and resubmerged. This process was performed for a total of three sequential submersions. The saturated weights and dry weights of each fabric were used to calculate how much blood each fabric could absorb initially and after multiple repeated uses. The initial densities of the four fabrics was calculated and compared. Results: The initial submersions demonstrated that 1g each of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 7.58g, 12.98g, 10.16g, and 9.73g of blood respectively. The second and third sequential trials, which were statistically similar, demonstrated that 1g of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropolyene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 1.73g, 2.83g, 2.3g, and 2.3g of blood, respectively. The calculated densities of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were 0.087g/cm³, .012g/cm³, 0.098g/cm³, and 0.093g/cm³, respectively. Conclusion: Per gram, rayon absorbed approximately 1.7 times more blood thancotton and three-quarters the amount of the storage space. Rayon also retained its superior absorption abilites on repeated uses, demonstrating the potential for re-use in remote and austere environments. Thus, rayon could serve as a viable alternative to traditional cotton laparotomy pads in the austere environments.

Keywords: hemorrhage; laparotomy; cotton; rayon; sponge; austere; surgery; packing; combat casualty care; absorption; density

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Keyword: Counter-Insurgency

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Advanced Medical Technology Capacity Building and the Medical Mentoring Event: A Unique Application of SOF Counterinsurgency Medical Engagement Strategies

Irizarry DJ, Tate C, Bingham MT, Wey P, Batjom E, Nicholas TA, Boedecker BH. 12(1). 24 - 30. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Medical Civic Assistance Program (MEDCAP) is a military commander's tool developed during the Vietnam War to gain access to and positively influence an indigenous population through the provision of direct medical care provided by military medical personnel, particularly in Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN). An alternative to MEDCAPs is the medical seminar (MEDSEM). The MEDSEM uses a Commander's military medical assets to share culturally appropriate medical information with a defined indigenous population in order to create a sustainable training resource for the local population's health system. At the heart of the MEDSEM is the "train the trainer" concept whereby medical information is passed to indigenous trainers who then pass that information to an indigenous population. The MEDSEM achieves the Commander's objectives of increasing access and influence with the population through a medical training venue rather than direct patient care. Previous MEDSEMS conducted in Afghanistan by military forces focused on improvement of rural healthcare through creation of Village Health Care Workers. This model can also be used to engage host nation (HN) medical personnel and improve medical treatment capabilities in population centers. The authors describe a modification of the MEDSEM, a Medical Mentorship (MM), conducted in November 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the Afghan National Army (ANA) National Medical Hospital. This training was designed to improve intubation skills in Afghan National Army Hospitals by ANA medical providers, leave residual training capability, and build relationships within the institution that not only assist the institution, but can also be leveraged to foster Commanders' objectives, such as health and reconstruction initiatives and medical partnering for indigenous corps and medical forces described below.

Keywords: Counter-Insurgency; Medical Support; airway training; Afghan National Army

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Keyword: creatinine kinase

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Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Attrition Through Exercise, A Case Series and Review of the Literature

Reese JM, Fisher SD, Robbins DP. 12(3). 52 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Rhabdomyolysis is a common syndrome that can range from asymptomatic to a severe life-threatening condition. It is the result of acute muscle fiber necrosis leading to cell lysis and subsequent transfer of those byproducts into the circulatory system. The most significant constituent of these byproducts is myoglobin, which has been known to cause renal failure in 10-50% of patients that develop rhabdomyolysis. In addition, the electrolytes contained within these cells are leached into the blood stream, which can lead to significant electrolyte abnormalities. The etiology of rhabdomyolysis is broad and includes inherited diseases, drugs, toxins, muscle compression or overexertion, infections, and more. This syndrome may carry a mortality rate ranging from 7-80%. We describe five patients assigned to various companies within 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) that developed exertional rhabdomyolysis of the bilateral upper extremities between June 2011 and January 2012. In this case series we will describe the events leading up to the diagnosis, lack of risk factors or family history, diagnostic criteria, treatment, and future concerns related to the condition.

Keywords: rhabdomyolysis; acute renal failure; myoglobinuria; creatinine kinase; overexertion exercise

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Keyword: Cric-Key™

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The Cric-Key™ and Cric-Knife™: A Combined Tube-Introducer and Scalpel-Hook Open Cricothyrotomy System

Levitan RM. 14(1). 45 - 49. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures- without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians' fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

Keywords: cricothyrotomy; airway device; Cric-Key™; Cric-Knife™

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Keyword: Cric-Knife™

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The Cric-Key™ and Cric-Knife™: A Combined Tube-Introducer and Scalpel-Hook Open Cricothyrotomy System

Levitan RM. 14(1). 45 - 49. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures- without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians' fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

Keywords: cricothyrotomy; airway device; Cric-Key™; Cric-Knife™

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Keyword: cricothyrotomy

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The Cric-Key™ and Cric-Knife™: A Combined Tube-Introducer and Scalpel-Hook Open Cricothyrotomy System

Levitan RM. 14(1). 45 - 49. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures- without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians' fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

Keywords: cricothyrotomy; airway device; Cric-Key™; Cric-Knife™

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Prehospital and En Route Cricothyrotomy Performed in the Combat Setting: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Barnard EB, Ervin AT, Mabry RL, Bebarta VS. 14(4). 35 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of potentially preventable combat death. Surgical cricothyrotomy is an infrequently performed but lifesaving airway intervention. There are limited published data on prehospital cricothyrotomy in civilian or military settings. Our aim was to prospectively describe the survival rate and complications associated with cricothyrotomy performed in the military prehospital and en route setting. Methods: The Life-Saving Intervention (LSI) study is a prospective, institutional review boardapproved, multicenter trial examining LSIs performed in the prehospital combat setting. We prospectively recorded LSIs performed on patients in theater who were transported to six combat hospitals. Trained site investigators evaluated patients on arrival and recorded demographics, vital signs, and LSIs performed. LSIs were predefined and include cricothyrotomies, chest tubes, intubations, tourniquets, and other procedures. From the large dataset, we analyzed patients who had a cricothyrotomy performed. Hospital outcomes were cross-referenced from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Descriptive statistics or Wilcoxon test (nonparametric) were used for data comparisons; statistical significance was set at ρ < .05. The primary outcome was success of prehospital and en route cricothyrotomy. Results: Of the 1,927 patients enrolled, 34 patients had a cricothyrotomy performed (1.8%). Median age was 24 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22.5-25 years), 97% were men. Mechanisms of injury were blast (79%), penetrating (18%), and blunt force (3%), and 83% had major head, face, or neck injuries. Median Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) was 3 (IQR: 3-7.5) and four patients had GCS higher than 8. Cricothyrotomy was successful in 82% of cases. Reasons for failure included left main stem intubation (n = 1), subcutaneous passage (n = 1), and unsuccessful attempt (n = 4). Five patients had a prehospital basic airway intervention. Unsuccessful endotracheal intubation preceded 15% of cricothyrotomies. Of the 24 patients who had the provider type recorded, six had a cricothyrotomy by a combat medic (pre-evacuation), and 18 by an evacuation helicopter medic. Combat-hospital outcome data were available for 26 patients, 13 (50%) of whom survived to discharge. The cricothyrotomy patients had more LSIs than noncricothyrotomy patients (four versus two LSIs per patient; ρ < .0011). Conclusion: In our prospective, multicenter study evaluating cricothyrotomy in combat, procedural success was higher than previously reported. In addition, the majority of cricothyrotomies were performed by the evacuation helicopter medic rather than the prehospital combat medic. Prehospital military medics should receive training in decision making and be provided with adjuncts to facilitate this lifesaving procedure.

Keywords: airway management; airway obstruction; military medicine; war; emergency medical services; cricothyrotomy; airway

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Keyword: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever

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Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

Burnett MW. 15(4). 96 - 98. (Journal Article)

Abstract

In mid-September 2009, a 22-year-old critically ill Soldier was medically evacuated from a treatment facility in southern Afghanistan to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Despite the efforts of the team at Landstuhl, this patient died and became the US military's first known victim of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). CCHF is caused by a virus, which bears the same name. Because a vaccine is lacking, as well as an effective antiviral treatment, prevention is key.

Keywords: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; infectious disease

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Keyword: critical care

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Resuscitation During Critical Care Transportation in Afghanistan

Tobin JM, Nordmann GR, Kuncir EJ. 15(3). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: These data describe the critical care procedures performed on, and the resuscitation markers of, critically wounded personnel in Afghanistan following point of injury (POI) transports and intratheater transports. Providing this information may help inform discussion on the design of critical care transportation platforms for future conflicts. Methods: The Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR) was queried for descriptive data on combat casualties with Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15 who were transported in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. Both POI transportation events and interfacility transportation events were reviewed. Base deficit (BD) was evaluated as a maker of resuscitation, and international normalized ratio (INR) was evaluated as a measure of coagulopathy. Results: There were 1198 transportation events that occurred during the study period - 634 (53%) transports from the POI and 564 (47%) intratheater transports. Critical care interventions were performed during 147 (12.3%) transportation events, including intubation, cricothyrotomy, double-lumen endotracheal tube placement, needle or tube thoracostomy, central venous access placement, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The mean BD on arrival in the emergency department was -5.4 mEq/L for POI transports and 0.68 mEq/L intratheater transports (ρ < .001). The mean INR on arrival in the emergency department was 1.48 for POI transports and 1.21 for intratheater transports (ρ < .001). Conclusions: Critical care interventions were needed frequently during evacuation of severely injured personnel. Furthermore, many troops arrived acidotic and coagulopathic following initial transport from POI. Together, these data suggest that a platform capable of damage control resuscitation and critical care interventions may be warranted on longer transports of more critically injured patients.

Keywords: transportation; critical care; resuscitation, trauma; damage control; emergency medical services; care, out-of-hospital

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Telemedicine to Reduce Medical Risk in Austere Medical Environments: The Virtual Critical Care Consultation (VC3) Service

Powell D, McLeroy RD, Riesberg J, Vasios WN, Miles EA, Dellavolpe J, Keenan S, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 102 - 109. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Case of a 5-Year-Old Foreign National Who Sustained Penetrating Abdominal Trauma

McLeroy RD, Ellis JL, Karnopp JM, Dellavolpe J, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Edwards M, Matos R, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 110 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Embedded Fragment Removal and Wound Debridement in a Non-US Partner Force Soldier

McLeroy RD, Spelman S, Jacobson E, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 114 - 116. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: CrossFit

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Extreme Conditioning Programs: Potential Benefits and Potential Risks

Knapik JJ. 15(3). 108 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

CrossFit, Insanity, Gym Jones, and P90X are examples of extreme conditioning programs (ECPs). ECPs typically involve high-volume and high-intensity physical activities with short rest periods between movements and use of multiple joint exercises. Data on changes in fitness with ECPs are limited to CrossFit investigations that demonstrated improvements in muscle strength, muscular endurance, aerobic fitness, and body composition. However, no study has directly compared Cross-Fit or other ECPs to other more traditional forms of aerobic and resistance training within the same investigation. These direct comparisons are needed to more adequately evaluate the effectiveness of ECPs. Until these studies emerge, the comparisons with available literature suggest that improvements in CrossFit, in terms of muscular endurance (push-ups, sit-ups), strength, and aerobic capacity, appear to be similar to those seen in more traditional training programs. Investigations of injuries in ECPs are limited to two observational studies that suggest that the overall injury rate is similar to that seen in other exercise programs. Several cases of rhabdomyolysis and cervical carotid artery dissections have been reported during CrossFit training. The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of these are reviewed here. Until more data on ECPs emerge, physical training should be aligned with US Army doctrine. If ECPs are included in exercise programs, trainers should (1) have appropriate training certifications, (2) inspect exercise equipment regularly to assure safety, (3) introduce ECPs to new participants, (4) ensure medical clearance of Soldiers with special health problems before participation in ECPs, (4) tailor ECPs to the individual Soldier, (5) adjust rest periods to optimize recovery and reduce fatigue, (6) monitor Soldiers for signs of overtraining, rhabdomyolysis, and other problems, and (7) coordinate exercise programs with other unit training activities to eliminate redundant activities and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

Keywords: exercise; physical conditioning; extreme conditioning program; CrossFit

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Keyword: cryotherapy

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Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: The Efficacy of Nonantimony Treatment in the Austere Environment Using Cryotherapy, Thermotherapy, and Photodynamic Therapy as an Alternative Method of Treatment

Kunzler B. 13(4). 40 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author provides a retrospective review of clinical trials evaluating cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and thermotherapy in the treatment of cutaneous Leishmania infestations. Current cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) treatment is based primarily on antimony compounds such as meglumine antimoniate, sodium stibogluconate, ketaconozole, amphotericin B, and other similar compounds. All have potentially severe sideeffects and relatively narrow therapeutic windows (i.e., the minimum doses that are therapeutic and do not cause harm). Investigational modalities using heat and cold therapies were shown to have similar results compared with current treatment regimens. Combination therapies have also been investigated and are the standard of treatment in the United States. Although the current therapies are effective in the treatment of the trypanosomatid protozoan Leishmania parasite, some effective alternative modalities have been shown to have fewer serious side-effects compared with current medications. Investigational studies that were reviewed showed that whether used individually or as an adjunct to traditional therapies, alternative treatment methods proved to be equally efficacious in treating CL. Some investigational therapies, such as cryotherapy as the sole modality, approached 92% cure rate. Any of the three investigated alternatives (i.e., heat, cold, or photodynamic) are techniques that could be readily used by Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics during their operations in remote and/or austere regions of the world.

Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis; cryotherapy; thermotherapy; diathemy; SOF medics; photodynamic therapy; Leishmania

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Keyword: crytotherapy

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A Novel Cryotherapy Compression Wrap in the Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: Potential Use for Special Operators on the Battlefield

Boland M, Mulligan I, Payette J, Serres J, O'Hara R, Maupin G. 12(4). 17 - 23. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Musculoskeletal injuries related to training and operational missions frequently affect military personnel. A common treatment for these injuries is the PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method, which is time consuming and impractical in the field. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the cryotherapy wrap compared to a traditional treatment in the management of acute ankle sprains. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in a university research laboratory with 13 subjects (9 males and 4 females) with the following physical characteristics: age (yr) 20.6 ± 2.2, height (cm) 177.0 ± 14.3, weight (kg) 76.6 ± 20.6, and body mass index (kg/m2) 24.1 ± 3.7. Participants were instructed to perform PRICE with a traditional ice pack and compression wrap (control group) or with an Arctic Ease® cryotherapy wrap (test group) for 48 hours following enrollment in the study. The Numeric Pain Scale, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and ankle/foot volumetric measurement were performed at initial presentation and 24-hour, 48-hour, and 7-day follow-up intervals. Results: While the comparison of the Numeric Pain Scale scores, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure scores, and volumetric changes between groups revealed no statistically significant differences (ρ > 0.01), there was an 86% compliance rate for subjects in the cryotherapy wrap group compared to a 17% compliance rate of subjects in the control group. Conclusions: The cryotherapy wraps performed comparably to ice therapy and therefore may be especially applicable to military personnel required to operate in austere and hostile environments where traditional therapies are unrealistic. Although this pilot study did not demonstrate that the cryotherapy wraps produce statistically superior results, trends emerged in the data suggesting that subject compliance rate may be improved by using an alternative form of cryotherapy compression, which could lead to better management of pain, edema, and functional recovery. Future research should include a larger sample size to verify this claim.

Keywords: crytotherapy; ankle sprain; ice; edema; compression

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Keyword: C-TCCC

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Tactical Emergency Casualty Care-Pediatric Appendix: Novel Guidelines for the Care of the Pediatric Casualty in the High-Threat, Prehospital Environment

Bobko JP, Lai TT, Smith R, Shapiro G, Baldridge T, Callaway DW. 13(4). 94 - 107. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Active shooter events and active violent incidents are increasingly targeting civilians, placing children at heightened risk for complex and devastating trauma. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified as a priority preparing domestic first responders to manage complex mass casualty incidents as a primary step in strengthening our medical system. Existing literature suggests that many prehospital providers are uncomfortable treating critically ill or injured pediatric patients and that there is a gap in the consistent provision of high-quality trauma care to these patients. The success of threat-based care developed by the military has led to an exponential rise in the familiarity and utilization of these concepts within certain specialized elements of civilian care. Evolution of these concepts is accelerating to meet the demands of the nonmilitary civilian environment through the formation and subsequent work of the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC). However, a gap remains in the available literature describing the application of these principles to specialized populations. Methods: In the absence of an evidence-based set of guidelines for prehospital care of the pediatric casualty, the C-TECC sought to establish a set of peer-reviewed guidelines to serve as a foundation describing current best practices. The Pediatric Working Group (PWG) utilized the adult TECC guidelines as a starting point and identified a series of key questions regarding trauma interventions. The PWG conducted a standard PubMed search to identify key relevant or potentially relevant literature. The literature review was presented to the C-TECC Guidelines Committee for review and approval of recommended principles. Recommendations: Given the dearth of supporting literature on the subject, the TECC committee was purposefully conservative in the adaptation of the adult TECC guidelines to a pediatric standard. The guidelines highlight information tailored to the pediatric population and were designed to be a resource for individual agencies seeking guidance for high-threat operations. To our knowledge, the TECC Pediatric Appendix is the first published recommendation for the widespread use of tourniquets in pediatric hemorrhage. In addition, the Guidelines are meant to highlight gaps in trauma literature and stimulate discussion regarding future research in the area of prehospital care of the pediatric casualty.

Keywords: TCCC; pediatric hemorrhage; pediatrics; C-TCCC

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Keyword: cultural awareness in the Armed Forces

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Cultural Self-Awareness as a Crucial Component of Military Cross-Cultural Competence

Pappamihiel CJ. 13(3). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The military forces in the United States represent a unique culture that includes many subcultures within their own military society. Acculturation into the military often deemphasizes the influence of personal narrative and thereby establishes the primacy of military culture over personal cultural influences. The authors make the argument that military personnel need to further develop an understanding and appreciation of personal cultural narrative as well as organizational culture. The increased integration of military personnel with interagency partners, along with cooperative efforts between relief organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in politically/economically unstable areas around the globe serves to make cross-cultural interaction unavoidable in the future. Military medical personnel are especially likely to interact with others who have culturally different values. These interactions can occur between organizations as easily as they can during patient care. They must be able to step outside of their military culture and develop cross-cultural competence that is grounded in cultural self-awareness. Without an appropriate level of cultural self-awareness, military and medical personnel run the risk of being unable to communicate across dissimilar cultures or worse, alienating key stakeholders in collaborative operations between military services, coalition partners, and nonmilitary organizations. It is the authors' contention that unless military personnel, especially those in the medical arena, are able to appropriately self-assess situations that are impacted by culture, both their own and the other personnel involved, the resulting cultural dissonance is more likely to derail any significant positive effect of such collaborations.

Keywords: military cultural sensitivity; cultural awareness in the Armed Forces; cultural self-awareness

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Keyword: cultural competency

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Cultural Competency and Patient-Centered Communication: A Study of an Isolated Outbreak of Urinary Tract Infections in Afghanistan

Culbertson NT, Scholl BJ. 13(3). 70 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Personal hygiene is strongly associated with disease prevention and is especially important during prolonged patrol or combat operations. Understanding cultural variances associated with personal hygiene is critical for Special Operation Forces (SOF) medics to prevent, monitor, and treat acquired and transmitted infections while working with host nation personnel. Case Presentation: During a multiday, long-range patrol, approximately 40 male Afghan National Army troops between the ages of 22 and 49 presented for treatment of burning or pain while urinating. All patients were empirically diagnosed with urinary tract infections. Methods and Discussion: The high attack rate and isolated nature of the outbreak suggested that personal hygiene or sexual intercourse was the most likely cause of the isolated outbreak. However, the cultural sensitivity of both topics made social history gathering a difficult task. After participating in a detailed medical interview, one patient revealed that he and his comrades were blocking their urethras with clay plugs after voiding to prevent residual urine from dripping onto their clothes. Conclusions: This case study presents what might be an undocumented practice carried throughout many ethnic cultures endogenous to Afghanistan and discusses how cultural barriers can impact effective health care delivery.

Keywords: urinary tract infections; hygiene; primary prevention; patient-centered care; cultural competency

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Keyword: cultural self-awareness

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Cultural Self-Awareness as a Crucial Component of Military Cross-Cultural Competence

Pappamihiel CJ. 13(3). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The military forces in the United States represent a unique culture that includes many subcultures within their own military society. Acculturation into the military often deemphasizes the influence of personal narrative and thereby establishes the primacy of military culture over personal cultural influences. The authors make the argument that military personnel need to further develop an understanding and appreciation of personal cultural narrative as well as organizational culture. The increased integration of military personnel with interagency partners, along with cooperative efforts between relief organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in politically/economically unstable areas around the globe serves to make cross-cultural interaction unavoidable in the future. Military medical personnel are especially likely to interact with others who have culturally different values. These interactions can occur between organizations as easily as they can during patient care. They must be able to step outside of their military culture and develop cross-cultural competence that is grounded in cultural self-awareness. Without an appropriate level of cultural self-awareness, military and medical personnel run the risk of being unable to communicate across dissimilar cultures or worse, alienating key stakeholders in collaborative operations between military services, coalition partners, and nonmilitary organizations. It is the authors' contention that unless military personnel, especially those in the medical arena, are able to appropriately self-assess situations that are impacted by culture, both their own and the other personnel involved, the resulting cultural dissonance is more likely to derail any significant positive effect of such collaborations.

Keywords: military cultural sensitivity; cultural awareness in the Armed Forces; cultural self-awareness

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Keyword: curricula

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A Call for Innovation: Reflective Practices and Clinical Curricula of US Army Special Operations Forces Medics

Rocklein K. 14(4). 70 - 80. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics have written and published numerous practice reflections that intricately describe their practice environments, clinical dilemmas, and suggestions for teaching and practice. The lack of translation of SOF medics' experiential evidence to their curriculum has created a gap in evidence-based curriculum development. This study analyzed SOF medics' learning and practice patterns and compared it to the evidence in the interdisciplinary clinical literature. After framing the problem, the literature was reviewed to determine appropriate tools by which perceptions and attitudes toward reflection-centered curricula could be measured. Methods: A recognizable practice reflection was extracted from the published SOF clinical literature and presented in writing to self-identified SOF medics and medic instructors via a descriptive crossover design, to ensure possible biases were mitigated. To measure SOF medics' perceptions of reflection-based curricula, the Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure survey instrument was used, as it has validated psychometric properties and is used worldwide. Results: SOF medics' averaged scores of perceptions of their medic education indicated positive but not completely statistically significant preferences toward reflection-based curricula over traditional curriculum.

Keywords: Special Operations; medics; reflective practice; curricula

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Keyword: Cut Suit

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Filling in the Gaps of Predeployment Fleet Surgical Team Training Using a Team-Centered Approach

Hoang TN, Kang J, LaPorta AJ, Makler VI, Chalut C. 13(4). 22 - 33. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Teamwork and successful communication are essential parts of any medical specialty, especially in the trauma setting. U.S. Navy physicians developed a course for deploying fleet surgical teams to reinforce teamwork, communication, and baseline knowledge of trauma management. Method: The course combines 22 hours of classroom didactics along with 28 hours of hands-on simulation and cadaver-based laboratories to reinforce classroom concepts. It culminates in a 6-hour, multiwave exercise of multiple, critically injured victims of a mass casualty and uses the "Cut Suit" (Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator; Strategic Operations), which enables performance of multiple realistic surgical procedures as encountered on real casualties. Participants are graded on time taken from initial patient encounter to disposition and the number of errors made. Pre- and post-training written examinations are also given. The course is graded based on participants' evaluation of the course. Results: The majority of the participants indicated that the course promoted teamwork, enhanced knowledge, and gave confidence. Only 51.72% of participants felt confident in dealing with trauma patients before the course, while 82.76% felt confident afterward (ρ = .01). Both the time spent on each patient and the number of errors made also decreased after course completion. Conclusion: The course was successful in improving teamwork, communication and base knowledge of all the team members.

Keywords: fleet surgincal team predeployment training course; fleet surgical team; Cut Suit; human worn partial task surgical simulator; trauma team training; educational gap in teamwork and communication; teamwork-centered training; military trauma training

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Keyword: cutaneous leishmaniasis

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Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: The Efficacy of Nonantimony Treatment in the Austere Environment Using Cryotherapy, Thermotherapy, and Photodynamic Therapy as an Alternative Method of Treatment

Kunzler B. 13(4). 40 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author provides a retrospective review of clinical trials evaluating cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and thermotherapy in the treatment of cutaneous Leishmania infestations. Current cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) treatment is based primarily on antimony compounds such as meglumine antimoniate, sodium stibogluconate, ketaconozole, amphotericin B, and other similar compounds. All have potentially severe sideeffects and relatively narrow therapeutic windows (i.e., the minimum doses that are therapeutic and do not cause harm). Investigational modalities using heat and cold therapies were shown to have similar results compared with current treatment regimens. Combination therapies have also been investigated and are the standard of treatment in the United States. Although the current therapies are effective in the treatment of the trypanosomatid protozoan Leishmania parasite, some effective alternative modalities have been shown to have fewer serious side-effects compared with current medications. Investigational studies that were reviewed showed that whether used individually or as an adjunct to traditional therapies, alternative treatment methods proved to be equally efficacious in treating CL. Some investigational therapies, such as cryotherapy as the sole modality, approached 92% cure rate. Any of the three investigated alternatives (i.e., heat, cold, or photodynamic) are techniques that could be readily used by Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics during their operations in remote and/or austere regions of the world.

Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis; cryotherapy; thermotherapy; diathemy; SOF medics; photodynamic therapy; Leishmania

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Keyword: cutaneous sarcoidosis

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Sarcoidosis

Sola CA, Trickett CV, Lehman KA. 13(3). 105 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty male presents to your clinic with concerns of an increasing number of enlarging papules on his neck. How would you describe the morphology of these lesions? What questions should be included in your history? What would you include in your examination? What would you include in your differential diagnosis? What labs and/or tests would you order? This report discusses cutaneous sarcoidosis and its diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: cutaneous sarcoidosis; sarcoidosis; papules; pseudofolliculitis barbae; erythema nodosum; lupus pernio

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Keyword: damage control

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Forward Assessment of 79 Prehospital Battlefield Tourniquets Used in the Current War

King DR, van der Wilden GM, Kragh JF, Blackbourne LH. 12(4). 33 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Battlefield tourniquet use can be lifesaving, but most reports are from hospitals with knowledge gaps remaining at the forward surgical team (FST). The quality of tourniquet applications in forward settings remain unknown. The purpose of this case series is to describe observations of tourniquet use at an FST in order to improve clinical performance. Methods: War casualties with tourniquet use presenting to an FST in Afghanistan in 2011 were observed. We identified appliers by training, device effectiveness, injury pattern, and clinical opportunities for improvement. Feedback was given to treating medics. Results: Tourniquet applications (79) were performed by special operations combat medics (47, 59%), flight medics (17, 22%), combat medics (12, 15%), and general surgeons (3, 4%). Most tourniquets were Combat Application Tourniquets (71/79, 90%). With tourniquets in place upon arrival at the FST, most limbs (83%, 54/65) had palpable distal pulses present; 17% were pulseless (11/65). Of all tourniquets, the use was venous in 83% and arterial in 17%. In total, there were 14 arterial injuries, but only 5 had effective arterial tourniquets applied. Discussion: Tourniquets are liberally applied to extremity injuries on the battlefield. 17% were arterial and 83% were venous tourniquets. When ongoing bleeding or distal pulses were appreciated, medics tightened tourniquets under surgeon supervision until distal pulses stopped. Medics were generally surprised at how tight a tourniquet must be to stop arterial flow - convert a venous tourniquet into an arterial tourniquet. Implications for sustainment training should be considered with regard to this life-saving skill.

Keywords: first aid; hemorrhage; extremity; damage control; resuscitation

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Single versus Double Routing of the Band in the Combat Application Tourniquet

Clumpner BR, Polston RW, Kragh JF, Westmoreland T, Harcke HT, Jones JA, Dubick MA, Baer DG, Blackbourne LH. 13(1). 34 - 41. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Common first aid tourniquets, like the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) of a windlass and band design, can have the band routed through the buckle in three different ways, and recent evidence indicates users may be confused with complex doctrine. Objective: The purpose of the present study is to measure the differential performance of the three possible routings in order to better understand good tourniquet practice. Methods: A training manikin was used by two investigators to measure tourniquet effectiveness, time to stop bleeding, and blood loss. Results: The effectiveness rate was 99.6% (239/240) overall. Results were similar for both single-slit routings (inside vs. outside, p > 0.05). Effectiveness rates (yes-no results for hemorrhage control expressed as a proportion of iterations) were not statistically different between single and double routing. However, the time to stop bleeding and blood loss were statistically different (ρ < 0.05). Conclusions: CAT band routing, through the buckle either singly or doubly, affects two key performance criteria: time to stop bleeding and volume of blood lost. Single routing proved to be faster, thereby saving more blood. Learning curves required to optimize user performance varied over 30-fold depending on which variable was selected (e.g., effectiveness vs. blood loss).

Keywords: hemorrhage; first aid; trauma; damage control; emergency medical services

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No Slackers in Tourniquet Use to Stop Bleeding

Polston RW, Clumpner BR, Kragh JF, Jones JA, Dubick MA, Baer DG. 13(2). 12 - 19. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Tourniquets on casualties in war have been loose in 4%-9% of uses, and such slack risks death from uncontrolled bleeding. A tourniquet evidence gap persists if there is a mechanical slack-performance association. Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine the results of tourniquet use with slack in the strap versus no slack before windlass turning, in order to develop best practices. Methods: The authors used a tourniquet manikin 254 times to measure tourniquet effectiveness, windlass turns, time to stop bleeding, and blood volume lost at 5 degrees of strap slack (0mm, 25mm, 50mm, 100mm, and 200mm maximum). Results: When comparing no slack (0mm) to slack (any positive amount), there were increases with slack in windlass turns (ρ < .0001, 3-fold), time to stop bleeding (ρ < .0001, 2-fold), and blood volume lost (ρ < .0001, 2-fold). When comparing no slack to 200mm slack, the median results showed an increase in slack for windlass turns (ρ < .0001), time to stop bleeding (ρ < .0001), and blood volume lost (ρ < .0001). Conclusions: Any slack presence in the strap impaired tourniquet performance. More slack had worse results. Trainers can now instruct tourniquet users with concrete guidance.

Keywords: hemorrhage; first aid; trauma; damage control; resuscitation

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Tragedy Into Drama: An American History of Tourniquet Use in the Current War

Kragh JF, Walters TJ, Westmoreland T, Miller RM, Mabry RL, Kotwal RS, Ritter BA, Hodge DC, Greydanus DJ, Cain JS, Parsons DL, Edgar EP, Harcke HT, Baer DG, Dubick MA, Blackbourne LH, Montgomery HR, Holcomb JB, Butler FK. 13(3). 5 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Although the scientific results of recent tourniquet advances in first aid are well recorded, the process by which tourniquet use advances were made is not. The purpose of the present report is to distill historical aspects of this tourniquet story during the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to aid scientists, leaders, and clinicians in the process of development of future improvements in first aid. Methods: The process of how developments of this tourniquet story happened recently is detailed chronologically and thematically in a "who did what, when, where, why, and how" way. Results: Initially in these wars, tourniquets were used rarely or were used as a means of last resort. Such delay in tourniquet use was often lethal; subsequently, use was improved incrementally over time by many people at several organizations. Three sequential keys to success were (1) unlocking the impasse of enacting doctrinal ideas already approved, (2) reaching a critical density of both tourniquets and trained users on the battlefield, and (3) capturing their experience with tourniquets. Other keys included translating needs among stakeholders (such as casualties, combat medics, providers, trainers, and decision-makers) and problem-solving logistic snags and other issues. Eventually, refined care was shown to improve survival rates. From all medical interventions evidenced in the current wars, the tourniquet broke rank and moved to the forefront as the prehospital medical breakthrough of the war. Conclusion: The recorded process of how tourniquet developments in prehospital care occurred may be used as a reference for parallel efforts in first aid such as attempts to improve care for airway and breathing problems.

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

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Emergency Tourniquet Effectiveness in Four Positions on the Proximal Thigh

Kragh JF, Wallum TE, Aden JK, Dubick MA, Baer DG. 14(1). 26 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of the present study is to determine the performance of tourniquet use by the placement of the tourniquet's windlass on the extremity in four positions-medial, lateral, anterior, and posterior-to inform tourniquet instructors and develop best tourniquet practices. Methods: A HapMed™ Leg Tourniquet Trainer was used as a manikin to test the effectiveness of an emergency tourniquet, the Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet. Two users made 10 tests, each in four positions. Results: Effectiveness rates of tourniquet use were 100% in all four positions. The two tourniquet users were both right-hand dominant and used their right hand to turn the windlass. One user turned the windlass clockwise, and the other turned it counterclockwise. The association between time to stop bleeding and tourniquet position was statistically significant but associations between time to stop bleeding and the user, user-by-position, and windlass turn number were not statistically significant. The association between tourniquet position and pressure under the tourniquet was statistically significant, and the association between user and pressure under the tourniquet was statistically significant, but the user-by-position and windlass turn number were not statistically significant. The associations between tourniquet position and blood loss volume, user and blood loss volume, and user-by-position and blood loss volume were statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study found that tourniquet effectiveness rates were uniformly 100% irrespective of whether the windlass position was medial, lateral, anterior, or posterior. These excellent clinical and statistical results indicate that users may continue to place the tourniquets as they prefer upon the proximal thigh.

Keywords: first aid; resuscitation; damage control; hematoma; trauma; shock

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Safety and Effectiveness Evidence of SAM® Junctional Tourniquet to Control Inguinal Hemorrhage in a Perfused Cadaver Model

Johnson JE, Sims K, Hamilton DJ, Kragh JF. 14(2). 21 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Hemorrhage from the trunk-appendage junctions is a common, preventable cause of death on the battlefield. The recently U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared SAM® Junctional Tourniquet (SJT) was designed to control out-of-hospital inguinal and axillary hemorrhage. The purpose of the present study was to provide safety and effectiveness data associated with use of the SJT. Such data provided support for regulatory clearance. Methods: The SJT was tested in a perfused cadaver experiment simulating inguinal or axillary wound hemorrhage. Results: No safety problems or tissue damage occurred, and flow normalized promptly after tourniquet removal. During SJT use, an average of 107mmHg occluded the distal external iliac artery in an average of 7 seconds of inflation time; manual pressure as a control averaged 139mmHg. In SJT use, an average of 739mmHg occluded the axillary artery in an average of 5 seconds of inflation time; manual pressure as a control averaged 1237mmHg. The control was a referent that achieved results that were similar in one body area but different in the other; both findings indicate the device is as safe as, if not safer than, manual compression. Conclusion: The SJT was shown to be safe and effective in hemorrhage control in a cadaver model for both the axillary and inguinal areas. The SJT's Target Compression Devices required pressures approximately equal to or lower than manual pressure to achieve hemostasis in these junctional regions.

Keywords: hemorrhage; trauma; groin; wounds and injuries; first aid; damage control; emergency medical services; resuscitation; tourniquet

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Role of the Windlass in Improvised Tourniquet Use on a Manikin Hemorrhage Model

Altamirano MP, Kragh JF, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 15(2). 42 - 46. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: In emergencies when commercially designed tourniquets are unavailable, hemorrhage may need to be controlled with improvised tourniquets. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, no improvised strap-and-windlass tourniquets were used to treat casualties; tourniquets without windlasses were used. The purpose of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of improvised tourniquets with and without a windlass to better understand the role of the windlass in tightening the tourniquet strap. Methods: An experiment was designed to test the effectiveness of improvised strap-and-windlass tourniquets fashioned out of a tee shirt on a manikin thigh. Two users conducted 40 tests each with and without the use of a windlass. Results: Without a windlass, improvised tourniquets failed to stop bleeding in 99% of tests (79 of 80 tests). With a windlass, improvised tourniquets failed to stop bleeding in 32% of tests (ρ < .0001). In tests with no windlass, attempts to stop the pulse completely failed (100%, 80 of 80 tests). With a windlass, however, attempts to stop the pulse failed 31% of the time (25 of 80 tests); the difference in proportions was significant (ρ < .0001). Conclusions: Improvised strap-and-windlass tourniquets were more effective than those with no windlass, as a windlass allowed the user to gain mechanical advantage. However, improvised strap-and-windlass torniquets failed to control hemorrhage in 32% of tests.

Keywords: first aid; hemorrhage; tourniquet; shock; damage control; tourniquet, makeshift; tourniquet, homemade; strap-and-windlass

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Resuscitation During Critical Care Transportation in Afghanistan

Tobin JM, Nordmann GR, Kuncir EJ. 15(3). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: These data describe the critical care procedures performed on, and the resuscitation markers of, critically wounded personnel in Afghanistan following point of injury (POI) transports and intratheater transports. Providing this information may help inform discussion on the design of critical care transportation platforms for future conflicts. Methods: The Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR) was queried for descriptive data on combat casualties with Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15 who were transported in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. Both POI transportation events and interfacility transportation events were reviewed. Base deficit (BD) was evaluated as a maker of resuscitation, and international normalized ratio (INR) was evaluated as a measure of coagulopathy. Results: There were 1198 transportation events that occurred during the study period - 634 (53%) transports from the POI and 564 (47%) intratheater transports. Critical care interventions were performed during 147 (12.3%) transportation events, including intubation, cricothyrotomy, double-lumen endotracheal tube placement, needle or tube thoracostomy, central venous access placement, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The mean BD on arrival in the emergency department was -5.4 mEq/L for POI transports and 0.68 mEq/L intratheater transports (ρ < .001). The mean INR on arrival in the emergency department was 1.48 for POI transports and 1.21 for intratheater transports (ρ < .001). Conclusions: Critical care interventions were needed frequently during evacuation of severely injured personnel. Furthermore, many troops arrived acidotic and coagulopathic following initial transport from POI. Together, these data suggest that a platform capable of damage control resuscitation and critical care interventions may be warranted on longer transports of more critically injured patients.

Keywords: transportation; critical care; resuscitation, trauma; damage control; emergency medical services; care, out-of-hospital

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Short Report Comparing Generation 6 Versus Prototype Generation 7 Combat Application Tourniquet® in a Manikin Hemorrhage Model

Kragh JF, Moore VK, Aden JK, Parsons DL, Dubick MA. 16(1). 14 - 17. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The Combat Application Tourniquet® (C-A-T) is the standard-issue military tourniquet used in first aid in 2015, and the current model is called Generation 6. Soldiers in the field, however, have been asking for design changes in a possible Generation 7 to improve ease of use. This study compared the differential performance in use of the C-A-T in two designs: Generation 6 (C-A-T 6) versus a prototype Generation 7 (C-A-T 7). Methods: A laboratory experiment was designed to test the performance of two tourniquet designs in hemorrhage control, ease of use, and user preference. Ten users of the two C-A-T models placed them on a manikin thigh to stop simulated bleeding. Users included trauma researchers and instructors of US Army student medics. Ten users conducted 20 tests (10 each of both designs). Results: Most results were not statistically significant in their difference by C-A-T design. The mean difference in blood loss was statistically significant (ρ = .03) in that the C-A-T 7 performed better than the C-A-T 6, but only in the mixed statistical model analysis of variance, which accounted for user effects. The difference in ease-of-use score was statistically significant (ρ = .002); the C-A-T 7 was easier. All users preferred the C-A-T 7. Conclusion: In each measure, the C-A-T Generation 7 prototype performed similar or better than Generation 6, was easier to use, and was preferred.

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

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Preliminary Comparison of New and Established Tactical Tourniquets in a Manikin Hemorrhage Model

Gibson R, Housler GJ, Rush SC, Aden JK, Kragh JF, Dubick MA. 16(1). 29 - 35. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Emergency tourniquet use has been associated with hemorrhage control and improved survival during the wars since 2001. The purpose of the present study is to compare the differential performance of two new tactical tourniquets with the standard-issue tourniquet to provide preliminary evidence to guide decisions on device development. Methods: A laboratory experiment was designed to test the effectiveness of tourniquets on a manikin thigh. Three models of tourniquets were assessed. The Rapid Application Tourniquet System (RATS) and the Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT) were compared with the standard-issue Combat Application Tourniquet® (C-A-T). Two users conducted 30 tests each. Results: Percentages for effectiveness (hemorrhage control, yes/no) and distal pulse cessation did not differ significantly by model. When compared with the RATS, the C-A-T performed better (ρ < .001) for time to hemorrhage control and fluid loss. The C-A-T and TMT had comparable responses for most measures, but the C-A-T applied more pressure (ρ = .04) than did the TMT for hemorrhage control. Conclusion: All three tactical tourniquets showed substantial capacity for hemorrhage control. However, the two new tourniquet models (RATS and TMT) did not offer any improvement over the C-A-T, which is currently issued to military services. Indeed, one of the new models, the RATS, was inferior to the C-A-T in terms of speed of application and simulated loss of blood. Opportunities were detected for refinements in design of the two new tourniquets that may offer future improvements in their performance.

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

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Preliminary Measures of Instructor Learning in Teaching Junctional Tourniquet Users

Kragh JF, Aden JK, Shackelford S, Dubick MA. 16(2). 13 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of instructor learning on student performance in use of junctional tourniquets. Methods: From a convenience sample of data available after another study, we used a manikin for assessment of control of bleeding from a right groin gunshot wound. Blood loss was measured by the instructor while training users. The data set represented a group of 30 persons taught one at a time. The first measure was a plot of mean blood loss volumes for the sequential users. The second measure was a plot of the cumulative sum (CUSUM) of mean blood loss (BL) volumes for users. Results: Mean blood loss trended down as the instructor gained experience with each newly instructed user. User performance continually improved as the instructor gained more experience with teaching. No plateau effect was observed within the 30 users. The CUSUM plot illustrated a turning point or cusp at the seventh user. The prior portion of the plot (users 1-7) had the greatest improvement; performance did not improve as much thereafter. The improvement after the seventh user was the only change detected in the instructor's trend of performance. Conclusions: The instructor's teaching experience appeared to directly affect user performance; in a model of junctional hemorrhage, the volume of blood loss from the manikin during junctional tourniquet placement was a useful metric of instructor learning. The CUSUM technique detected a small but meaningful change in trend where the instructor learning curve was greatest while working with the first seven users.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage, prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Preliminary Comparison of Pneumatic Models of Tourniquet for Prehospital Control of Limb Bleeding in a Manikin Model

Gibson R, Aden JK, Dubick MA, Kragh JF. 16(2). 21 - 27. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Emergency tourniquet use has been associated with hemorrhage control and improved survival during the wars since 2001, but little is known of the differential performance of pneumatic tourniquet models. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of three models of pneumatic tourniquets in a laboratory setting to aid a possible decision to field test suitable models for medic preference. Methods: A laboratory experiment was designed to test the effectiveness of tourniquets on a manikin thigh. Three models (one Emergency and Military Tourniquet [EMT] and two Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquets differing in width: 2 in. and 3 in. [TPT3]) were compared with the standard-issue Combat Application Tourniquet of a strap-and-windlass design. Two users conducted 40 tests each on a right-thigh manikin (HapMed Leg Tourniquet Trainer) with a simulated above-knee amputation injury. Measurements included effectiveness in hemorrhage control, pulse stoppage distal to the tourniquet, time to stop bleeding, blood loss, and pressure. Results: All four models were 100% effective in both hemorrhage control and pulse stoppage distal to the tourniquet. The TPT3 had the slowest mean time to stop bleeding and the highest mean blood loss. The EMT had the least mean pressure. An interuser difference was found only for mean pressure. Conclusions: All models of tourniquet performed equally well for both the critical outcome of effectiveness and the important outcome of pulse stoppage, whereas results for secondary outcomes (time, pressure, and blood loss) differed by model. The EMT had best performance for every type of measurement.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage, prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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

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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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Mechanical Testing of Models of Tourniquet After Environmental Exposure

O'Conor DK, Kragh JF, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 17(1). 27 - 35. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The purpose of the present study was to mechanically assess models of emergency tourniquet after 18 months of environmental exposure to weather to better understand risk of component damage. Materials and Methods: An experiment was designed to test tourniquet performance on a manikin thigh. Three tourniquet models were assessed: Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet Wide, Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet, and Combat Application Tourniquet. Unexposed tourniquets formed a control group stored in a laboratory; exposed tourniquets were placed outdoors on a metal roof for 18 months in San Antonio, Texas. Two users, a military cadet and a scientist, made 300 assessments in total. Assessment included major damage (yes-no), effectiveness (hemorrhage control, yes-no), casualty survival (alive-dead), time to stop bleeding, pressure, and blood loss. Time, pressure, and blood loss were reported in tests with effectiveness. Results: Exposed devices had worse results than unexposed devices for major damage (3% [4/150] versus 0% [0/150]; ρ = .018), effectiveness (89% versus 99%; ρ = .002), and survival of casualties (89% versus 100%; ρ < .001). In tests for effectiveness, exposed devices had worse results than unexposed devices for time to stop bleeding (29 seconds versus 26 seconds; ρ = .01) and pressure (200mmHg versus 204mmHg; ρ = .03, respectively), but blood loss volume did not differ significantly. Conclusion: Compared with unexposed control devices, environmentally exposed tourniquets had worse results in tests of component damage, effectiveness, and casualty survival.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Keyword: damage control resuscitation

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Fluid Resuscitation for Hemorrhagic Shock in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 14-01 - 2 June 2014

Butler FK, Holcomb JB, Schreiber MA, Kotwal RS, Jenkins DA, Champion HR, Bowling F, Cap AP, DuBose JJ, Dorlac WC, Dorlac GR, McSwain NE, Timby JW, Blackbourne LH, Stockinger Z, Strandenes G, Weiskopf RB, Gross K, Bailey JA. 14(3). 13 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This report reviews the recent literature on fluid resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock and considers the applicability of this evidence for use in resuscitation of combat casualties in the prehospital Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) environment. A number of changes to the TCCC Guidelines are incorporated: (1) dried plasma (DP) is added as an option when other blood components or whole blood are not available; (2) the wording is clarified to emphasize that Hextend is a less desirable option than whole blood, blood components, or DP and should be used only when these preferred options are not available; (3) the use of blood products in certain Tactical Field Care (TFC) settings where this option might be feasible (ships, mounted patrols) is discussed; (4) 1:1:1 damage control resuscitation (DCR) is preferred to 1:1 DCR when platelets are available as well as plasma and red cells; and (5) the 30-minute wait between increments of resuscitation fluid administered to achieve clinical improvement or target blood pressure (BP) has been eliminated. Also included is an order of precedence for resuscitation fluid options. Maintained as recommendations are an emphasis on hypotensive resuscitation in order to minimize (1) interference with the body's hemostatic response and (2) the risk of complications of overresuscitation. Hextend is retained as the preferred option over crystalloids when blood products are not available because of its smaller volume and the potential for long evacuations in the military setting.

Keywords: hemorrhage; fluid resuscitation; shock; plasma; blood products; damage control resuscitation

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Keyword: dark adaptation

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Tactical Lighting in Special Operations Medicine: Survey of Current Preferences

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Eisnor DL, LaPorta AJ. 13(1). 15 - 21. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) is dependent on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty position when under fire. There is no single ideal light source suitable for varied SOFMED environments. We present the results of an online survey of Special Operations Medical Operators in an attempt to determine strengths and weaknesses of current systems. There was no consensus ideal hue for tactical illumination. Most Operators own three or more lights, and most lights were not night vision compatible. Most importantly, nearly 25% of respondents reported that lighting issues contributed to a poor casualty outcome; conversely, a majority (50 of 74) stated their system helped prevent a poor outcome. Based on the results of this initial survey, we can affirm that the design and choice of lighting is critical to SOFMED success. We are conducting ongoing studies to further define ideal systems for tactical applications including field, aviation, and marine settings.

Keywords: lighting; tactical; dark adaptation; contrast sensitivity; illumination

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Tactical Lighting in Special Operations Medicine: Survey of Current Preferences

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Eisnor DL, LaPorta AJ. 13(4). 15 - 21. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) is dependent on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty position when under fire. There is no single ideal light source suitable for varied SOFMED environments. We present the results of an online survey of Special Operations Medical Operators in an attempt to determine strengths and weaknesses of current systems. There was no consensus ideal hue for tactical illumination. Most Operators own three or more lights, and most lights were not night vision compatible. Most importantly, nearly 25% of respondents reported that lighting issues contributed to a poor casualty outcome; conversely, a majority (50 of 74) stated their system helped prevent a poor outcome. Based on the results of this initial survey, we can affirm that the design and choice of lighting is critical to SOFMED success. We are conducting ongoing studies to further define ideal systems for tactical applications including field, aviation, and marine settings.

Keywords: lighting; tactical; dark adaptation; contrast sensitivity; illumination

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Keyword: data processing

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Cessation of Vital Signs Monitored During Lethal Hemorrhage: A Swine Study

Bodo M, Pearce FJ, Tsai MD, Garcia A, vanAlbert S, Armonda R. 13(4). 63 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Two challenges of trauma triage are to identify wounded who are in danger of imminent death and to enable medics to determine if resuscitation is possible when making "dead or alive" decisions on the battlefield. Hemorrhagic shock is the leading cause of death in combat injuries. The purpose of this study was to establish the sequence of vital sign cessation during lethal hemorrhage in swine. Our hypothesis was that brain electrical activity (electroencephalography [EEG]) and respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death than traditional modalities measured during triage, such as heart electrical activity (electrocardiography [ECG]) and blood pressure. Methods: Lethal hemorrhage was induced in anesthetized Yorkshire pigs. Vital sign modalities measured were respiration, heart electrical activity (ECG), heart sound, blood pressure (systemic arterial pressure), and brain electrical activity (EEG). Results: The sequence of vital sign cessation was (1) respiration, (2) brain electrical activity (EEG), (3) heart sound, (4) blood pressure, and (5) heart electrical activity (ECG). Cessation of respiration occurred at approximately the same time that brain electrical activity stopped ("flatlined") for 2 seconds and then resumed briefly before cessation; cessation of heart electrical activity occurred almost 8 minutes later. Conclusions: A 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration are useful event markers to indicate an opportunity to prevent irreversible brain damage from lethal hemorrhage. Since the 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration occur about 8 minutes before cessation of heart electrical activity (ECG), EEG and final respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death. The use of deployable noninvasive brain monitors implementing these findings can be live-saving on the battlefield as well is in civilian environments.

Keywords: lethal hemorrhage; vital sign monitoring; EEG; respiration; event marker; data processing; swine

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Keyword: date of expiration

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What Can Be Done With Expired Pharmaceuticals? A Review Of Literature As It Pertains To Special Operations Force's Medics

Culbertson NT. 11(2). 1 - 6. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Over the past decade, increasing evidence suggests that pharmaceuticals may continue to be potent beyond their date of expiration. Despite this evidence, we have not yet experienced a change in United States federal policy that would recommend usage of expired pharmaceuticals. While the scientific community and federal regulators continue to study the matter, the medical community is often guilty of misunderstanding the nuances of the issue. As a result, many healthcare professionals misinform their peers and their patients on either the appropriateness or inappropriateness of taking expired medications. Even though both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recommend the dosing of expired pharmaceuticals at this time, discussion of the issue is warranted in order to understand the potential behind some expired drugs and to encourage further research. This discussion is particularly relevant to the Special Operations medical community, since Special Operations Force's (SOF) medic s frequently encounter expired medication overseas. Given thei r unique sk ill set and working environ ment, the SOF medic should be familiar with the potential applications of expired medications, including their drawbacks.

Keywords: date of expiration; expired pharmaceuticals; shelf-life extension

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Keyword: decompression sickness

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Decompression Sickness Following Altitude-Chamber Training

Studer NM, Hughes JR, Puskar J. 15(1). 11 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Decompression sickness (DCS) is one of several dysbarisms (medical conditions resulting from a change in atmospheric pressure) that can be encountered by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider. DCS can present with several different manifestations. The authors present the case of a 23-year-old Airman who presented with vague neurologic symptoms following altitude-chamber training. They discuss the care of casualties with DCS and its implications for SOF.

Keywords: decompression sickness; Type II DCS; dysbarism; gas embolism; hyperbaric oxygen; altitude chamber; demand value; Oxylator®; hypoxia; hypobaric

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Inner Ear Barotrauma After Underwater Pool Competency Training Without the Use of Compressed Air Case and Review

McIntire S, Boujie L. 16(2). 52 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Inner ear barotrauma can occur when the gas-filled chambers of the ear have difficulty equalizing pressure with the outside environment after changes in ambient pressure. This can transpire even with small pressure changes. Hypobaric or hyperbaric environments can place significant stress on the structures of the middle and inner ear. If methods to equalize pressure between the middle ear and other connected gas-filled spaces (i.e., Valsalva maneuver) are unsuccessful, middle ear overpressurization can occur. This force can be transmitted to the fluid-filled inner ear, making it susceptible to injury. Damage specifically to the structures of the vestibulocochlear system can lead to symptoms of vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus. This article discusses the case of a 23-year-old male Marine who presented with symptoms of nausea and gait instability after performing underwater pool competency exercises to a maximum depth of 13 feet, without breathing compressed air. Diagnosis and management of inner ear barotrauma are reviewed, as is differentiation from inner ear decompression sickness.

Keywords: inner ear; barotrauma, inner ear; decompression sickness; inner ear; vertigo; tinnitus; hearing loss

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Keyword: decompression, chest

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What Is the Optimal Device Length and Insertion Site for Needle Thoracostomy in UK Military Casualties? A Computed Tomography Study

Blenkinsop G, Mossadegh S, Ballard M, Parker P. 15(3). 60 - 65. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Significant lessons to inform best practice in trauma care should be learned from the last decade of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. This study used radiological data collated in the UK Military Hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, to investigate the most appropriate device length for needle chest decompression of tension pneumothorax (TP). We reviewed the optimal length of device and site needed for needle decompression of a tension pneumothorax in a UK military population and found no significant difference between sites for needle chest decompression (NCD). As a result, we do not recommend use of devices longer than 60mm for UK service personnel.

Keywords: decompression, chest; thoracostomy, needle; UK military

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Keyword: DEET

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Schistosomiasis: Traverers in Africa

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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Keyword: defense strategic guidance

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Priorities for a 21st-Century Defense: Aligning U.S. Army Environmental Science and Engineering Officer Resources with the Department of Defense Strategic Guidance

Licina D, Rufolo D, Story M. 13(2). 38 - 43. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The recently published Department of Defense (DoD) strategic guidance highlights the need to "shape a joint force for the future." Supporting requirements to shape the joint force while the overall DoD force structure is reduced will be challenging. Fortunately, based on its unique training and experience, the Army Environmental Science and Engineering Officer (ESEO) profession is positioned today to fill anticipated joint public health requirements. Obtaining the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) approval to meet these requirements will have near-term consequences for the ESEO profession as some existing (albeit antiquated) authorizations may go unfilled. However, long-term dividends for the Medical Service Corps (MSC), AMEDD, Army, and DoD will be achieved by realigning critical resources to future joint and interagency requirements. Assigning ESEOs now to organizations such as the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with perceived and real joint force health protection/public health requirements through unique means will ensure our profession remains relevant today and supports the joint force of tomorrow.

Keywords: environmental science; public health; global health; defense strategic guidance

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Keyword: dehydration

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Rice-Based Electrolyte Drinks More Effective Than Water in Replacing Sweat Losses During Hot Weather Training and Operations

Gerold KB, Greenough WB, Yasar S. 13(4). 12 - 14. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Heat-related injury presents significant threats to the health and operational effectiveness of Soldiers and military operations. In 2012, active component, U.S. Armed Forces experienced 365 incident cases of heat stroke and 2,257 incident cases of "other heat injury." Most of these occurred among recruit and enlisted personnel and most were under the age of 30. In conditioned military personnel, a rice-based oral rehydration solution was superior to water alone at maintaining body weight and, by inference, enabled Soldiers to better maintain their the state of hydration during prolonged exercise in high ambient temperatures. In view of the health risks associated with dehydration and their effects on training and operations, this study suggests that the consumption of beverages containing electrolytes and a rice-based carbohydrate is superior to the consumption of water alone in preventing dehydration and heat related illness.

Keywords: heat-related illness; dehydration; oral rehydration; water

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Keyword: delirium

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The Agitated Patient

Goldstein S. 13(3). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Caring for an agitated patient can be a daunting task for the tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic. The cause, degree, and duration of agitation can vary among such individuals. These patients create a high-stress and disruptive environment, needing numerous people involved to control. One agitated patient can disrupt an entire tactical team or casualty evacuation. The patient's history and physical examination can give important clues to the cause, thereby directing treatment and leading to a quick and safe resolution. The variety of treatments for the agitated patient are just as numerous as the causes and range from verbal deescalation to medications and physical restraint, all of which have a risk-benefit profile to consider.

Keywords: agitated patients; brain; TBI; hypoxia; hypoglycemia; hypothermia; delirium; ketamine; dissociative; combative; sedation

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: demand value

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Decompression Sickness Following Altitude-Chamber Training

Studer NM, Hughes JR, Puskar J. 15(1). 11 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Decompression sickness (DCS) is one of several dysbarisms (medical conditions resulting from a change in atmospheric pressure) that can be encountered by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider. DCS can present with several different manifestations. The authors present the case of a 23-year-old Airman who presented with vague neurologic symptoms following altitude-chamber training. They discuss the care of casualties with DCS and its implications for SOF.

Keywords: decompression sickness; Type II DCS; dysbarism; gas embolism; hyperbaric oxygen; altitude chamber; demand value; Oxylator®; hypoxia; hypobaric

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Keyword: demands

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An Integrated Approach for Special Operations

Deuster PA, Grunberg NE, O'Connor FG. 14(2). 86 - 80. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The Department of Defense (DoD) faces unprecedented challenges as the Nation confronts balancing a strong military to confront threats with the realities of diminishing financial resources. That each warfighter is a critical resource was underscored the Special Operations principal tenet "humans are more important than hardware." These challenges have popularized the term "human performance optimization" (HPO), which became ingrained in DoD around 2005. This article is the first in a new series relating to HPO, and we define the term and concept of HPO, describe other phrases used (e.g., performance enhancement; performance sustainment, performance restoration; and human performance modification). Last, we introduce an integrated model for HPO.

Keywords: human performance optimization; demands; resource; OODA loop

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Keyword: Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Kitona 2013: A Medical Readiness Training Exercise in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Leading to Lion Rouge

Hesse E, Okito EA, Mann K, McCullough M, Lesho E. 15(3). 54 - 59. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Health initiatives support regional stability and are a priority for US and African partners. We present data and experience from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a strategically and epidemiologically ideal location for collaborative medical engagement (CME). Our objectives included relationship building, exposure of US military medical personnel to uncommon tropical diseases, bolstering a referral hospital, and updating Congolese physicians on new treatment or preventive standards of care. Methods: We conducted a CMEstyled medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE) at the Military Referral Hospital of Kitona in June 2013. US and Congolese healthcare providers presented 20 lectures and evaluated 158 patients collaboratively; 132 for infections. Results: The CME led to Lion Rouge, the first joint military, multidisciplinary engagement between the respective militaries. Equally noteworthy is that some of the same participants returned to the same location for the follow-on exercise, providing continuity. Conclusion: These outcomes suggest the MEDRETE and CME approaches were successful.

Keywords: exercise; medical; MEDRETE; needs assessment; Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Keyword: dengue

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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Keyword: dengue fever

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Seroprevalence of Dengue Fever in US Army Special Operations Forces: Initial Results and the Way Ahead

Caci JB, Blaylock JM, De La Barrera R, Thomas SJ, Lyons AG. 14(3). 111 - 115. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The endemicity of dengue fever (DF) and, consequently, sequelae of DF are increasing worldwide. The increases are largely a result of widespread international travel and the increased range of the mosquito vectors. US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) personnel are at an increased risk of exposure to dengue based on their frequent deployments to and presence in dengue endemic areas worldwide. Repeated deployments to different endemic areas can increase the risk for developing the more serious sequelae of dengue: dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Information about the seroprevalence rate of dengue in USASOC personnel, in particular, is lacking and is critical to assessing the risk, tailoring preventive medicine countermeasures, leveraging field diagnostics, and maintaining mission capability. In the first part of a two-part project to assess baseline seroprevalence in USASOC units, a random, unit-stratified sample of 500 anonymous serum specimens from personnel assigned to the highest-risk units in USASOC were screened for dengue using a microneutralization assay. Of the 500 specimens screened, 56 (11.2%) of 500 had neutralizing titers (NT) (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one DENV serotype. Subsequent sample titration resulted in 48 (85.7%) of 56 of the samples with NT (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one dengue serotype for an overall dengue exposure rate of 9.6% (48 of 500). The second part of the ongoing project, started in 2012, was a multicenter, serosurveillance project using predeployment and postdeployment sera collected from USASOC personnel deployed to South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Preliminary results show a 13.2% (55 of 414) seropositivity rate. The significance of these findings as they relate to personal risk and operational impact is discussed.

Keywords: dengue fever; USASOC; dengue hemorrhagic fever; dengue shock syndrome

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Fever and Thrombocytopenia in a Returning Soldier

Downs JW, Biggane PJ. 15(4). 75 - 78. (Journal Article)

Abstract

A case of fever and thrombocytopenia in a 33-year-old Special Forces Soldier with recent deployment to the Philippines is discussed, as are differential diagnosis and initial medical management at an overseas, fixed US military medical treatment facility. The authors discuss lessons learned that are applicable for Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical providers and recommend a renewed and continued emphasis on tropical medicine and infectious disease training for SOF medical providers.

Keywords: dengue fever; military medicine; tropical medicine; fever of unknown origin

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Keyword: dengue hemorrhagic fever

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Dengue Infections

Burnett MW. 13(2). 64 - 68. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Dengue fever is one of the most common mosquito-borne viral illnesses in the world. It is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. Dengue infections are caused by four antigenically distinct but closely related viruses (DEN 1-4). Infection with any one of the viruses is thought to provide lifetime immunity to future infections from the same virus but only short-term cross-immunity to the other types, leading to the possibility of secondary infections. Dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), more severe types of dengue infections, sometimes result when an individual is subsequently infected with a second virus serotype during their lifetime. The most commonly accepted theory for the development of these more severe dengue infections is that of antibody-dependent enhancement, although other factors likely play a role. Infections complicated by DHF/DSS in areas where dengue is endemic are most often seen in the later half of the first year of life, when waning maternal antibodies may enhance the development of a more severe infection, and in young school-age children experiencing secondary infections. Widespread infections are most commonly seen during the rainy season of endemic areas when the breeding habitat of the Aedes mosquito is most favorable.

Keywords: dengue hemorrhagic fever; dengue shock syndrome; mosquito-borne viral illness

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Seroprevalence of Dengue Fever in US Army Special Operations Forces: Initial Results and the Way Ahead

Caci JB, Blaylock JM, De La Barrera R, Thomas SJ, Lyons AG. 14(3). 111 - 115. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The endemicity of dengue fever (DF) and, consequently, sequelae of DF are increasing worldwide. The increases are largely a result of widespread international travel and the increased range of the mosquito vectors. US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) personnel are at an increased risk of exposure to dengue based on their frequent deployments to and presence in dengue endemic areas worldwide. Repeated deployments to different endemic areas can increase the risk for developing the more serious sequelae of dengue: dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Information about the seroprevalence rate of dengue in USASOC personnel, in particular, is lacking and is critical to assessing the risk, tailoring preventive medicine countermeasures, leveraging field diagnostics, and maintaining mission capability. In the first part of a two-part project to assess baseline seroprevalence in USASOC units, a random, unit-stratified sample of 500 anonymous serum specimens from personnel assigned to the highest-risk units in USASOC were screened for dengue using a microneutralization assay. Of the 500 specimens screened, 56 (11.2%) of 500 had neutralizing titers (NT) (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one DENV serotype. Subsequent sample titration resulted in 48 (85.7%) of 56 of the samples with NT (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one dengue serotype for an overall dengue exposure rate of 9.6% (48 of 500). The second part of the ongoing project, started in 2012, was a multicenter, serosurveillance project using predeployment and postdeployment sera collected from USASOC personnel deployed to South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Preliminary results show a 13.2% (55 of 414) seropositivity rate. The significance of these findings as they relate to personal risk and operational impact is discussed.

Keywords: dengue fever; USASOC; dengue hemorrhagic fever; dengue shock syndrome

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Keyword: dengue shock syndrome

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Dengue Infections

Burnett MW. 13(2). 64 - 68. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Dengue fever is one of the most common mosquito-borne viral illnesses in the world. It is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. Dengue infections are caused by four antigenically distinct but closely related viruses (DEN 1-4). Infection with any one of the viruses is thought to provide lifetime immunity to future infections from the same virus but only short-term cross-immunity to the other types, leading to the possibility of secondary infections. Dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS), more severe types of dengue infections, sometimes result when an individual is subsequently infected with a second virus serotype during their lifetime. The most commonly accepted theory for the development of these more severe dengue infections is that of antibody-dependent enhancement, although other factors likely play a role. Infections complicated by DHF/DSS in areas where dengue is endemic are most often seen in the later half of the first year of life, when waning maternal antibodies may enhance the development of a more severe infection, and in young school-age children experiencing secondary infections. Widespread infections are most commonly seen during the rainy season of endemic areas when the breeding habitat of the Aedes mosquito is most favorable.

Keywords: dengue hemorrhagic fever; dengue shock syndrome; mosquito-borne viral illness

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Seroprevalence of Dengue Fever in US Army Special Operations Forces: Initial Results and the Way Ahead

Caci JB, Blaylock JM, De La Barrera R, Thomas SJ, Lyons AG. 14(3). 111 - 115. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The endemicity of dengue fever (DF) and, consequently, sequelae of DF are increasing worldwide. The increases are largely a result of widespread international travel and the increased range of the mosquito vectors. US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) personnel are at an increased risk of exposure to dengue based on their frequent deployments to and presence in dengue endemic areas worldwide. Repeated deployments to different endemic areas can increase the risk for developing the more serious sequelae of dengue: dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Information about the seroprevalence rate of dengue in USASOC personnel, in particular, is lacking and is critical to assessing the risk, tailoring preventive medicine countermeasures, leveraging field diagnostics, and maintaining mission capability. In the first part of a two-part project to assess baseline seroprevalence in USASOC units, a random, unit-stratified sample of 500 anonymous serum specimens from personnel assigned to the highest-risk units in USASOC were screened for dengue using a microneutralization assay. Of the 500 specimens screened, 56 (11.2%) of 500 had neutralizing titers (NT) (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one DENV serotype. Subsequent sample titration resulted in 48 (85.7%) of 56 of the samples with NT (MN(50) ≥ 10) against at least one dengue serotype for an overall dengue exposure rate of 9.6% (48 of 500). The second part of the ongoing project, started in 2012, was a multicenter, serosurveillance project using predeployment and postdeployment sera collected from USASOC personnel deployed to South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Preliminary results show a 13.2% (55 of 414) seropositivity rate. The significance of these findings as they relate to personal risk and operational impact is discussed.

Keywords: dengue fever; USASOC; dengue hemorrhagic fever; dengue shock syndrome

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Keyword: density

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Evaluating Alternatives to Traditional Cotton Laparotomy Sponges for Blood Absorption in the Austere and Mobile Surgical Environment

Sirkin MR, Cook P, Davis KG. 15(4). 54 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The operative control of noncompressible hemorrhage is the single largest impact that could be addressed in reducing the mortality on the battlefield. Laprotomy pads, traditionally used for hemorrhage evacuation, are made of woven cotton, and, while effective, their use requires a substantial amount of space and adds weight. This poses no concern in traditional operating rooms but is a hindrance for mobile providers and providers in austere environments. We sought to compare different absorptive compunds to ascertain their utility as alternatives for traditional laparotomy pads. Methods: Samples of cotton laparotomy pads, pure rayon sheets, rayon-polypropylene composite sheets, and non-polyester composite "microfiber" sheets were weighed and submerged in heparinized whole bovine blood. After saturation, the favrics were weighed, wrung dry, reweighed, and resubmerged. This process was performed for a total of three sequential submersions. The saturated weights and dry weights of each fabric were used to calculate how much blood each fabric could absorb initially and after multiple repeated uses. The initial densities of the four fabrics was calculated and compared. Results: The initial submersions demonstrated that 1g each of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 7.58g, 12.98g, 10.16g, and 9.73g of blood respectively. The second and third sequential trials, which were statistically similar, demonstrated that 1g of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropolyene, and nylon-polyester were able to absorb 1.73g, 2.83g, 2.3g, and 2.3g of blood, respectively. The calculated densities of cotton, rayon, rayon-polypropylene, and nylon-polyester were 0.087g/cm³, .012g/cm³, 0.098g/cm³, and 0.093g/cm³, respectively. Conclusion: Per gram, rayon absorbed approximately 1.7 times more blood thancotton and three-quarters the amount of the storage space. Rayon also retained its superior absorption abilites on repeated uses, demonstrating the potential for re-use in remote and austere environments. Thus, rayon could serve as a viable alternative to traditional cotton laparotomy pads in the austere environments.

Keywords: hemorrhage; laparotomy; cotton; rayon; sponge; austere; surgery; packing; combat casualty care; absorption; density

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Keyword: deployment

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Treatment of Psoriasis in the Deployed Setting

Bongiorno MA, Rivard SC, Meyerle JH. 15(2). 12 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated disorder that can be triggered by environmental changes, illness, smoking, or medications. This case describes a 25-year-old, activeduty Marine Corps Sergeant with a severe perideployment psoriatic flare, and illustrates treatment limitations, restricted access to specialized care, and the importance of mitigating triggers in the deployed setting.

Keywords: psoriasis; psoriasis, plaque; psoriasis, guttate; arthritis, psoriatic; smoking, cessation; ultraviolet light, exposure; deployment; military provider

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Garrison Clinical Setting Inadequate for Maintenance of Procedural Skills for Emergency Medicine Physicians: A Cross-Sectional Study

Schauer SG, Varney SM, Cox KL. 15(4). 67 - 70. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Emergency medicine physicians (EPs) are often placed in far-forward, isolated areas in theater. Maintenance of their emergency intervention skills is vital to keep the medical forces deployment ready. The US Army suggests that working at a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) is sufficient to keep emergency procedural skills at a deployment-ready level. We sought to compare the volume of emergency procedures that providers reported necessary to maintain their skills with the number available in the MTF setting. Methods: EPs were surveyed to quantify the number of procedures they reported they would need to perform yearly to stay deployment-ready. We obtained procedure data for their duty stations and compared the procedure volume with the survey responses to determine if working at an MTF is sufficient to keep providers' skills deployment ready. Results: The reported necessary average numbers per year were as follows: tube thoracostomy (5.9), intubation (11.4), cricothyrotomy (4.2), lumbar puncture (5.2), central line (10.0), focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) (21.3), reductions (10.6), splints (10.5), and sedations (11.7). None of the procedure volumes at MTFs met provider requirements with the exception of FAST examinations at the only trauma center. Conclusions: This suggests the garrison clinical environment is inadequate for maintaining procedure skills. Further research is needed to determine modalities that will provide adequate training volume.

Keywords: procedure; skills, procedural; competency, procedural; physicians, emergency medicine; skills; maintenance; deployment; volume

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Keyword: dermatitis

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Oral Steroids for Dermatitis

Fisher AD, Clarke J, Williams TK. 15(2). 8 - 11. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Contact/allergic dermatitis is frequently treated inappropriately with lower-than-recommended doses or inadequate duration of treatment with oral and intramuscular glucocorticoids. This article highlights a case of dermatitis in a Ranger Assessment and Selection Program student who was improperly treated over 2 weeks with oral steroids after being bit by Cimex lectularius, commonly known as bed bugs. The article also highlights the pitfalls of improper oral steroid dosing and provides reasoning for longer-duration oral steroid treatment.

Keywords: dermatitis; steroids; bed bugs; military; Cimex lectularis

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Keyword: dermatology

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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A Painful Rash in an Austere Environment

Hellums JS, Klapperich K. 15(1). 113 - 117. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Dermatologic complaints are common in the deployed environment. Preventive medicine and knowledge of indigenous flora and fauna are cornerstones for forward deployed medical personnel. This article describes a case of Paederus dermatitis in an austere environment, reviews dermatologic terminology, and provides a reminder of the importance of exercising good preventive medicine procedures.

Keywords: Africa; dermatology; Special Operations medic; Paederus dermatitis

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Red Rash

Banting J, Meriano T. 16(1). 76 - 80. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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: rash; rash, red; dermatology

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Keyword: diagnosis

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Abdominal Pain

Banting J, Meriano T. 15(1). 118 - 122. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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: pain; abdominal pain; appendicitis; diagnosis; treatment

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Keyword: diagnostics

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Case Report of an Anthrax Presentation Relevant to Special Operations Medicine

Winkler S, Enzenauer RW, Karesh JW, Pasteur N, Eisnor DL, Painter RB, Calvano CJ. 16(2). 9 - 12. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel function worldwide in environments where endemic anthrax (caused by Bacillus anthracis infection) may present in one of three forms: cutaneous, pulmonary, or gastrointestinal. This report presents a rare periocular anthrax case from Haiti to emphasize the need for heightened diagnostic suspicion of unusual lesions likely to be encountered in SOF theaters.

Keywords: periocular anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; ophthalmology; diagnostics

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Keyword: diarrheal disease

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Infectious Diseases: Cholera

Burnett MW. 14(2). 91 - 94. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vibrio cholerae is a comma-shaped, gram-negative rod that produces an enterotoxin, which causes an acute-onset diarrheal disease ranging in severity from mild to life threatening. Worldwide, there are an estimated 3-5 million cases per year, with more than 100,000 deaths. The disease remains a significant cause of death and illness in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia (especially Bangladesh and India), and Haiti, and the infection should be recognized by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider.

Keywords: Vibrio cholerae; enterotoxin; diarrheal disease

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Keyword: diathemy

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Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: The Efficacy of Nonantimony Treatment in the Austere Environment Using Cryotherapy, Thermotherapy, and Photodynamic Therapy as an Alternative Method of Treatment

Kunzler B. 13(4). 40 - 45. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The author provides a retrospective review of clinical trials evaluating cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and thermotherapy in the treatment of cutaneous Leishmania infestations. Current cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) treatment is based primarily on antimony compounds such as meglumine antimoniate, sodium stibogluconate, ketaconozole, amphotericin B, and other similar compounds. All have potentially severe sideeffects and relatively narrow therapeutic windows (i.e., the minimum doses that are therapeutic and do not cause harm). Investigational modalities using heat and cold therapies were shown to have similar results compared with current treatment regimens. Combination therapies have also been investigated and are the standard of treatment in the United States. Although the current therapies are effective in the treatment of the trypanosomatid protozoan Leishmania parasite, some effective alternative modalities have been shown to have fewer serious side-effects compared with current medications. Investigational studies that were reviewed showed that whether used individually or as an adjunct to traditional therapies, alternative treatment methods proved to be equally efficacious in treating CL. Some investigational therapies, such as cryotherapy as the sole modality, approached 92% cure rate. Any of the three investigated alternatives (i.e., heat, cold, or photodynamic) are techniques that could be readily used by Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics during their operations in remote and/or austere regions of the world.

Keywords: cutaneous leishmaniasis; cryotherapy; thermotherapy; diathemy; SOF medics; photodynamic therapy; Leishmania

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Keyword: dietary supplements

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The 10 Commandments of Nutrition: 2014

Deuster PA, Lindsey AT, Butler FK. 14(3). 80 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The US Special Operations Command requires sound recommendations on nutrition to ensure optimal performance of Special Operations personnel. New information continues to emerge, and previous recommendations need to be modified as the evidence base continues to grow. The first 10 Commandments of Nutrition were published in the SEAL professional journal Full Mission Profile in 1992, published for the second time in this journal in 2005, and now revised a second time to reflect the newest science. Whether you are part of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community or an athlete seeking to improve your performance, these are simple and helpful nutrition guidelines to follow.

Keywords: dietary supplements; omega-3 fatty acids; protein; carbohydrate; grains; fresh fruits and vegetables

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Keyword: digital intubation

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Digital Intubation: The Two-Fingered Solution to Securing an Airway

Cashwell MJ, Wilcoxen AC, Meghoo CA. 13(3). 42 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Digital intubation is a useful technique that is rarely taught in conventional airway management courses. With limited equipment and minimal training, a Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic can use this technique to intubate an unconscious patient with a high degree of success. The objectives of this report are to (1) learn the sequence of events for successful digital intubation, (2) recognize and appreciate the advantages and limitations of this technique, and (3) appreciate the requirements for establishing a unit-level training program.

Keywords: digital intubation; airway

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Keyword: digitalgia paresthetica

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Load Carriage-Related Paresthesias: Part 1: Rucksack Palsy and Digitalgia Paresthetica

Knapik JJ, Reynolds K, Orr R, Pope R. 16(4). 74 - 79. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: DIMS

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Use of a Removable Mandibular Neuroprosthesis for the Reduction of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/PTSD-Associated Nightmares, Headaches, and Sleep Disturbances

Moeller DR, Duffey JM, Goolsby AM, Gallimore JT. 14(3). 64 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with nighttime headaches (HAs), nightmares (NMs), and difficulty falling or staying asleep (sleep disturbances [SD]). The authors of the current study evaluated the correlative elements of using a removable mandibular neuroprosthesis (RMN) and the reduction of these symptoms in participants diagnosed with PTSD or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)/PTSD. The RMN device is a form of specialized dental splint that has a potential to reduce the painful stimuli of bruxing and potential upregulation of threat response systems that may occur during sleep. Method: A sample of 32 individuals was selected through random assignment from a volunteer base of 200 volunteers for examination by self-report according to an A-B-A-B design. The sample included 25 men and 7 women between the ages of 21 and 65; 21 had military experience and 11 were civilians. Participants were asked to rate the frequency and intensity of their HAs, NMs, and SD during each phase. Their responses were scored using a custom survey (equivalent forms reliability) that provides ratio-scaled results for symptom frequency and intensity. The original number of participants was 35 with three participants dropping out before the conclusion of the study. Results: Survey scores for PTSD-related sleep symptoms were relatively high at baseline (x̄ = 0.52) and significantly lower in the first experimental phase (x̄ = 0.20). Scores in the second experimental phase were likewise lower (x̄ = 0.38). Significant reductions in symptoms were reported across all three dimensions. Discussion: All participants reported some improvement in symptoms while using the device. No participants reported worsening of any symptoms as a result of using the RMN. Participants commonly reported that improvements in symptoms were immediate and did not diminish over time. Data indicate that there is a negative correlation between the use of an RMN and the reduction of HAs, NMs, and SD in persons diagnosed with PTSD or mTBI/PTSD.

Keywords: PTSD; mTBI; nightmares; headaches; sleep disturbances; DIMS; bruxism; bruxing; splint

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Keyword: direct laryngoscopy

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A Comparison Of Direct Versus Indirect Laryngoscopic Visualization During Endotracheal Intubation Of Lightly Embalmed Cadavers Utilizing The Glide Scope®, Storz Medi Pack Mobile Imaging Systemt™ And The New Storz C-MAC™ Videolaryngoscope

Boedecker BH, Nicholas TA, Carpenter J, Leighton S, Bernhagen MA, Murray WB, Wadman MC. 11(2). 21 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Studies indicate that the skills needed to use video laryngoscope systems are easily learned by healthcare providers. This study compared several video laryngoscopic (VL) systems and a direct laryngoscope (DL) view when used by medical residents practicing intubation on cadavers. The video devices used included the Storz Medi Pack Mobile Imaging SystemTM, the Storz CMAC® VL System and the GlideScope®. Methods:After Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine (UNMC EM) residents were recruited and given a brief pre-study informational period. The cadavers were lightly embalmed. The study subjects were asked to perform intubations on two cadavers using both DL and VL while using the three different VL systems. Procedural data was recorded for each attempt and pre and post experience perceptions were collected. Results: N=14. All subjects reported their varied previous intubation experience. The average airway score using DL: for the Storz VL was 1.54 (SD = 0.576) and for the C-MAC was 1.46 (SD = 0.637). Success in intubation of the standard airway using DL was 93% versus a 100% success rate when intubating with indirect VL visualization. Conclusion: Based on our data, we believe that the incorporation of VL into cadaver airway management training provided an improved learning environment for the study residents. In our study, the resident subjects were 93% successful with DL intubation even though 50% had less than 30 intubations. As well, there was a 100% success rate when intubating with indirect VL visualization. In conclusion, the researchers believe this cadaver model incorporated with VL is a powerful tool which may help improve the overall learning curve for orotracheal intubation.

Keywords: videolaryngoscopy; prehospital; direct laryngoscopy; indirect laryngoscopy; intubation; cadaver

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Keyword: dirty bombs

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The Hidden Complexity of Biological "Dirty Bombs": Implications for Special Operations Medical Personnel

Washington MA, Blythe J. 16(4). 82 - 84. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: disease nonbattle injury

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Application of Medical Intelligence Prep of the Environment: A Review of Operational Vignettes

Caci JB. 15(4). 117 - 124. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Medical intelligence is an underused or sometimes misapplied tool in the protection of our Soldiers and the execution of nonkinetic operations. The somewhat improved infrastructure of the operational environment in Iraq and Afghanistan led to an inevitable sense of complacency in regard to the threat of disease nonbattle injury (DNBI). The picture changed somewhat in 2010 with the advent of the village stability program and the establishment of SOF camps in austere locations with degraded living situations rife with exposure risks. In addition, the increasing deployments to unstable locations around the globe, reminiscent of typical Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions before the Global War on Terrorism, indicate a need for better preparation for deployment from the standpoint of disease risk and force health protection. A knowledge gap has developed because we simply did not need to apply as stringent an evaluation of DNBI risk in environments where improved life support mitigated the risk for us. The tools necessary to decrease or even eliminate the impact of DNBI exist but they must be shared and implemented. This article will present four vignettes from current and former SOF Force Health Protection personnel starting with a simple method of executing Medical Intelligence Prep of the Environment (MIPOE) and highlighting situations in which it either was or could have been implemented to mitigate risk and decrease the impact on mission accomplishment and individual operators. A follow-on article will present vignettes of the successful application of MIPOE to nonkinetic operations.

Keywords: Medical Intelligence Prep of the Environment; nonkinetic operations; disease nonbattle injury

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Keyword: disease, infectious

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Meningococcal Disease

Burnett MW. 17(1). 90 - 92. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: infection, meningococcal; disease, infectious

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Keyword: disease, tropical

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Schistosomiasis: Traverers in Africa

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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Keyword: disease, zoonotic

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Q Fever

Burnett MW. 15(2). 109 - 111. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Q fever is a zoonotic disease found throughout the world. It is caused by the intracellular gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Infection by C. burnetii occurs primarily by inhalation of the aerosolized bacteria from birthing animals or contaminated dust. The bacterium is very resistant to drying and heat, and is considered highly endemic in the Middle East, where it is likely underdiagnosed. Special Operations Forces medical providers should be aware of this disease, which must be in the differential diagnosis of a patient who has a history of fever, elevated liver enzymes, pneumonia in its acute form, and endocarditis, especially in those with existing valvular heart disease in its chronic form.

Keywords: Q fever; disease, zoonotic

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Keyword: diseases, infectious

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Preventive Medicine and Its Role in the Special Operation Forces Medical Team

Agudelo JJ. 15(2). 136 - 138. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Throughout history, Soldiers in wartime have been especially vulnerable to infectious diseases, which have devastated and decimated entire armies, causing suspension and, in some cases, complete cancellation of military operations. Dr William Foege, a renowned Harvard epidemiologist, and his colleagues claim that throughout history, infectious diseases have killed more Soldiers than have weapons. Reality shows that it does not matter if your Soldiers had the best training available with the best equipment and top of the world intelligence: if your personnel get sick, they become more of a liability than an asset for a combat operation. This article presents some of the key findings that continue to affect our Special Operations Forces (SOF) and how the use of specifically designed new products can help in controlling short- and long-term consequences of infectious diseases.

Keywords: preventive medicine; diseases, infectious

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Keyword: disseminated intravascular coagulation

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Thrombotic Microangiopathy Syndrome in a Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Student

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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Keyword: dissociative

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The Agitated Patient

Goldstein S. 13(3). 87 - 91. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Caring for an agitated patient can be a daunting task for the tactical emergency medical support (TEMS) or Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic. The cause, degree, and duration of agitation can vary among such individuals. These patients create a high-stress and disruptive environment, needing numerous people involved to control. One agitated patient can disrupt an entire tactical team or casualty evacuation. The patient's history and physical examination can give important clues to the cause, thereby directing treatment and leading to a quick and safe resolution. The variety of treatments for the agitated patient are just as numerous as the causes and range from verbal deescalation to medications and physical restraint, all of which have a risk-benefit profile to consider.

Keywords: agitated patients; brain; TBI; hypoxia; hypoglycemia; hypothermia; delirium; ketamine; dissociative; combative; sedation

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Keyword: diving

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Hypolipidemia in a Special Operations Candidate: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Strain JE, Vigilante JA, DiGeorge NW. 15(4). 1 - 5. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: A 19-year-old male military recruit who presented for a screening physical for US Naval Special Warfare Duty was found to have hypolipidemia. Medical history revealed mildly increased frequency of bowel movements, but was otherwise unremarkable. His presentation was most consistent with heterozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL), and the patient was cleared for Special Operations duty. Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE. Keywords included familial hypobetalipoproteinemia, heterozygous familial hypobetalipoproteinemia, abetalipoproteinemia, hypolipidemia, diving, special operations, and military. Results that included cases of familial hypobetalipoproteinemia were included. Results: Review of the literature reveals that FHBL is a genetic disorder frequently, but not always, due to a mutation in the apolipoprotein B (apoB) gene. Those with the condition should be screened for ophthalmologic, neurologic, and gastrointestinal complications. Analysis of the disease, as well as the absence of reported cases of FHBL in diving and Special Operations, suggest there is minimal increased risk in diving and Special Operations for patients who are likely heterozygous, are asymptomatic, and have a negative workup for potential complications from the disease. Conclusion: Individuals with presumed or proven heterozygous FHBL seeking clearance for Special Operations duty should be given precautions, undergo careful questioning for history of disease-specific complications, and should have a baseline evaluation. If negative, it seems reasonable to clear the patient for Special Operations and diving.

Keywords: hypobetalipoprotteinemia, familial; hypobetalipoprotteinemia, heterozygous familial; abetalipoproteinemia; hypolipidemia; diving; Special Operations; military

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Keyword: DMAA

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Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response following use of Dietary Supplement Containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine and Caffeine

Armstrong M. 12(4). 1 - 4. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Our nation's servicemembers commonly use dietary supplements to enhance their performance. Despite this prolific use, many of these products have detrimental side-effects that compromise servicemembers' health and could, by proxy, compromise a mission. This paper presents the case of a 32-year old Navy Special Operations Forces (SOF) Sailor who, prior to physical training, used a supplement containing 1,3 Dimethylamylamine (DMAA), and then developed atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. He required intravenous calcium channel blocker administration, followed by beta blockers, for rate control. As military providers, we routinely ask our patients about their use of supplements and while the regulation of these products is beyond the scope of practice for most of us, it is our duty to become better educated about the risks and benefits of these supplements. We must educate our patients and our commands on the potential harm that these supplements may pose.

Keywords: atrial fibriliation; supplement; DMAA; Special Operations; 1,3 Dimethylamylamine

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Keyword: documentation

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A Study of Prehospital Medical Documentation by Military Medical Providers During Precombat Training

McGarry AB, Mott JC, Kotwal RS. 15(1). 79 - 84. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Documentation of medical care provided is paramount for improving performance and ultimately reducing morbidity and mortality. However, documentation of prehospital trauma care on the battlefield has historically been suboptimal. Modernization of prehospital documentation tools have aligned data and information to be gathered with up-to-date treatment being rendered through Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) protocols and practices. Our study was conducted to evaluate TCCC Card completion, and accuracy of card completion, by military medical providers conducting precombat training through the Tactical Combat Medical Care Course. Study results do not show a deficiency in TCCC documentation training as provided by this course which should translate to adequate ability to accurately document prehospital trauma care on the battlefield. Leadership emphasis and community acceptance is required to increase compliance with prehospital documentation.

Keywords: combat; documentation; prehospital; trauma

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Keyword: dogs

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Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance in Puerto Rico: Pathogen Prevalence Rates in Canines - Implications for Public Health and the U.S. Military - Applying the One Health Concept

McCown ME, Opel T, Grzeszak B. 13(2). 59 - 63. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) make up a large number of emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases. Vectors such as ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes parasitize dogs, thus making canine populations adequate reservoirs for infectious disease and zoonoses. The U.S. military deploys its personnel and Military Working Dogs (MWDs) throughout the world with possible risk of exposure to VBDs. Canine VBDs continue to have veterinary and public health significance for the host nations as well as for deployed U.S. personnel and MWDs. Thus, ongoing and consistent disease surveillance is an essential component to preserve health. The purpose of this study was to survey dogs from multiple cities and varying regions throughout Puerto Rico to determine the prevalence of ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), and heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis) from May to July 2012. Canine blood samples (1-3 ml) from the cities of San Juan (n = 629), Guaynabo (n = 50), Ponce (n = 20) and Vieques Island (n = 53) were obtained and tested on-site using an IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test kit. Prevalence for single or multiple disease status was calculated for each site. The overall period prevalence of VBD in Puerto Rico in the shelter population was 57.7% (71/123). In Guaynabo, the VBD prevalence was 30% (15/50); 2 (13%) of these positive dogs had VBD co-infection. In the coastal port city of Ponce, it was 60% (12/20); 6 (50%) dogs were infected by two or more VBDs. On Vieques Island, it was 83% (44/53); 27 (61%) dogs were coinfected. Conversely, samples collected at the Fort Buchanan Veterinary Clinic in the capitol city of San Juan resulted in a VBD prevalence of 8.9% (56/629). Lyme disease was not detected in any sample. This study showed the presence of D. immitis, E. canis, and A. phagocytophilum in all four sites of Puerto Rico, emphasizing the value of surveillance for VBDs to determine disease prevalence, complete risk assessments, and implement timely preventive medicine and other preventive measures. The lower VBD prevalence rate in the canine samples from Fort Buchanan demonstrates the value of responsible pet ownership and importance of preventive medicine and public health.

Keywords: zoonotic disease; parasites; ticks; vector-borne disease; dogs; public health; surveillance; One Health

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Surveillance for Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Dirofilaria immitis in Dogs From Three Cities in Colombia

McCown ME, Monterroso VH, Cardona W. 14(1). 86 - 90. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases are made up in large proportion by vector-borne diseases (VBD). Dogs are parasitized by disease vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes, making dogs adequate reservoirs for zoonoses. Risk of exposure to VBD exists for the U.S. military personnel and Military Working Dogs (MWD) when deployed globally. The importance of canine VBD surveillance relates to veterinary and public health significance for the host nations as well as for the U.S. troops and MWDs. The objective of this work was to survey dogs from the cities of Medellin, Barranquilla, and Cartagena in Colombia to determine the prevalence of heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis), Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), and anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum). Methods: Canine (n = 498) blood samples (1-3mL) were collected during July 2011 from Medellin (n = 175), Barranquilla (n = 223), and Cartagena (n = 100) and were tested on-site using IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® Test Kits. Results: The overall combined sample prevalence of E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, D. immitis, and B. burgdorferi was 62%, 33%, 1.6%, and 0%, respectively. In Medellin, 26% of the samples were positive for E. canis, 12% for A. phagocytophilum, and 0% for D. immitis. In Barranquilla, sample prevalence for E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis was 83%, 40%, and 2%, respectively. In Cartagena, E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis prevalence was 80%, 51%, and 3%, respectively. Conclusion: E. canis and A. phagocytophilum are present in all three surveyed cities. There is a higher sample prevalence for E. canis and A. phagocytophilum than for D. immitis. In addition, the prevalence for these organisms is higher in Barranquilla and Cartagena than in Medellin. Overall, this study emphasizes the value of surveillance for VBDs in order to determine disease prevalence, develop risk assessments, and implement control measures.

Keywords: zoonotic disease; parasites; vector-borne disease; dogs; public health; surveillance; Colombia

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Keyword: dressing

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Management of External Hemorrhage in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: Chitosan-Based Hemostatic Gauze Dressings

Bennett BL, Littlejohn LF, Kheirabadi BS, Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Dubick MA, Bailey HH. 14(3). 40 - 57. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Hemorrhage remains the leading cause of combat death and a major cause of death from potentially survivable injuries. Great strides have been made in controlling extremity hemorrhage with tourniquets, but not all injuries are amenable to tourniquet application. Topical hemostatic agents and dressings have also contributed to success in controlling extremity and compressible junctional hemorrhage, and their efficacy continues to increase as enhanced products are developed. Since the addition of Combat Gauze™ (Z-Medica Corporation, Wallingford, CT, USA; http://www.z-medica.com/) in April 2008 to the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Guidelines, there are consistent data from animal studies of severe hemorrhage that chitosan-based hemostatic gauze dressings developed for battlefield application are, at least, equally efficacious as Combat Gauze. Successful outcomes are also reported using newer chitosan-based dressings in civilian hospitalbased surgical case reports and prehospital (battlefield) case reports and series. Additionally, there have been no noted complications or safety concerns in these cases or across many years of chitosan-based hemostatic dressing use in both the military and civilian prehospital sectors. Consequently, after a decade of clinical use, there is added benefit and a good safety record for using chitosan- based gauze dressings. For these reasons, many specific US military Special Operations Forces, NATO militaries, and emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement agencies have already implemented the widespread use of these new recommended chitosanbased hemostatic dressings. Based on the past battlefield success, this report proposes to keep Combat Gauze as the hemostatic dressing of choice along with the new addition of Celox™ Gauze (Medtrade Products Ltd., Crewe, UK; http://www.celoxmedical.com/usa/products /celox-gauze/) and ChitoGauze® (HemCon Medical Technologies, Portland, OR, USA; http://www.hemcon.com/) to the TCCC Guidelines.

Keywords: hemorrhage; hemostasis; hemostatic agents; topical; dressing; bandage

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Keyword: dressing, hemostatic

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Prehospital Use of Hemostatic Bandages and Tourniquets: Translation From Military Experience to Implementation in Civilian Trauma Care

Zietlow JM, Zietlow SP, Morris DS, Berns KS, Jenkins DH. 15(2). 48 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: While the military use of tourniquets and hemostatic gauze is well established, few data exist regarding civilian emergency medical services (EMS) systems experience. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of consecutive patients with prehospital tourniquet and hemostatic gauze application in a single ground and rotor-wing rural medical transport service. Standard EMS registry data were reviewed for each case. Results: During the study period, which included 203,301 Gold Cross Ambulance and 8,987 Mayo One Transport records, 125 patients were treated with tourniquets and/or hemostatic gauze in the prehospital setting. Specifically, 77 tourniquets were used for 73 patients and 62 hemostatic dressings were applied to 52 patients. Seven patients required both interventions. Mechanisms of injury (MOIs) for tourniquet use were blunt trauma (50%), penetrating wounds (43%), and uncontrolled hemodialysis fistula bleeding (7%). Tourniquet placement was equitably distributed between upper and lower extremities, as well as proximal and distal locations. Mean tourniquet time was 27 minutes, with 98.7% success. Hemostatic bandage MOIs were blunt trauma (50%), penetrating wounds (35%), and other MOIs (15%). Hemostatic bandage application was head and neck (50%), extremities (36%), and torso (14%), with a 95% success rate. Training for both interventions was computer-based and hands-on, with maintained proficiency of > 95% after 2 years. Conclusion: Civilian prehospital use of tourniquets and hemostatic gauze is feasible and effective at achieving hemostasis. Online and practical training programs result in proficiency of skills, which can be maintained despite infrequent use.

Keywords: dressing, hemostatic; tourniquet; trauma care; prehospital civilian

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Keyword: dry needling

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Physical Therapy Treatment Of Chronic Neck Pain A Discussion And Case Study: Using Dry Needling And Battlefield Acupuncture

Guthrie RM, Chorba R. 16(1). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Purpose: Chronic mechanical neck pain can have a complex clinical presentation and is often difficult to treat. This case study illustrates a successful physical therapy treatment approach using dry needling and auricular acupuncture techniques. Case Report: A 51-year-old active-duty, male US Marine was treated by a physical therapist in a direct-access military clinic for chronic neck pain poorly responsive to previous physical therapy, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions. Needling techniques were combined with standard physical therapy interventions to address the comprehensive needs of the patient. Within five treatments, the patient reported reduced pain levels from 8-9/10 to 0-2/10, improved sleep quality, and increased function with daily activities. Over several months, the patient reduced multiple medication use by greater than 85%. The effects of treatment were lasting, and the patient accomplished a successful transition to an independent maintenance program. Conclusion: Needling techniques have the potential to expedite favorable physical therapy outcomes for active-duty service members suffering from chronic mechanical and degenerative neck pain. The dramatic improvements observed in this case warrant additional exploration of treatment efficacy and delineation of best practices in the delivery of these techniques.

Keywords: pain, neck; physical therapy; dry needling; acupuncture; acupuncture, battlefield; pain management

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Keyword: dysbarism

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Decompression Sickness Following Altitude-Chamber Training

Studer NM, Hughes JR, Puskar J. 15(1). 11 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Decompression sickness (DCS) is one of several dysbarisms (medical conditions resulting from a change in atmospheric pressure) that can be encountered by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider. DCS can present with several different manifestations. The authors present the case of a 23-year-old Airman who presented with vague neurologic symptoms following altitude-chamber training. They discuss the care of casualties with DCS and its implications for SOF.

Keywords: decompression sickness; Type II DCS; dysbarism; gas embolism; hyperbaric oxygen; altitude chamber; demand value; Oxylator®; hypoxia; hypobaric

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Keyword: Ebola

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This Is Africa. Bites, Stings, and Rigors: Clinical Considerations in African Operations

Lynch JH, Verlo AR, Givens ML, Munoz CE. 14(4). 113 - 121. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The natural health threats in Africa pose daunting clinical challenges for any provider, as evidenced by the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but the threat is multiplied for the Special Operations provider on the continent who faces these challenges with limited resources and the tyranny of distance. The majority of operationally significant health risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to a comprehensive force health protection plan. The simplest, yet most effective, technique for preventing mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention of mosquito bites with repellent, bed nets, and appropriate clothing in addition to chemoprophylaxis. Some of the more likely or lethal infectious diseases encountered on the continent include malaria, Chikungunya, dengue, human immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Venomous snakes pose a particular challenge since the treatment can be as deadly as the injury. Providers supporting African operations should educate themselves on the clinical characteristics of possible envenomations in their area while promoting snake avoidance as the primary mitigation measure. To succeed in Africa, the Special Operations provider must consider how to meet these challenges in an environment where there may not be reliable evacuation, hospitalization, or logistics channels.

Keywords: Africa; tactical medicine; tropical infectious disease; chemoprophylaxis; malaria; dengue; Chikungunya; HIV; Ebola; snake evenomation; antivenin; wilderness medicine

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Keyword: Ebolavirus

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Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Burnett MW. 14(3). 93 - 94. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is an often-fatal disease caused by a virus of the Filoviridae family, genus Ebolavirus. Initial signs and symptoms of the disease are nonspecific, often progressing on to a severe hemorrhagic illness. Special Operations Forces Medical Providers should be aware of this disease, which occurs in sporadic outbreaks throughout Africa. Treatment at the present time is mainly supportive. Special care should be taken to prevent contact with bodily fluids of those infected, which can transmit the virus to caregivers.

Keywords: Ebolavirus; hemorrhagic fever

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Keyword: ecthyma

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: eczematoid spectrum

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: edema

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A Novel Cryotherapy Compression Wrap in the Management of Acute Ankle Sprains: Potential Use for Special Operators on the Battlefield

Boland M, Mulligan I, Payette J, Serres J, O'Hara R, Maupin G. 12(4). 17 - 23. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Musculoskeletal injuries related to training and operational missions frequently affect military personnel. A common treatment for these injuries is the PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method, which is time consuming and impractical in the field. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the cryotherapy wrap compared to a traditional treatment in the management of acute ankle sprains. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in a university research laboratory with 13 subjects (9 males and 4 females) with the following physical characteristics: age (yr) 20.6 ± 2.2, height (cm) 177.0 ± 14.3, weight (kg) 76.6 ± 20.6, and body mass index (kg/m2) 24.1 ± 3.7. Participants were instructed to perform PRICE with a traditional ice pack and compression wrap (control group) or with an Arctic Ease® cryotherapy wrap (test group) for 48 hours following enrollment in the study. The Numeric Pain Scale, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and ankle/foot volumetric measurement were performed at initial presentation and 24-hour, 48-hour, and 7-day follow-up intervals. Results: While the comparison of the Numeric Pain Scale scores, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure scores, and volumetric changes between groups revealed no statistically significant differences (ρ > 0.01), there was an 86% compliance rate for subjects in the cryotherapy wrap group compared to a 17% compliance rate of subjects in the control group. Conclusions: The cryotherapy wraps performed comparably to ice therapy and therefore may be especially applicable to military personnel required to operate in austere and hostile environments where traditional therapies are unrealistic. Although this pilot study did not demonstrate that the cryotherapy wraps produce statistically superior results, trends emerged in the data suggesting that subject compliance rate may be improved by using an alternative form of cryotherapy compression, which could lead to better management of pain, edema, and functional recovery. Future research should include a larger sample size to verify this claim.

Keywords: crytotherapy; ankle sprain; ice; edema; compression

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Keyword: Editorials

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Pretrauma Interventions in Force Health Protection: Introducing the "Left of Bang" Paradigm

Eisenstein NM, Naumann DN, Bowley DM, Midwinter MJ. 16(4). 59 - 63. (Editorial)

Abstract

Keywords: trauma, prevention and control; wounds and injuries; prehospital emergency care; organizational innovation; Editorials

Keyword: education

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Junctional Tourniquet Training Experience

Kragh JF, Geracci JJ, Parsons DL, Robinson JB, Biever KA, Rein EB, Glassberg E, Strandenes G, Chen J, Benov A, Marcozzi D, Shackelford S, Cox KM, Mann-Salinas EA. 15(3). 20 - 30. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Since 2009, out-of-hospital care of junctional hemorrhage bleeding from the trunk-appendage junctions has changed, in part, due to the newly available junctional tourniquets (JTs) that have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration. Given four new models of JT available in 2014, several military services have begun to acquire, train, or even use such JTs in care. The ability of users to be trained in JT use has been observed by multiple instructors. The experience of such instructors has been broad as a group, but their experience as individuals has been neither long nor deep. A gathering into one source of the collective experience of trainers of JT users could permit a collation of useful information to include lessons learned, tips in skill performance, identification of pitfalls of use to avoid, and strategies to optimize user learning. The purpose of the present review is to record the experiences of several medical personnel in their JT training of users to provide a guide for future trainers.

Keywords: hemorrhage; resuscitation; medical device; education; skill development; emergency medical services

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Closing The Gap: Improving Trauma Care On The Ukrainian Battlefield

Stacey SK, Jones PH. 16(1). 122 - 124. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Since early 2014, Ukraine has been involved in a violent social and political revolution that has taken more than 7,000 lives. Many of these deaths were due to limited field medical care and prolonged evacuation times because the Ukrainian military has been slow to adopt standard combat medical processes. We deployed with the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade to train soldiers in the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU) on combat first aid. We discovered that a major deficiency limiting the quality of trauma care and evacuation is an endemic lack of prior coordination and planning. The responsibility for this coordination falls on military leaders; therefore, we delivered medical operations training to officers of the NGU unit and observed great improvement in medical care sustainment. We recommend systematic leader education in best medical practices be institutionalized at all levels of the Ukrainian Army to foster sustained improvement and refinement of trauma care.

Keywords: trauma; evacuation; training; Ukraine; education

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Keyword: educational gap in teamwork and communication

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Filling in the Gaps of Predeployment Fleet Surgical Team Training Using a Team-Centered Approach

Hoang TN, Kang J, LaPorta AJ, Makler VI, Chalut C. 13(4). 22 - 33. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Teamwork and successful communication are essential parts of any medical specialty, especially in the trauma setting. U.S. Navy physicians developed a course for deploying fleet surgical teams to reinforce teamwork, communication, and baseline knowledge of trauma management. Method: The course combines 22 hours of classroom didactics along with 28 hours of hands-on simulation and cadaver-based laboratories to reinforce classroom concepts. It culminates in a 6-hour, multiwave exercise of multiple, critically injured victims of a mass casualty and uses the "Cut Suit" (Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator; Strategic Operations), which enables performance of multiple realistic surgical procedures as encountered on real casualties. Participants are graded on time taken from initial patient encounter to disposition and the number of errors made. Pre- and post-training written examinations are also given. The course is graded based on participants' evaluation of the course. Results: The majority of the participants indicated that the course promoted teamwork, enhanced knowledge, and gave confidence. Only 51.72% of participants felt confident in dealing with trauma patients before the course, while 82.76% felt confident afterward (ρ = .01). Both the time spent on each patient and the number of errors made also decreased after course completion. Conclusion: The course was successful in improving teamwork, communication and base knowledge of all the team members.

Keywords: fleet surgincal team predeployment training course; fleet surgical team; Cut Suit; human worn partial task surgical simulator; trauma team training; educational gap in teamwork and communication; teamwork-centered training; military trauma training

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Keyword: EEG

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Cessation of Vital Signs Monitored During Lethal Hemorrhage: A Swine Study

Bodo M, Pearce FJ, Tsai MD, Garcia A, vanAlbert S, Armonda R. 13(4). 63 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Two challenges of trauma triage are to identify wounded who are in danger of imminent death and to enable medics to determine if resuscitation is possible when making "dead or alive" decisions on the battlefield. Hemorrhagic shock is the leading cause of death in combat injuries. The purpose of this study was to establish the sequence of vital sign cessation during lethal hemorrhage in swine. Our hypothesis was that brain electrical activity (electroencephalography [EEG]) and respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death than traditional modalities measured during triage, such as heart electrical activity (electrocardiography [ECG]) and blood pressure. Methods: Lethal hemorrhage was induced in anesthetized Yorkshire pigs. Vital sign modalities measured were respiration, heart electrical activity (ECG), heart sound, blood pressure (systemic arterial pressure), and brain electrical activity (EEG). Results: The sequence of vital sign cessation was (1) respiration, (2) brain electrical activity (EEG), (3) heart sound, (4) blood pressure, and (5) heart electrical activity (ECG). Cessation of respiration occurred at approximately the same time that brain electrical activity stopped ("flatlined") for 2 seconds and then resumed briefly before cessation; cessation of heart electrical activity occurred almost 8 minutes later. Conclusions: A 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration are useful event markers to indicate an opportunity to prevent irreversible brain damage from lethal hemorrhage. Since the 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration occur about 8 minutes before cessation of heart electrical activity (ECG), EEG and final respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death. The use of deployable noninvasive brain monitors implementing these findings can be live-saving on the battlefield as well is in civilian environments.

Keywords: lethal hemorrhage; vital sign monitoring; EEG; respiration; event marker; data processing; swine

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Keyword: electrocardiogram

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A Soldier With an Exertional Heat Injury, Ischemic-Appearing Electrocardiogram, and Elevated Troponins: A Clinical Case Report

Schauer SG, Pfaff JA. 17(1). 14 - 16. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Heat injuries are a common occurrence in the military training setting due to both the physically demanding nature of the training and the environments in which we train. Testing is often done after the diagnosis of a heat injury to screen for abnormalities. We present the case of a 20-year-old male Soldier with an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) with a possible injury pattern and an elevated troponin level. He underwent a diagnostic cardiac angiogram, which demonstrated no abnormal findings. He was returned to duty upon recovery from the catheterization. Ischemic-appearing ECG and troponin findings may be noted after heat injury. In this case, it was not associated with any cardiac lesions.

Keywords: injury, heat; heat-associated injuries; electrocardiogram; cardiac

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Keyword: electrodessication and curettage

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Giant Basal Cell Carcinoma

Rivard SC, Crandall ML, Gibbs NF. 14(1). 99 - 102. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Servicemembers are often exposed to extreme environments with sun exposure, often laying the foundation for future skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of skin cancers. We present the case of a 36-year-old male active duty Seabee who presents with a left shoulder plaque that initially started as an erythematous papule but has now increased to greater than 6cm in the past 10 years and is diagnosed as giant basal cell carcinoma (GBCC). Although only 0.5% to 1% of BCCs develop into GBCCs, there is the potential for metastasis and even death. This article addresses the concerning and potentially fatal diagnosis of GBCC, including your initial impressions and differential diagnoses, available treatment options, and ways to prevent it from ever occurring in our military population.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; giant basal cell carcinoma; enlarging plaque; electrodessication and curettage; UV damage; sun exposure; Seabee; military provider

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Keyword: Elisée&tm; 350

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

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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Keyword: emergency burn treatment

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Experience in Treating Combat Burns in Afghanistan by Using Silver-Nylon Dressing

Pozza M, Matthew P, Lunardi F. 14(1). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Background: On the battlefield, insidious and devastating weapons like the improvised explosive device (IED) rapidly emit extreme heat (thousands of degrees), create a shock wave (overpressure) that can hurl bodies long distances (inducing secondary fall lesions), and deliver thousands of pieces of shrapnel over hundreds of meters. Materials and Methods: Very often, Soldiers injured by an IED blast are inside their vehicle. Subsequently, they are exposed to the thermal effects of the blast. Frequently, these patients have complex wounds that consist of extensive burn areas, bone fractures, and internal organ lesions. The use of silver-nylon burn wrap dressing is widely documented for its bactericidal properties. Silverlon® Burn Dressings is an elastic bandage made of nylon and plated with pure metallic silver. Results: In summer 2008, in a U.S. advanced Role 2 facility, two U.S. Soldiers with extensive second- and third-degree burn injuries were successfully treated with the use of Silverlon Burn Dressings and Silverlon® Burn Gloves. Conclusions: From this experience emerged the ease of use silver-nylon dressing in treating badly burned Soldiers on the battlefield.

Keywords: silver-nylon dressing; combat burns; emergency burn treatment

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Keyword: emergency department

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Scapula Fracture Secondary To Static Line Injury In A 22 Year Old Active Duty Soldier

Thompson WD. 10(3). 41 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This radiological case study of scapula fracture is reported in a 22 year-old active duty male Soldier who sustained a static line injury during an airborne operation at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This is the first reported scapula fracture secondary to this mechanism since a 1973 report by Heckman and Levine. The fracture was neither identified by Emergency Department nor Orthopedic Surgery providers, and was reported in the radiologist's formal read. Ten emergency physicians and emergency medicine physician assistants reviewed the radiographical studies and none successfully identified the injury. Because this injury was uniformly missed by experienced emergency medicine providers it is presented as a radiographic case study in hopes that this injury will not go undiagnosed, potentially causing increased morbidity and mortality in this patient population. The patient was treated with a posterior splint and immobilization and seen by the orthopedic service the next day. Interestingly, the orthopedic surgeon also did not recognize this fracture. This mechanism of injury is rarely seen in clinical practice outside of the airborne community. Scapula fractures can be an indicator of serious thoracic trauma and may prompt the need for further diagnostic studies. The fact that so many providers missed the injury reinforces the need to evaluate the patient as a whole and to be ever suspicious of missing concomitant injuries in the trauma patient.

Keywords: Scapula Fracture; emergency department; Orthopedic; Radiograph; airborne

Case Report: Acute Intermittent Porphyria In A 21-year-old Active Dutymale

Thompson WD. 11(2). 52 - 56. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP) is one of a group of rare metabolic disorders arising from reduced activity of any of the enzymes in the heme biosynthetic pathway. The porphyrias can be very difficult for the practitioner to understand. There are several types of porphyrias, which have been known by various different names and are classified from different perspectives1 based on where the defective synthesis site is, or what the clinical manifestations are. Since practitioners rarely encounter this disease process, it is commonly not considered in the differential diagnoses. AIP can be confused with other causes of acute abdominal disorders such as appendicitis with peritonitis or nephrolithiasis. Patients with AIP typically give a history of constipation, fatigue, irritability, and insomnia that precede their acute attack. Symptoms occur intermittently in some patients with acute attacks lasting for several days or longer and were usually followed by complete recovery. This case report deals with an initial presentation of AIP in an otherwise healthy 21-year-old active duty male Soldier. Clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment are discussed as is a brief historical anecdote.

Keywords: porphyria; emergency department; medication, motion sickness; urine

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Keyword: emergency medical procedures

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A Medical Training Event for Special Forces Medical Sergeants

Hellums JS. 12(1). 56 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Special Forces Medical Sergeants (SFMS) are independent multidisciplinary medical personnel who possess unique medical skill sets that require regular practice in order to maintain proficiency. Due to high operational tempo, the windows of opportunity to practice these abilities are usually limited to short periods of required training to maintain credentials. A Special Forces (SF) Battalion allowed their medical section to orchestrate a weeklong medical training event that included emergency procedure lectures, human cadaver training, ultrasound familiarization, medical administration instruction, and behavioral health discussions. This training enabled the SFMS to hone their competencies and increase their clinical confidence while working and learning from each other and other medical providers. The training event was a great success.

Keywords: Special Forces; skills sustainment; cadaver training; ultrasound; emergency medical procedures

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Keyword: emergency medical services

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Combat Ready Clamp Medic Technique

Tovmassian RV, Kragh JF, Dubick MA, Baer DG, Blackbourne LH. 12(4). 72 - 78. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Junctional hemorrhage control device use on the battlefield might be lifesaving, but little experience is reported. The purpose of the present case report is to detail prehospital use of the Combat Ready Clamp (called the CRoC by its users, Combat Medical Systems, Fayetteville, NC; Instructions for Use, 2010) in casualty care in order to increase awareness of junctional hemorrhage control. Methods: The CRoC was used to control difficult inguinal bleeding on the battlefield for an Afghani man with a hindquarter traumatic amputation. Results: The device promptly controlled exsanguination from a critical injury when placed during rotary-wing casualty evacuation. The flight medic applied the device in 90 seconds. The device performed well without complications to control bleeding. Discussion: The CRoC, a new junctional hemorrhage control device, was used as indicated on the battlefield with mechanical and physiologic success and without device problems. By controlling difficult inguinal bleeding resulting from battlefield trauma, the device facilitated casualty stabilization and delivery to a surgical facility. The device facilitated the ability of a new flight medic to focus his expertise on a critically injured battlefield casualty with demonstrable success.

Keywords: tourniquet; bleeding; shock; prehospital care; emergency medical services

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Single versus Double Routing of the Band in the Combat Application Tourniquet

Clumpner BR, Polston RW, Kragh JF, Westmoreland T, Harcke HT, Jones JA, Dubick MA, Baer DG, Blackbourne LH. 13(1). 34 - 41. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Common first aid tourniquets, like the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) of a windlass and band design, can have the band routed through the buckle in three different ways, and recent evidence indicates users may be confused with complex doctrine. Objective: The purpose of the present study is to measure the differential performance of the three possible routings in order to better understand good tourniquet practice. Methods: A training manikin was used by two investigators to measure tourniquet effectiveness, time to stop bleeding, and blood loss. Results: The effectiveness rate was 99.6% (239/240) overall. Results were similar for both single-slit routings (inside vs. outside, p > 0.05). Effectiveness rates (yes-no results for hemorrhage control expressed as a proportion of iterations) were not statistically different between single and double routing. However, the time to stop bleeding and blood loss were statistically different (ρ < 0.05). Conclusions: CAT band routing, through the buckle either singly or doubly, affects two key performance criteria: time to stop bleeding and volume of blood lost. Single routing proved to be faster, thereby saving more blood. Learning curves required to optimize user performance varied over 30-fold depending on which variable was selected (e.g., effectiveness vs. blood loss).

Keywords: hemorrhage; first aid; trauma; damage control; emergency medical services

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Quality of Care Assessment in Forward Detection of Extremity Compartment Syndrome in War

King DR, Kragh JF, Blackbourne LH. 13(2). 20 - 24. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Recent efforts to improve the quality of care in the Afghanistan theater have focused on extremity compartment syndrome, a common, disabling, and costly problem. To identify opportunities to improve care, the present survey was undertaken to observe the use of two standard methods-the traditional, improvised method and the common, off-the-shelf method-for determining intracompartmental pressures in the lower extremities of combat casualties. Methods: As part of a quality of care improvement effort during Operation Enduring Freedom, all combat casualties presenting to a forward surgical team at Forward Operating Base Shank from August to November 2011 with lower-extremity major trauma were evaluated for signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome. Results: Ten casualties had pressure measurement surveyed simultaneously using both methods. A two one-sided test analysis demonstrated a mean difference of -0.13 (90% confidence interval, -0.36 to 0.096), which indicated that the methods were similar. A repeated-measures analysis yielded a p value of .72, indicating no statistical difference between the methods. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated excellent agreement within the prespecified limits (±2mm Hg, area under the curve 1.0), which indicated that the methods were similar. Conclusion: The main finding of the quality of care effort was that clinicians received similar information from use of two standard methods for far forward measurement of pressures to detect extremity compartment syndrome. This finding may help clinicians improve the quality of care in the theater in detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring compartment syndrome.

Keywords: fascia wounds; injuries; emergency medical services; Afghan Campaign 2001-present; military medicine

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Evaluation of Contingency Telemedical Support to Improve Casualty Care at a Simulated Military Intermediate Resuscitation Facility: The EM-ANGEL Study

Gerhardt RT, Berry J, Mabry RL, Flournoy L, Arnold RG, Hults C, Robinson JB, Thaxton RA, Cestero R, Heiner JD, Koller AR, Cox KM, Patterson JN, Dalton WR, McKeague AL, Gilbert G, Manemeit C, Adams BD. 14(1). 50 - 57. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: We sought to determine whether Contingency Telemedical Support (CTS) improves the success rate and efficiency of primary care providers performing critical actions during simulated combat trauma resuscitation. Critical actions included advanced airway, chest decompression, extremity hemorrhage control, hypothermia prevention, antibiotics and analgesics, and hypotensive resuscitation, among others. Background: Recent studies report improved survival associated with skilled triage and treatment in the out-of-hospital/preoperative phase of combat casualty care. Historically, ground combat units are assigned primary care physicians and physician assistants as medical staff, due to resource limitations. Although they are recognized as optimal resuscitators, demand for military trauma surgeons and emergency physicians exceeds supply and is unlikely to improve in the near term. Methods: A prospective trial of telemedical mentoring during a casualty resuscitation encounter was studied using a high-fidelity patient simulator (HFPS). Subjects were randomized and formed into experimental (CTS) or control teams. CTS team leaders were equipped with a headset/microphone interface and telementored by a combat-experienced emergency physician or trauma surgeon. A standardized, scripted clinical scenario and HFPS were used with 14 critical actions. At completion, subjects were surveyed. Statistical approach included contingency table analysis, two-tailed t-test, and correlation coefficient. This study was reviewed and approved by our institutional review board (IRB). Results: Eighteen CTS teams and 16 control teams were studied. By intention-to-treat ITT analysis, 89% of CTS teams versus 56% of controls completed all life-threatening inventions (LSIs) (p < .01); 78% versus 19% completed all critical actions (p < .01); and 89% versus 56% established advanced airways within 8 minutes (p < .06). Average time to completion in minutes (95% confidence interval [CI] 95) was 12 minutes (10-14) for CTS versus 18 (16-20) for controls, with 75% of control teams not completing all critical actions. Conclusion: In this model, real-time telementoring of simulated trauma resuscitation was feasible and improved accuracy and efficiency of non-emergency-trained resuscitators. Clinical validation and replicated study of these findings for guiding remote damage control resuscitation are warranted.

Keywords: military medicine; war; emergency medical services; resuscitation; telemedicine; wounds and injuries

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Safety and Effectiveness Evidence of SAM® Junctional Tourniquet to Control Inguinal Hemorrhage in a Perfused Cadaver Model

Johnson JE, Sims K, Hamilton DJ, Kragh JF. 14(2). 21 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Hemorrhage from the trunk-appendage junctions is a common, preventable cause of death on the battlefield. The recently U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared SAM® Junctional Tourniquet (SJT) was designed to control out-of-hospital inguinal and axillary hemorrhage. The purpose of the present study was to provide safety and effectiveness data associated with use of the SJT. Such data provided support for regulatory clearance. Methods: The SJT was tested in a perfused cadaver experiment simulating inguinal or axillary wound hemorrhage. Results: No safety problems or tissue damage occurred, and flow normalized promptly after tourniquet removal. During SJT use, an average of 107mmHg occluded the distal external iliac artery in an average of 7 seconds of inflation time; manual pressure as a control averaged 139mmHg. In SJT use, an average of 739mmHg occluded the axillary artery in an average of 5 seconds of inflation time; manual pressure as a control averaged 1237mmHg. The control was a referent that achieved results that were similar in one body area but different in the other; both findings indicate the device is as safe as, if not safer than, manual compression. Conclusion: The SJT was shown to be safe and effective in hemorrhage control in a cadaver model for both the axillary and inguinal areas. The SJT's Target Compression Devices required pressures approximately equal to or lower than manual pressure to achieve hemostasis in these junctional regions.

Keywords: hemorrhage; trauma; groin; wounds and injuries; first aid; damage control; emergency medical services; resuscitation; tourniquet

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Prehospital and En Route Cricothyrotomy Performed in the Combat Setting: A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study

Barnard EB, Ervin AT, Mabry RL, Bebarta VS. 14(4). 35 - 39. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of potentially preventable combat death. Surgical cricothyrotomy is an infrequently performed but lifesaving airway intervention. There are limited published data on prehospital cricothyrotomy in civilian or military settings. Our aim was to prospectively describe the survival rate and complications associated with cricothyrotomy performed in the military prehospital and en route setting. Methods: The Life-Saving Intervention (LSI) study is a prospective, institutional review boardapproved, multicenter trial examining LSIs performed in the prehospital combat setting. We prospectively recorded LSIs performed on patients in theater who were transported to six combat hospitals. Trained site investigators evaluated patients on arrival and recorded demographics, vital signs, and LSIs performed. LSIs were predefined and include cricothyrotomies, chest tubes, intubations, tourniquets, and other procedures. From the large dataset, we analyzed patients who had a cricothyrotomy performed. Hospital outcomes were cross-referenced from the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Descriptive statistics or Wilcoxon test (nonparametric) were used for data comparisons; statistical significance was set at ρ < .05. The primary outcome was success of prehospital and en route cricothyrotomy. Results: Of the 1,927 patients enrolled, 34 patients had a cricothyrotomy performed (1.8%). Median age was 24 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 22.5-25 years), 97% were men. Mechanisms of injury were blast (79%), penetrating (18%), and blunt force (3%), and 83% had major head, face, or neck injuries. Median Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) was 3 (IQR: 3-7.5) and four patients had GCS higher than 8. Cricothyrotomy was successful in 82% of cases. Reasons for failure included left main stem intubation (n = 1), subcutaneous passage (n = 1), and unsuccessful attempt (n = 4). Five patients had a prehospital basic airway intervention. Unsuccessful endotracheal intubation preceded 15% of cricothyrotomies. Of the 24 patients who had the provider type recorded, six had a cricothyrotomy by a combat medic (pre-evacuation), and 18 by an evacuation helicopter medic. Combat-hospital outcome data were available for 26 patients, 13 (50%) of whom survived to discharge. The cricothyrotomy patients had more LSIs than noncricothyrotomy patients (four versus two LSIs per patient; ρ < .0011). Conclusion: In our prospective, multicenter study evaluating cricothyrotomy in combat, procedural success was higher than previously reported. In addition, the majority of cricothyrotomies were performed by the evacuation helicopter medic rather than the prehospital combat medic. Prehospital military medics should receive training in decision making and be provided with adjuncts to facilitate this lifesaving procedure.

Keywords: airway management; airway obstruction; military medicine; war; emergency medical services; cricothyrotomy; airway

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Optimizing the Use of Limb Tourniquets in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 14-02

Shackelford S, Butler FK, Kragh JF, Stevens RA, Seery JM, Parsons DL, Montgomery HR, Kotwal RS, Mabry RL, Bailey JA. 15(1). 17 - 31. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: tourniquet; Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines; external hemorrhage control; shock; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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A Descriptive Analysis of US Prehospital Care Response to Law Enforcement Tactical Incidents

Aberle SJ, Lohse CM, Sztajnkrycer MD. 15(2). 117 - 122. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Law enforcement tactical incidents involve high-risk operations that exceed the capabilities of regular, uniformed police. Despite the existence of tactical teams for 50 years, little is known about the frequency or nature of emergency medical services (EMS) response to tactical events in the United States. The purpose of this study was to perform a descriptive analysis of tactical events reported to a national EMS database. Methods: Descriptive analysis of the 2012 National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) Public Release research data set, containing EMS emergency response data from 41 states. Results: A total of 17,479,328 EMS events were reported, of which 3,953 events were coded as "Activation-Tactical or SWAT Specialty Service/Response Team." The most common level of prehospital care present on scene was basic life support (55.2%). The majority (72.3%) of tactical incident activations involved a single patient; mass casualty incidents occurred in 0.5% of events. The most common EMS response locations were homes (48.4%), streets or highways (37.0%), and public buildings (6.3%). The mean age of treated patients was 44.1 years ± 22.0 years; 3.5% of tactical incident activation patients were aged 8 years or less. Injuries were coded as firearm assault in 14.8% and as chemical exposure in 8.9% of events. Cardiac arrest occurred in 5.1% of patients, with the majority (92.2%) occurring prior to EMS arrival. The primary symptoms reported by EMS personnel were pain (37.4%), change in responsiveness (13.1%), and bleeding (8.1%). Advanced airway procedures occurred in 30 patients. No patients were documented as receiving tourniquets or needle thoracostomy. Conclusion: Approximately 11 EMS responses in support of law enforcement tactical operations occur daily in the United States. The majority occur in homes and involve a single patient. Advanced airway procedures are required in a minority of patients. Cardiac arrest is rare and occurs prior to EMS response in the majority of cases. Better understanding of the nature and location of EMS responses to tactical incidents is required to develop consistent EMS policies in support of law enforcement tactical operations.

Keywords: TEMS; emergency medical services; tactical; SWAT

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Junctional Tourniquet Training Experience

Kragh JF, Geracci JJ, Parsons DL, Robinson JB, Biever KA, Rein EB, Glassberg E, Strandenes G, Chen J, Benov A, Marcozzi D, Shackelford S, Cox KM, Mann-Salinas EA. 15(3). 20 - 30. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Since 2009, out-of-hospital care of junctional hemorrhage bleeding from the trunk-appendage junctions has changed, in part, due to the newly available junctional tourniquets (JTs) that have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration. Given four new models of JT available in 2014, several military services have begun to acquire, train, or even use such JTs in care. The ability of users to be trained in JT use has been observed by multiple instructors. The experience of such instructors has been broad as a group, but their experience as individuals has been neither long nor deep. A gathering into one source of the collective experience of trainers of JT users could permit a collation of useful information to include lessons learned, tips in skill performance, identification of pitfalls of use to avoid, and strategies to optimize user learning. The purpose of the present review is to record the experiences of several medical personnel in their JT training of users to provide a guide for future trainers.

Keywords: hemorrhage; resuscitation; medical device; education; skill development; emergency medical services

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Resuscitation During Critical Care Transportation in Afghanistan

Tobin JM, Nordmann GR, Kuncir EJ. 15(3). 72 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: These data describe the critical care procedures performed on, and the resuscitation markers of, critically wounded personnel in Afghanistan following point of injury (POI) transports and intratheater transports. Providing this information may help inform discussion on the design of critical care transportation platforms for future conflicts. Methods: The Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR) was queried for descriptive data on combat casualties with Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 15 who were transported in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010. Both POI transportation events and interfacility transportation events were reviewed. Base deficit (BD) was evaluated as a maker of resuscitation, and international normalized ratio (INR) was evaluated as a measure of coagulopathy. Results: There were 1198 transportation events that occurred during the study period - 634 (53%) transports from the POI and 564 (47%) intratheater transports. Critical care interventions were performed during 147 (12.3%) transportation events, including intubation, cricothyrotomy, double-lumen endotracheal tube placement, needle or tube thoracostomy, central venous access placement, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The mean BD on arrival in the emergency department was -5.4 mEq/L for POI transports and 0.68 mEq/L intratheater transports (ρ < .001). The mean INR on arrival in the emergency department was 1.48 for POI transports and 1.21 for intratheater transports (ρ < .001). Conclusions: Critical care interventions were needed frequently during evacuation of severely injured personnel. Furthermore, many troops arrived acidotic and coagulopathic following initial transport from POI. Together, these data suggest that a platform capable of damage control resuscitation and critical care interventions may be warranted on longer transports of more critically injured patients.

Keywords: transportation; critical care; resuscitation, trauma; damage control; emergency medical services; care, out-of-hospital

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Preliminary Measures of Instructor Learning in Teaching Junctional Tourniquet Users

Kragh JF, Aden JK, Shackelford S, Dubick MA. 16(2). 13 - 15. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of instructor learning on student performance in use of junctional tourniquets. Methods: From a convenience sample of data available after another study, we used a manikin for assessment of control of bleeding from a right groin gunshot wound. Blood loss was measured by the instructor while training users. The data set represented a group of 30 persons taught one at a time. The first measure was a plot of mean blood loss volumes for the sequential users. The second measure was a plot of the cumulative sum (CUSUM) of mean blood loss (BL) volumes for users. Results: Mean blood loss trended down as the instructor gained experience with each newly instructed user. User performance continually improved as the instructor gained more experience with teaching. No plateau effect was observed within the 30 users. The CUSUM plot illustrated a turning point or cusp at the seventh user. The prior portion of the plot (users 1-7) had the greatest improvement; performance did not improve as much thereafter. The improvement after the seventh user was the only change detected in the instructor's trend of performance. Conclusions: The instructor's teaching experience appeared to directly affect user performance; in a model of junctional hemorrhage, the volume of blood loss from the manikin during junctional tourniquet placement was a useful metric of instructor learning. The CUSUM technique detected a small but meaningful change in trend where the instructor learning curve was greatest while working with the first seven users.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage, prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Preliminary Comparison of Pneumatic Models of Tourniquet for Prehospital Control of Limb Bleeding in a Manikin Model

Gibson R, Aden JK, Dubick MA, Kragh JF. 16(2). 21 - 27. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Emergency tourniquet use has been associated with hemorrhage control and improved survival during the wars since 2001, but little is known of the differential performance of pneumatic tourniquet models. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of three models of pneumatic tourniquets in a laboratory setting to aid a possible decision to field test suitable models for medic preference. Methods: A laboratory experiment was designed to test the effectiveness of tourniquets on a manikin thigh. Three models (one Emergency and Military Tourniquet [EMT] and two Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquets differing in width: 2 in. and 3 in. [TPT3]) were compared with the standard-issue Combat Application Tourniquet of a strap-and-windlass design. Two users conducted 40 tests each on a right-thigh manikin (HapMed Leg Tourniquet Trainer) with a simulated above-knee amputation injury. Measurements included effectiveness in hemorrhage control, pulse stoppage distal to the tourniquet, time to stop bleeding, blood loss, and pressure. Results: All four models were 100% effective in both hemorrhage control and pulse stoppage distal to the tourniquet. The TPT3 had the slowest mean time to stop bleeding and the highest mean blood loss. The EMT had the least mean pressure. An interuser difference was found only for mean pressure. Conclusions: All models of tourniquet performed equally well for both the critical outcome of effectiveness and the important outcome of pulse stoppage, whereas results for secondary outcomes (time, pressure, and blood loss) differed by model. The EMT had best performance for every type of measurement.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage, prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Learning Curves of Emergency Tourniquet Use Exploring for Utility in Training

Kragh JF, Mabry RL, Parsons DL, Broussard DW, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 16(4). 7 - 14. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Mechanical Testing of Models of Tourniquet After Environmental Exposure

O'Conor DK, Kragh JF, Aden JK, Dubick MA. 17(1). 27 - 35. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: The purpose of the present study was to mechanically assess models of emergency tourniquet after 18 months of environmental exposure to weather to better understand risk of component damage. Materials and Methods: An experiment was designed to test tourniquet performance on a manikin thigh. Three tourniquet models were assessed: Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet Wide, Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet, and Combat Application Tourniquet. Unexposed tourniquets formed a control group stored in a laboratory; exposed tourniquets were placed outdoors on a metal roof for 18 months in San Antonio, Texas. Two users, a military cadet and a scientist, made 300 assessments in total. Assessment included major damage (yes-no), effectiveness (hemorrhage control, yes-no), casualty survival (alive-dead), time to stop bleeding, pressure, and blood loss. Time, pressure, and blood loss were reported in tests with effectiveness. Results: Exposed devices had worse results than unexposed devices for major damage (3% [4/150] versus 0% [0/150]; ρ = .018), effectiveness (89% versus 99%; ρ = .002), and survival of casualties (89% versus 100%; ρ < .001). In tests for effectiveness, exposed devices had worse results than unexposed devices for time to stop bleeding (29 seconds versus 26 seconds; ρ = .01) and pressure (200mmHg versus 204mmHg; ρ = .03, respectively), but blood loss volume did not differ significantly. Conclusion: Compared with unexposed control devices, environmentally exposed tourniquets had worse results in tests of component damage, effectiveness, and casualty survival.

Keywords: first aid; damage control; hemorrhage prevention and control; shock; tourniquet; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Clinical Image: Visual Estimation of Blood Loss

Donham B, Frondozo R, Petro M, Reynolds A, Swisher J, Knight RM. 17(1). 68 - 71. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Military prehospital providers frequently have to make important clinical decisions with only limited objective information and vital signs. Because of this, accurate estimation of blood loss, at the point of injury, can augment any available objective information. Prior studies have shown that individuals significantly overestimate the amount of blood loss when the amount of hemorrhage is small, and they tend to underestimate the amount of blood loss with larger amounts of hemorrhage. Furthermore, the type of surface on which the blood is deposited can impact the visual estimation of the amount of hemorrhage. To aid providers with the ability to accurately estimate blood loss, we took several units of expired packed red blood cells and deposited them in different ways on varying surfaces to mimic the visual impression of combat casualties.

Keywords: hemorrhage diagnosis; war; military medicine; emergency medical services

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Keyword: emergency medicine

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A Review of Reduction Techniques for Anterior Glenohumeral Joint Dislocations

Dannenbaum J, Krueger CA, Johnson AE. 12(2). 83 - 92. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This review article aims to describe the techniques, success rates, advantages and disadvantages of commonly used anterior shoulder reduction maneuvers. Methods: A review of literature was performed and each article was reviewed for the reported success rates, advantages, disadvantages and technical notes for each anterior shoulder reduction technique. Results: There are a wide variety of very successful shoulder reduction maneuvers, each with their own specific set of advantages and disadvantages. Conclusion: While there are some situations that may favor one of these anterior shoulder reduction techniques over another; it is largely left up to the healthcare provider to determine which maneuver is best on a patient-to-patient basis.

Keywords: shoulder dislocation; shoulder subluxation; shoulder reduction; orthopaedics; emergency medicine

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Preparedness for Resuscitation at a Geographically Isolated Army Troop Medical Clinic: Lessons From Camp Blanding, Florida

Studer NM, Horsley GW, Godbee DC. 14(2). 14 - 19. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Many Servicemembers rely on nondeployed Role 1 facilities, such as troop medical clinics, as their primary source of healthcare. At geographically isolated military installations, these facilities are the "only game in town" for medical care. Servicemembers may present to these facilities with emergent conditions, regardless of designed intent of the facility or the wishes of staff. The U.S. Army Troop Medical Clinic, Camp Blanding is such a facility. Methods: The clinic was reorganized with a 5S approach, streamlining supply, equipment, and workflow processes. This was accomplished to allow the facility to not only improve its general delivery of care but also ensure capability to handle at least one medical or trauma resuscitation. Equipment, disposable supplies, documentation, and staff training were addressed.Results/ Discussion/ Conclusion: Despite facility intention, lack of supplies/equipment, or staff inexperience with emergency care, an acute ill or injured Servicemember must be stabilized at the nondeployed Role 1 facility while awaiting transport to a higher level of care. This expectation is the same as that of deployed Role 1 facilities. A cost-savings can also be realized when minor "emergencies" are handled in-house.

Keywords: aid station; troop medical clinic; sick bay; resuscitation; emergency medicine; primary care; National Guard; rural medicine; sick call

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Graduate Medical Education in Tactical Medicine and the Impact of ACGME Accreditation of EMS Fellowships

Tang N, Levy MJ, Margolis AM, Woltman N. 17(1). 101 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Physician interest in tactical medicine as an area of professional practice has grown significantly over the past decade. The prevalence of physician involvement in terms of medical oversight and operational support of civilian tactical medicine has experienced tremendous growth during this timeframe. Factors contributing to this trend are multifactorial and include enhanced law enforcement agency understanding of the role of the tactical physician, support for the engagement of qualified medical oversight, increasing numbers of physicians formally trained in tactical medicine, and the ongoing escalation of intentional mass-casualty incidents worldwide. Continued vigilance for the sustenance of adequate and appropriate graduate medical education resources for physicians seeking training in the comprehensive aspects of tactical medicine is essential to ensure continued advancement of the quality of casualty care in the civilian high-threat environment.

Keywords: tactical medicine; emergency medicine; law enforcement

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Keyword: emergency treatment

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Lighting Did Not Affect Self-application of a Stretch and Wrap Style Tourniquet

Wall PL, Welander JD, Sahr SM, Buising CM. 12(3). 68 - 73. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The objective was to determine the effects of darkness on self-application of a stretch and wrap style tourniquet. Methods: Following training and practice, 15 volunteers self-applied the Stretch, Wrap, and Tuck-Tourniquet (SWAT-T) to their leg, thigh, dominant forearm, and dominate arm. Proper application in lighted conditions was followed by the same applications in darkness. Proper stretch was determined by alteration of shapes printed on the tourniquet. Results: High rates of proper application and successful arterial occlusion (60 second Doppler signal elimination) occurred in darkness just as in lighted conditions (darkness: 56 proper and 60 successful of 60 applications, lighted: 57 proper and 53 successful of 60 applications). Lighting did not affect ease of application or discomfort. Males (8) and females (7) were similarly successful. Lower limb applications were predominantly rated easy (51 of 60). Upper limb applications had fewer easy ratings (15 easy, 32 challenging, 13 difficult ratings). Arterial occlusion took < 60 seconds in 112 of 113 successful applications; completion took < 60 seconds in 88 of all 120 applications. Upper limb applications took longer for completion. Conclusions: The SWAT-T stretch and wrap style tourniquet can be self-applied properly even in darkness. When properly applied, it can stop limb arterial flow.

Keywords: hemorrhage control; first aid; emergency treatment; resuscitation

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Tourniquet Pressures: Strap Width and Tensioning System Widths

Wall PL, Coughlin O, Rometti MR, Birkholz S, Gildemaster Y, Grulke L, Sahr SM, Buising CM. 14(4). 19 - 29. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Pressure distribution over tourniquet width is a determinant of pressure needed for arterial occlusion. Different width tensioning systems could result in arterial occlusion pressure differences among nonelastic strap designs of equal width. Methods: Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets™ (RMTs; m2® inc., http://www.ratcheting buckles.com) with a 1.9cm-wide (Tactical RMT) or 2.3cmwide (Mass Casualty RMT) ladder were directly compared (16 recipients, 16 thighs and 16 upper arms for each tourniquet ® 2). Then, RMTs were retrospectively compared with the windlass Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T ["CAT"], http://combattourniquet.com) with a 2.5cm-wide internal tensioning strap. Pressure was measured with an air-filled No. 1 neonatal blood pressure cuff under each 3.8cm-wide tourniquet. Results: RMT circumferential pressure distribution was not uniform. Tactical RMT pressures were not higher, and there were no differences between the RMTs in the effectiveness, ease of use ("97% easy"), or discomfort. However, a difference did occur regarding tooth skipping of the pawl during ratchet advancement: it occurred in 1 of 64 Tactical RMT applications versus 27 of 64 Mass Casualty RMT applications. CAT and RMT occlusion pressures were frequently over 300mmHg. RMT arm occlusion pressures (175-397mmHg), however, were lower than RMT thigh occlusion pressures (197-562mmHg). RMT effectiveness was better with 99% reached occlusion and 1% lost occlusion over 1 minute versus the CAT with 95% reached occlusion and 28% lost occlusion over 1 minute. RMT muscle tension changes (up to 232mmHg) and pressure losses over 1 minute (24 ± 11mmHg arm under strap to 40 ± 12mmHg thigh under ladder) suggest more occlusion losses may have occurred if tourniquet duration was extended. Conclusions: The narrower tensioning system Tactical RMT has better performance characteristics than the Mass Casualty RMT. The 3.8cmwide RMTs have some pressure and effectiveness similarities and differences compared with the CAT. Clinically significant pressure changes occur under nonelastic strap tourniquets with muscle tension changes and over time periods as short as 1 minute. An examination of pressure and occlusion changes beyond 1 minute would be of interest.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage control; first aid; emergency treatment

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Initial Tourniquet Pressure Does Not Affect Tourniquet Arterial Occlusion Pressure

Slaven SE, Wall PL, Rinker JH, Halub ME, Hopkins JW, Sahr SM, Buising CM. 15(1). 39 - 49. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Effective nonelastic strap-based tourniquets are typically pulled tight and friction or hook-and-loop secured before engaging a mechanical advantage system to reach arterial occlusion pressure. This study examined the effects of skin surface initial secured pressure (Friction Pressure) on the skin surface pressure applied at arterial occlusion (Occlusion Pressure) and on the use of the mechanical advantage system. Methods: Combat Application Tourniquets® (CATs; combattourniquet.com) and Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets (RMTs; www .ratchetingbuckles.com) were applied to 12 recipient thighs with starting Friction Pressures of 25 (RMT only), 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175 (CAT only), and 200mmHg (CAT only). The CAT strap was single threaded. Pressure was measured with an air-filled, size #1, neonatal blood pressure cuff under the Base (CAT), Ladder (RMT), and Strap (CAT and RMT) of each 3.8cm-wide tourniquet. Results: Base or Ladder pressure and Strap pressure were related but increasingly different at increasing pressures, with Strap pressures being lower (Friction Pressure, r > 0.91; Occlusion Pressure, r > 0.60). Friction Pressure did not affect Occlusion Pressure for either design. Across the 12 thighs, the correlation coefficient for Strap Friction Pressure versus CAT windlass turns was r = -0.91 ± 0.04, and versus RMT ladder distance traveled was r = -0.94 ± 0.06. Friction Pressures of 150mmHg or greater were required to achieve CAT Occlusion with two or fewer windlass turns. CAT and RMT Strap Occlusion Pressures were similar on each recipient (median, minimum - maximum; CAT: 318mmHg, 260-536mmHg; RMT: 328mmHg, 160-472mmHg). Conclusions: Achieving high initial strap tension is desirable to minimize windlass turns or ratcheting buckle travel distance required to reach arterial occlusion, but does not affect tourniquet surface-applied pressure needed for arterial occlusion. For same-width, nonelastic strap-based tourniquets, differences in the mechanical advantage system may be unimportant to final tourniquet-applied pressure needed for arterial occlusion.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage control; first aid; emergency treatment

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Different Width and Tightening System: Emergency Tourniquets on Distal Limb Segments

Wall PL, Sahr SM, Buising CM. 15(4). 28 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Tourniquets are used on distal limb segments. We examined calf and forearm use of four thigh-effective, commercial tourniquets with different widths and tightening systems: 3.8cm windlass Combat Application Tourniquet® (CAT, combattourrniquet.com) and Special Operations Forces® Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTTW, www.tacmedsolutions.com), 3.8cm ratchet Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet - Pediatric (RMT-P, www.ratchetingbuckles. com), and 10.4cm elastic Stretch-Wrap-And-Tuck Tourniquet® (SWATT, www.swattourniquet.com). Methods: From Doppler-indicated occlusion, windlass completion was the next securing opportunity; ratchet completion was one additional tooth advance; elastic completion was end tucked under a wrap. Results: All applications on the 16 recipients achieved occlusion. Circumferences were calf 38.1 ± 2.5cm and forearm 25.1 ± 3.0cm (p < .0001, t-test, mean ± SD). Pressures at Occlusion, Completion, and 120-seconds after Completion differed within each design (p < .05, one-way ANOVA; calf: CAT 382 ± 100, 510 ± 108, 424 ± 92mmHg; SOFTT-W 381 ± 81, 457 ± 103, 407 ± 88mmHg; RMT-P 295 ± 35, 350 ± 38, 301 ± 30mmHg; SWATT 212 ± 46, 294 ± 59, 287 ± 57mmHg; forearm: CAT 301 ± 100, 352 ± 112, 310 ± 98mmHg; SOFTT-W 321 ± 70, 397 ± 102, 346 ± 91mmHg; RMT-P 237 ± 48, 284 ± 60, 256 ± 51mmHg; SWATT 181 ± 34, 308 ± 70, 302 ± 70mmHg). Comparing designs, pressures at each event differed (p < .05, one-way ANOVA), and the elastic design had the least pressure decrease over time (p < .05, one-way ANOVA). Occlusion losses differed among designs on the calf (p < .05, χ²; calf: CAT 1, SOFTT-W 5, RMT-P 1, SWATT 0; forearm: CAT 0, SOFTT-W 1, RMT-P 2, SWATT 0). Conclusions: All four designs can be effective on distal limb segments, the SWATT doing so with the lowest pressures and least pressure losses over time. The pressure change from Occlusion to Completion varies by tourniquet tightening system and can involve a pressure decrease with the windlass tightening systems. Pressure losses occur in as little as 120 seconds following Completion and so can loss of Occlusion. This is especially true for nonelastic strap tourniquet designs.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage control; first aid; emergency treatment

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Pressures Under 3.8cm, 5.1cm, and Side-by-Side 3.8cm-Wide Tourniquets

Wall PL, Weasel J, Rometti MR, Birkholz S, Gildemaster Y, Grulke L, Sahr SM, Buising CM. 16(2). 28 - 35. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Applications of wider tourniquet are expected to occlude arterial flow at lower pressures. We examined pressures under 3.8cm-wide, 5.1cm-wide, and side-by-side-3.8cm-wide nonelastic strap-based tourniquets. Methods: Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets (RMT) were applied mid-thigh and mid-arm for 120 seconds with Doppler-indicated occlusion. The RMTs were a Single Tactical RMT (3.8cm-wide), a Wide RMT (5.1cm-wide), and Paired Tactical RMTs (7.6cm-total width). Tightening completion was measured at one-tooth advance past arterial occlusion, and paired applications involved alternating tourniquet tightening. Results: All 96 applications on the 16 recipients reached occlusion. Paired tourniquets had the lowest occlusion pressures (ρ < .05). All pressures are given as median mmHg, minimum-maximum mmHg. Thigh application occlusion pressures were Single 256, 219-299; Wide 259, 203-287; Distal of Pair 222, 183-256; and Proximal of Pair 184, 160-236. Arm application occlusion pressures were Single 230, 189-294; Wide 212, 161-258; Distal of Pair 204, 193-254, and Proximal of Pair 168, 148-227. Pressure increases with the final tooth advance were greater for the 2 teeth/cm Wide than for the 2.5 teeth/cm Tacticals (ρ < .05). Thigh final tooth advance pressure increases were Single 40, 33-49; Wide 51, 37-65; Distal of Pair 13, 1-35; and Proximal of Pair 15, 0-30. Arm final tooth advance pressure increases were Single 49, 41-71; Wide 63, 48-77; Distal of Pair 3, 0-14; and Proximal of Pair 23, 2-35. Pressure decreases occurred under all tourniquets over 120 seconds. Thigh pressure decreases were Single 41, 32-75; Wide 43, 28-62; Distal of Pair 25, 16-37; and Proximal of Pair 22, 15-37. Arm pressure decreases were Single 28, 21-43; Wide 26, 16-36; Distal of Pair 16, 12-35; and Proximal of Pair 12, 5-24. Occlusion losses before 120 seconds occurred predominantly on the thigh and with paired applications (ρ < .05). Occlusion losses occurred in six Paired thigh applications, two Single thigh applications, and one Paired arm application. Conclusions: Side-by-side tourniquets achieve occlusion at lower pressures than single tourniquets. Additionally, pressure decreases under tourniquets over time; so all tourniquet applications require reassessments for continued effectiveness.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; first aid; emergency treatment

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Significant Pressure Loss Occurs Under Tourniquets Within Minutes of Application

Rometti MR, Wall PL, Buising CM, Gildemaster Y, Hopkins JW, Sahr SM. 16(4). 15 - 26. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Telemedicine to Reduce Medical Risk in Austere Medical Environments: The Virtual Critical Care Consultation (VC3) Service

Powell D, McLeroy RD, Riesberg J, Vasios WN, Miles EA, Dellavolpe J, Keenan S, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 102 - 109. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Case of a 5-Year-Old Foreign National Who Sustained Penetrating Abdominal Trauma

McLeroy RD, Ellis JL, Karnopp JM, Dellavolpe J, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Edwards M, Matos R, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 110 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Embedded Fragment Removal and Wound Debridement in a Non-US Partner Force Soldier

McLeroy RD, Spelman S, Jacobson E, Gurney J, Keenan S, Powell D, Riesberg J, Pamplin JC. 16(4). 114 - 116. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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

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Effectiveness of Pulse Oximetry Versus Doppler for Tourniquet Monitoring

Wall PL, Buising CM, Grulke L, Troester A, Bianchina N, White S, Freymark R, Hassan A, Hopkins JW, Renner CH, Sahr SM. 17(1). 36 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Pulse oximeters are common and include arterial pulse detection as part of their methodology. The authors investigated the possible usefulness of pulse oximeters for monitoring extremity tourniquet arterial occlusion. Methods: Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets were tightened to the least Doppler-determined occluding pressure at mid-thigh or mid-arm locations on one limb at a time on all four limbs of 15 volunteers. A randomized block design was used to determine the placement locations of three pulse oximeter sensors on the relevant digits. The times and pressures of pulsatile signal absences and returns were recorded for 200 seconds, with the tourniquet being tightened only when the Doppler ultrasound and all three pulse oximeters had pulsatile signals present (pulsatile waveform traces for the pulse oximeters). Results: From the first Doppler signal absence to tourniquet release, toe-located pulse oximeters missed Doppler signal presence 41% to 50% of the times (discrete 1-second intervals) and missed 39% to 49% of the pressure points (discrete 1mmHg intervals); fingerlocated pulse oximeters had miss rates of 11% to 15% of the times and 13% to 19% of the pressure points. On toes, the pulse oximeter ranges of sensitivity and specificity for Doppler pulse detection were 71% to 90% and 44% to 51%, and on fingers, the respective ranges were 65% to 77% and 78% to 83%. Conclusion: Use of a pulse oximeter to monitor limb tourniquet effectiveness will result in some instances of an undetected weak arterial pulse being present. If a pulse oximeter waveform is obtained from a location distal to a tourniquet, the tourniquet should be tightened. If a pulsatile waveform is not detected, vigilance should be maintained.

Keywords: tourniquet; hemorrhage; first aid; emergency treatment

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Keyword: EMS

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Evaluation of NuStat®, a Novel Nonimpregnated Hemostatic Dressing, Compared With Combat Gauze™ in Severe Traumatic Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Hillis GR, Yi CJ, Amrani DL, Akers TW, Schwartz RB, Wedmore I, McManus JG. 14(4). 41 - 47. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains one of the most challenging problems facing emergency medical professionals and a leading cause of traumatic death in both battlefield and civilian environments. Survival is determined by the ability to rapidly control hemorrhage. Several commercially available topical adjunct agents have been shown to be effective in controlling hemorrhage, and one, Combat Gauze™ (CG), is used regularly on the battlefield and for civilian applications. However, recent literature reviews have concluded that no ideal topical agent exists for all injuries and scenarios. The authors compared a novel nonimpregnated dressing composed of cellulose and silica, NuStat® (NS), to CG in a lethal hemorrhagic groin injury. These dressings were selected for their commercial availability and design intended for control of massive hemorrhage. Methods: A complex penetrating femoral artery groin injury was made using a 5.5mm vascular punch followed by 45 seconds of uncontrolled hemorrhage in 15 swine. The hemostatic dressings were randomized using a random sequence generator and then assigned to the animals. Three minutes of manual pressure was applied with each agent after the free bleed. Hextend™ bolus (500mL) was subsequently rapidly infused using a standard pressure bag along with the addition of maintenance fluids to maintain blood pressure. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded every 10 minutes and additionally at critical time points defined in the protocol. Primary end points included immediate hemostasis upon release of manual pressure (T0), hemostasis at 60 minutes, and rebleeding during the 60-minute observation period. Results: NS was statistically superior to CG in a 5.5mm traumatic hemorrhage model at T0 for immediate hemostasis (ρ = .0475), duration of application time (ρ = .0093), use of resuscitative fluids (ρ = .0042) and additional blood loss after application (ρ = .0385). NS and CG were statistically equivalent for hemostasis at 60 minutes, rebleeding during the study, and the additional secondary metrics, although the trend indicated that in a larger sample size, NS could prove statistical superiority in selected categories. Conclusions: In this porcine model of uncontrolled hemorrhage, NS improved immediate hemorrhage control, stability, and use of fluid in a 60-minute severe porcine hemorrhage model. In this study, NS demonstrated equivalence to CG at achieving long-term hemostasis and the prevention of rebleed after application. NS was shown to be an efficacious choice for hemorrhage control in combat and civilian emergency medical service environments.

Keywords: EMS; hemostatic dressing; hemorrhage, uncontrolled; hemorrhage, severe; traumatic injuries; NuStat; NS; CG; silica; bamboo; cellulose; Combat Gauze™; kaolin

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Keyword: endotracheal tube

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Laryngeal Mask Airway Exchange Using a Gum Elastic Bougie With a Rotational Twist Technique

Stancil S, Miller J, Riddle M. 14(3). 74 - 77. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Previous studies have sought to determine the feasibility of exchanging the laryngeal mask airway (LMA) for an endotracheal tube (ETT) over a gum elastic bougie (GEB) and found the practice to have a success rate of about 50%. It has been speculated that the poor success rate may be due to the upward angle of the bougie tip meeting resistance against the anterior laryngeal wall. The use of a 90- to 180-degree twist technique to angle the bougie tip away from the anterior tracheal wall and caudally along the trachea theoretically could improve results. We conducted a prospective cadaveric study to determine if the use of a bougie 90- to 180-degree twist technique or the use of a more flexible pediatric bougie would improve previously published success rates. Emergency medicine personnel attempted exchange of an LMA for an ETT over a GEB using a twisting technique. Despite using the twisting technique, successful exchange over a bougie remained at 50%, similar to previous studies. Using a smaller, more flexible pediatric bougie led to a successful exchange in only 28% of attempts. In this study, the adding of a twist technique or using a pediatric bougie did not result in consistent successful exchange to an ETT from an LMA.

Keywords: laryngeal mask airway; endotracheal tube; gum elastic bougie; supraglottic airway devices; intubation; airway; tube exchange

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Keyword: endovascular balloon occulsion

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A Modern Case Series of Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) in an Out-of-Hospital, Combat Casualty Care Setting

Manley JD, Mitchell BJ, DuBose JJ, Rasmussen TE. 17(1). 1 - 8. (Case Reports)

Abstract

Background: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is used to mitigate bleeding and sustain central aortic pressure in the setting of shock. The ER-REBOA™ catheter is a new REBOA technology, previously reported only in the setting of civilian trauma and injury care. The use of REBOA in an out-of-hospital setting has not been reported, to our knowledge. Methods: We present a case series of wartime injured patients cared for by a US Air Force Special Operations Surgical Team at an austere location fewer than 3km (5-10 minutes' transport) from point of injury and 2 hours from the next highest environment of care-a Role 2 equivalent. Results: In a 2-month period, four patients presented with torso gunshot or fragmentation wounds, hemoperitoneum, and class IV shock. Hand-held ultrasound was used to diagnose hemoperitoneum and facilitate 7Fr femoral sheath access. ER-REBOA balloons were positioned and inflated in the aorta (zone 1 [n = 3] and zone 3 [n = 1]) without radiography. In all cases, REBOA resulted in immediate normalization of blood pressure and allowed induction of anesthesia, initiation of whole-blood transfusion, damage control laparotomy, and attainment of surgical hemostasis (range of inflation time, 18-65 minutes). There were no access- or REBOArelated complications and all patients survived to achieve transport to the next echelon of care in stable condition. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first series to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of REBOA in modern combat casualty care and the first to describe use of the ER-REBOA catheter. Use of this device by nonsurgeons and surgeons not specially trained in vascular surgery in the out-of-hospital setting is useful as a stabilizing and damage control adjunct, allowing time for resuscitation, laparotomy, and surgical hemostasis.

Keywords: REBOA; endovascular balloon occulsion; shock, hemorrhagic; austere environments

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Keyword: endurance

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The Use of Dexamethasone in Support of High-Altitude Ground Operations and Physical Performance: Review of the Literature

O'Hara R, Serres J, Dodson W, Bruce W, Ordway J, Powell E, Wade M. 14(4). 53 - 58. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Military Special Operators (SOs) are exposed environmental conditions that can alter judgment and physical performance: uneven terrain, dryness of ambient air, reduction of air density, and a diminished partial pressure of oxygen. The primary purpose of this review was to determine the medical efficacy of dexamethasone as an intervention for the prevention and treatment of high-altitude illness. The secondary purpose was to determine its ability to maintain physical performance of SOs at high altitudes. Methods: A search of the literature from 1970 to 2014 was performed, locating 61 relevant articles, with 43 addressing the primary and secondary purposes of this literature review. Conclusions: The review indicates that dexamethasone is an effective prevention and treatment intervention for high-altitude illness. Commonly used dosages of either 2mg every 6 hours or 4mg every 12 hours can prevent high-altitude illnesses in adults. Currently in USSOCOM operations, there is an option to use 4mg every 6 hours (concurrently with acetazolamide 125mg bid) if ascending rapidly to or above 11,500 ft without time for acclimatization. Researchers also determined that acute exposure to high altitude, even in asymptomatic subjects, resulted in small cognitive deficits that could be reversed with dexamethasone. Dexamethasone may also help improve cognition and maximal aerobic capacity in SOs who are susceptible to high-altitude pulmonary edema.

Keywords: high altitude; mountain; performance; strength; endurance; physical; military; Special Operations

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Keyword: enhanced learning scenario

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High Intensity Scenario Training of Military Medical Students to Increase Learning Capacity and Management of Stress Response

Mueller G, Moloff A, Wedmore I, Schoeff J, LaPorta AJ. 12(2). 71 - 76. (Journal Article)

Abstract

A delicate balance exists between a beneficial stress response that enhances memory and recall performance and a detrimental high stress response that impairs memory and learning. Repetitive training in stressful situations enables people to lower their stress levels from the detrimental range to a more beneficial one.1 This is particularly true for physicians in training as they seek to achieve advanced skills and knowledge in the fields of triage, emergency medicine, and surgery prior to graduation. This need is significant for medical students entering military service after graduation. We theorize that military medical students can advance their proficiencies through an Intensive Skills Week (ISW) prior to entering their third and forth year rotations. To test this theory, Rocky Vista University will hold a week long high-intensity first-responder, emergency medicine and surgical training course, facilitated by military medical physicians, to further students' skills and maximize training using the Human Worn Partial Surgical Task Simulator (Cut Suit). We also see the possible benefit to physician and non-physician military personnel, especially Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel, from developing and implementing similar training programs when live tissue or cadaver models are unavailable or not feasible.

Keywords: stress; cortisol; medical student; enhanced learning scenario; high intensisty

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Intensive Skills Week for Military Medical Students Increases Technical Proficiency, Confidence, and Skills to Minimize Negative Stress

Mueller G, Hunt B, Wall V, Rush R, Moloff A, Schoeff J, Wedmore I, Schmid J, LaPorta AJ. 12(4). 45 - 53. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The effects of stress induced cortisol on learning and memory is well documented in the literature.1-3 Memory and learning are enhanced at low levels while high levels are detrimental. Repetitive training in stressful situations enables management of the stress response4 as demonstrated by the high intensity training military members undergo to prepare for tactical situations. Appropriate management of one's stress response is critical in the medical field, as the negative effects of stress can potentially hinder life-saving procedures and treatments. This also applies to physicians-in-training as they learn and practice triage, emergency medicine, and surgical skills prior to graduation. Rocky Vista University's Military Medicine Honor's Track (MMHT) held a week long high-intensity emergency medicine and surgical Intensive Skills Week (ISW), facilitated by military and university physicians, to advance students' skills and maximize training using the Human Worn Partial Surgical Task Simulator (Cut Suit). The short-term goal of the ISW was to overcome negative stress responses to increase confidence, technical and non-technical knowledge, and skill in surgery and emergency medicine in an effort to improve performance as third-year medical students. The long-term goal was to enhance performance and proficiency in residency and future medical practice. The metrics for the short-term goals were the focus of this pilot study. Results show an increase in confidence and decrease in perceived stress as well as statistically significant improvements in technical and non-technical skills and surgical instrumentation knowledge throughout the week. There is a correlative benefit to physician and non-physician military personnel, especially Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel, from developing and implementing similar training programs when live tissue or cadaver models are unavailable or unfeasible.

Keywords: stress control; medical student; enhanced learning scenario; high intensisty; military medicine

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Keyword: enlarging plaque

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Giant Basal Cell Carcinoma

Rivard SC, Crandall ML, Gibbs NF. 14(1). 99 - 102. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Servicemembers are often exposed to extreme environments with sun exposure, often laying the foundation for future skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common of skin cancers. We present the case of a 36-year-old male active duty Seabee who presents with a left shoulder plaque that initially started as an erythematous papule but has now increased to greater than 6cm in the past 10 years and is diagnosed as giant basal cell carcinoma (GBCC). Although only 0.5% to 1% of BCCs develop into GBCCs, there is the potential for metastasis and even death. This article addresses the concerning and potentially fatal diagnosis of GBCC, including your initial impressions and differential diagnoses, available treatment options, and ways to prevent it from ever occurring in our military population.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; giant basal cell carcinoma; enlarging plaque; electrodessication and curettage; UV damage; sun exposure; Seabee; military provider

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Keyword: ENT

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Sore Throat

Banting J, Meriano T. 14(4). 124 - 128. (Journal Article)

Abstract

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: sore throat; ENT; procedure

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Keyword: Enterobacter cloacae

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Recovery of Bacteria and Fungi From a Leg Wound

Washington MA, Barnhill JC, Duff MA, Griffin J. 15(4). 113 - 116. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Acute and chronic wound infections can both be encountered in the deployed setting. These wounds are often contaminated by bacteria and fungi derived from the external environment. In this article, we present the case of a wound infection simultaneously colonized by Enterobacter cloacae (a bacterial pathogen) and Trichosporon asahii (an unusual fungal pathogen). We describe the examination and treatment of the patient and review the distinguishing characteristics of each organism

Keywords: infection; bacteria; fungi; Enterobacter cloacae; Trichosporon asahii

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Keyword: enterotoxin

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Infectious Diseases: Cholera

Burnett MW. 14(2). 91 - 94. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Vibrio cholerae is a comma-shaped, gram-negative rod that produces an enterotoxin, which causes an acute-onset diarrheal disease ranging in severity from mild to life threatening. Worldwide, there are an estimated 3-5 million cases per year, with more than 100,000 deaths. The disease remains a significant cause of death and illness in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia (especially Bangladesh and India), and Haiti, and the infection should be recognized by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical provider.

Keywords: Vibrio cholerae; enterotoxin; diarrheal disease

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Keyword: entomology

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Staphylococcus sciuri: An Entomological Case Study and a Brief Review of the Literature

Washington MA, Kajiura L, Leong MK, Agee W, Barnhill JC. 15(1). 100 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Staphylococcus sciuri is an emerging gram-positive bacterial pathogen that is infrequently isolated from cases of human disease. This organism is capable of rapid conversion from a state of methicillin sensitivity to a state of methicillin resistance and has been shown to express a set of highly effective virulence factors. The antibioticresistance breakpoints of S. sciuri differ significantly from the more common Staphylococcus species. Therefore, the rapid identification of S. sciuri in clinical material is a prerequisite for the proper determination of the antibiotic- resistance profile and the rapid initiation of antimicrobial therapy. Here, we present a brief literature review of S. sciuri and an entomological case study in which we describe the colonization of an American cockroach with this agent. In addition, we discuss potential implications for the distribution and evolution of antibiotic- resistant members of the genus Staphylococcus.

Keywords: bacteriology; entomology; operating environment; preventive medicine

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Keyword: entropy

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Development of a Rugged handheld Device for Real-Time Analysis of heart Rate: Entropy in Critically Ill Patients

Mejaddam AY, van der Wilden GM, Chang Y, Cropano CM, Sideris AC, Hwbejire JO, Velmahos GC, Alam HB, de Moya MA, King DR. 13(1). 29 - 33. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: The usefulness of heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate complexity (HRC) analysis as a potential triage tool has been limited by the inability to perform real-time analysis on a portable, handheld monitoring platform. Through a multidisciplinary effort of academia and industry, we report on the development of a rugged, handheld and noninvasive device that provides HRV and HRC analysis in real-time in critically ill patients. Methods: After extensive re-engineering, real-time HRV and HRC analyses were incorporated into an existing, rugged, handheld monitoring platform. Following IRB approval, the prototype device was used to monitor 20 critically ill patients and 20 healthy controls to demonstrate real-world discriminatory potential. Patients were compared to healthy controls using a Student's t test as well as repeated measures analysis. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were generated for HRV and HRC. Results: Critically ill patients had a mean APACHE-2 score of 15, and over 50% were mechanically ventilated and requiring vasopressor support. HRV and HRC were both lower in the critically ill patients compared to healthy controls (ρ < 0.0001) and remained so after repeated measures analysis. The area under the ROC for HRV and HRC was 0.95 and 0.93, respectively. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of real-time, handheld HRV and HRC analysis. This prototype device successfully discriminates critically ill patients from healthy controls. This may open up possibilities for real-world use as a trauma triage tool, particularly on the battlefield.

Keywords: heart rate complexity; heart rate variability; entropy; triage; combat

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Keyword: environmental science

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Priorities for a 21st-Century Defense: Aligning U.S. Army Environmental Science and Engineering Officer Resources with the Department of Defense Strategic Guidance

Licina D, Rufolo D, Story M. 13(2). 38 - 43. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The recently published Department of Defense (DoD) strategic guidance highlights the need to "shape a joint force for the future." Supporting requirements to shape the joint force while the overall DoD force structure is reduced will be challenging. Fortunately, based on its unique training and experience, the Army Environmental Science and Engineering Officer (ESEO) profession is positioned today to fill anticipated joint public health requirements. Obtaining the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) approval to meet these requirements will have near-term consequences for the ESEO profession as some existing (albeit antiquated) authorizations may go unfilled. However, long-term dividends for the Medical Service Corps (MSC), AMEDD, Army, and DoD will be achieved by realigning critical resources to future joint and interagency requirements. Assigning ESEOs now to organizations such as the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with perceived and real joint force health protection/public health requirements through unique means will ensure our profession remains relevant today and supports the joint force of tomorrow.

Keywords: environmental science; public health; global health; defense strategic guidance

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Keyword: epidemiology

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

Shishido AA, Letizia A. 15(4). 99 - 101. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012, and subsequently spread to other countries in Europe and Asia, and to the United States. As of August 2015, the disease has infected 1,400 patients, of whom 500 have died, yielding a 36% mortality rate. The exact mode of transmission is unknown and there are no proven treatments. While the overall case rate for MERS has been low, its presence in countries that house US troops, unknown mode of transmission, and high mortality rate make it a significant health concern among US military personnel.

Keywords: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome; Coronavirus; epidemiology; clinical presentation

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Keyword: epinephrine

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Management of Anaphylaxis in an Austere or Operational Environment

Ellis BC, Brown SG. 14(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

We present a case report of a Special Operations Soldier who developed anaphylaxis as a consequence of a bee sting, resulting in compromise of the operation. We review the current literature as it relates to the pathophysiology of the disease process, its diagnosis, and its management. An evidence-based field treatment algorithm is suggested.

Keywords: anaphylaxis; anaphylactic shock; epinephrine; epinephrine infusion; review; remote; austere

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Keyword: epinephrine infusion

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Management of Anaphylaxis in an Austere or Operational Environment

Ellis BC, Brown SG. 14(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

We present a case report of a Special Operations Soldier who developed anaphylaxis as a consequence of a bee sting, resulting in compromise of the operation. We review the current literature as it relates to the pathophysiology of the disease process, its diagnosis, and its management. An evidence-based field treatment algorithm is suggested.

Keywords: anaphylaxis; anaphylactic shock; epinephrine; epinephrine infusion; review; remote; austere

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Keyword: eruption

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Medical Mission to Dominican Republic: One Dermatology Group's Experiences

Ahmed A, Peine S. 13(2). 69 - 74. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The intents of this article are to share our experiences during a medical mission in the Dominican Republic and to provide the reader with a cross-sectional view of conditions seen and an overview of interesting and challenging cases encountered. We also discuss treatments and techniques used and share lessons learned.

Keywords: dermatology; albinism; chemdestruction; chromoblastomycosis; lesions; skin dermatoses; ecthyma; intertrigo; folliculitis; fungal; scabies; eczematoid spectrum; atopic dermatitis; xerosis cutis; polymorphous; eruption; mycetoma; leprosy; scarlatina; genoderms

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Keyword: erythema ab igne

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Erythema Ab Igne

Gregory JF, Beute TC. 13(4). 115 - 119. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Erythema ab igne is a reticulated, erythematous, hyperpigmented dermatosis resulting from chronic mild to moderate heat exposure. The authors present two cases of erythema ab igne, one from a hot water bottle to treat chronic low back pain and another from a heated automobile seat. They review other reported etiologies and highlight scenarios in which military medical providers may encounter erythema ab igne.

Keywords: erythema ab igne; thermal injury; heating blanket; heated seat; reticular dermatosis; hyperpigmentation

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Keyword: erythema multiforme

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Erythema Multiforme

Sola CA, Beute TC. 14(3). 90 - 92. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty male Soldier presents to your clinic with concerns of blister-like lesions on both hands and feet several weeks after receiving immunizations. He is diagnosed with erythema multiforme (EM), a hypersensitivity reaction that is typically self-resolving. This article reviews the etiologies, pathophysiology, course, diagnosis, and treatment of erythema multiforme.

Keywords: erythema multiforme; vaccines; smallpox; typhoid; anthrax

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Keyword: erythema nodosum

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Sarcoidosis

Sola CA, Trickett CV, Lehman KA. 13(3). 105 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty male presents to your clinic with concerns of an increasing number of enlarging papules on his neck. How would you describe the morphology of these lesions? What questions should be included in your history? What would you include in your examination? What would you include in your differential diagnosis? What labs and/or tests would you order? This report discusses cutaneous sarcoidosis and its diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: cutaneous sarcoidosis; sarcoidosis; papules; pseudofolliculitis barbae; erythema nodosum; lupus pernio

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Erythema Nodosum

Vigilante JA, Scribner J. 14(4). 122 - 123. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An active duty female Sailor reports to your clinic complaining of tender nodules to her legs beginning 1.5 weeks ago. She is diagnosed with erythema nodosum (EN), a painful disorder of the subcutaneous fat that is usually self-limited but may be a clue to an additional underlying medical diagnosis. This article reviews the pathophysiology, causes, course, diagnosis, and management of EN.

Keywords: subcutaneous nodules; erythema nodosum; panniculitis

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Keyword: erythocytosis

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Secondary Hypertension, Erythrocytosis, and Unilateral Renal Cystic Disease in a Submariner: A Case Report

Forbes AS, Yeo FE. 16(4). 1 - 5. (Case Reports)

Abstract

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

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Keyword: Escherichia coli contamination

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An Evaluation of Common Cleaning Methods for the Removal of a Clinical Isolate of Escherichia coli in Personal Hydration System Water Reservoirs

Helmus S, Blythe J, Guevara P, Washington MA. 16(2). 101 - 104. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Waterborne infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Personal hydration packs have been used by military personnel since the Gulf War and are now a common issue item. Since military personnel tend to operate under austere conditions and may use a variety of water sources, preventing the acquisition of waterborne infections is extremely important. Further, since hydration pack water reservoir replacements may not be available during combat operations, the development of a reliable cleaning protocol for use in the field is essential. Several methods for cleaning have been described. In the current study, three common cleaning methodologies-bleach treatment, baking soda treatment, and proprietary CAMELBAK Cleaning Tabs™-were evaluated for the ability to remove Escherichia coli contamination from hydration pack water reservoirs. The study results suggest that the use of bleach and proprietary CAMELBAK tablets should be encouraged since they both operate by releasing bactericidal chlorine compounds into solution, which is more effective at reducing post-treatment bacterial burden. It should be noted that no method was 100% effective at completely eliminating bacteria from the reservoirs and that mechanical cleaning was not attempted.

Keywords: CAMELBAK Cleaning Tab&tm;; infection, waterborne; hydration packs, personal; cleaning methodologies; Escherichia coli contamination

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Keyword: evacuation

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This Is Africa: An Introduction to Medical Operations on the African Continent

Givens ML, Lynch JH. 14(3). 107 - 110. (Journal Article)

Abstract

This article regarding Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical operations in Africa is an introduction to a follow- on series of articles that will address in more detail pertinent medical topics which pertain to operations on the African continent. Medical operations in Africa require dynamic and systematic approaches that consider the myriad challenges, yet offer flexible solutions applied as situations and environments dictate. We believe this series of articles will be of high interest to readers and provide key information that will be germane to future SOF operations.

Keywords: medical operations; evacuation; tropical infectious disease; tactical medicine; Africa; wilderness medicine

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Closing The Gap: Improving Trauma Care On The Ukrainian Battlefield

Stacey SK, Jones PH. 16(1). 122 - 124. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Since early 2014, Ukraine has been involved in a violent social and political revolution that has taken more than 7,000 lives. Many of these deaths were due to limited field medical care and prolonged evacuation times because the Ukrainian military has been slow to adopt standard combat medical processes. We deployed with the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade to train soldiers in the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU) on combat first aid. We discovered that a major deficiency limiting the quality of trauma care and evacuation is an endemic lack of prior coordination and planning. The responsibility for this coordination falls on military leaders; therefore, we delivered medical operations training to officers of the NGU unit and observed great improvement in medical care sustainment. We recommend systematic leader education in best medical practices be institutionalized at all levels of the Ukrainian Army to foster sustained improvement and refinement of trauma care.

Keywords: trauma; evacuation; training; Ukraine; education

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Keyword: event marker

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Cessation of Vital Signs Monitored During Lethal Hemorrhage: A Swine Study

Bodo M, Pearce FJ, Tsai MD, Garcia A, vanAlbert S, Armonda R. 13(4). 63 - 75. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Two challenges of trauma triage are to identify wounded who are in danger of imminent death and to enable medics to determine if resuscitation is possible when making "dead or alive" decisions on the battlefield. Hemorrhagic shock is the leading cause of death in combat injuries. The purpose of this study was to establish the sequence of vital sign cessation during lethal hemorrhage in swine. Our hypothesis was that brain electrical activity (electroencephalography [EEG]) and respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death than traditional modalities measured during triage, such as heart electrical activity (electrocardiography [ECG]) and blood pressure. Methods: Lethal hemorrhage was induced in anesthetized Yorkshire pigs. Vital sign modalities measured were respiration, heart electrical activity (ECG), heart sound, blood pressure (systemic arterial pressure), and brain electrical activity (EEG). Results: The sequence of vital sign cessation was (1) respiration, (2) brain electrical activity (EEG), (3) heart sound, (4) blood pressure, and (5) heart electrical activity (ECG). Cessation of respiration occurred at approximately the same time that brain electrical activity stopped ("flatlined") for 2 seconds and then resumed briefly before cessation; cessation of heart electrical activity occurred almost 8 minutes later. Conclusions: A 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration are useful event markers to indicate an opportunity to prevent irreversible brain damage from lethal hemorrhage. Since the 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration occur about 8 minutes before cessation of heart electrical activity (ECG), EEG and final respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death. The use of deployable noninvasive brain monitors implementing these findings can be live-saving on the battlefield as well is in civilian environments.

Keywords: lethal hemorrhage; vital sign monitoring; EEG; respiration; event marker; data processing; swine

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Keyword: excited delirium

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: excited delirium syndrome

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Review, Clinical Update, and Practice Guidelines for Excited Delirium Syndrome

Gerold KB, Gibbons ME, Fisette RE, Alves D. 15(1). 62 - 69. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Excited delirium syndrome (ExDS) is a term used to describe patients experiencing a clinical condition characterized by bizarre and aggressive behavior, often in association with the use of chronic sympathomimetic drug abuse. The agitated and disruptive behavior of persons with ExDS often results in a call to police resulting in an arrest for disorderly conduct. The suspect's inability to comply with police commands during the arrest frequently results in a struggle and the use of physical or chemical control measures, including the use of conductive energy weapons (CEWs). Deaths from this hypermetabolic syndrome are infrequent but potentially preventable with early identification, a coordinated aggressive police intervention, and prompt medical care. Preliminary experiences suggest that ExDS is a medical emergency treated most effectively using a coordinated response between police officers and emergency medical providers. Once the person suspected of experiencing ExDS is in custody, medical providers should rapidly sedate noncompliant patients with medications such as ketamine or an antipsychotic drug such as haloperidol in combination with a benzodiazepine drug such as midazolam or diazepam. Once sedated, patients should undergo a screening medical assessment and undergo initial treatment for conditions such as hyperthermia and dehydration. All patients exhibiting signs of ExDS should be transported rapidly to a medical treatment facility for further evaluation and treatment. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment options for ExDS.

Keywords: excited delirium; excited delirium syndrome; delirium; sudden death; in-custody death; hyperthermia; sympathomimetic drug use; cocaine; phencyclidine; lysergic acid diethylamide; ketamine; haloperidol; taser; conductive energy weapon; Agitated Chaotic Event&tm;; ACE; medical emergency; emergency medical services; police

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Keyword: exercise

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Kitona 2013: A Medical Readiness Training Exercise in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Leading to Lion Rouge

Hesse E, Okito EA, Mann K, McCullough M, Lesho E. 15(3). 54 - 59. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Health initiatives support regional stability and are a priority for US and African partners. We present data and experience from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a strategically and epidemiologically ideal location for collaborative medical engagement (CME). Our objectives included relationship building, exposure of US military medical personnel to uncommon tropical diseases, bolstering a referral hospital, and updating Congolese physicians on new treatment or preventive standards of care. Methods: We conducted a CMEstyled medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE) at the Military Referral Hospital of Kitona in June 2013. US and Congolese healthcare providers presented 20 lectures and evaluated 158 patients collaboratively; 132 for infections. Results: The CME led to Lion Rouge, the first joint military, multidisciplinary engagement between the respective militaries. Equally noteworthy is that some of the same participants returned to the same location for the follow-on exercise, providing continuity. Conclusion: These outcomes suggest the MEDRETE and CME approaches were successful.

Keywords: exercise; medical; MEDRETE; needs assessment; Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Extreme Conditioning Programs: Potential Benefits and Potential Risks

Knapik JJ. 15(3). 108 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

CrossFit, Insanity, Gym Jones, and P90X are examples of extreme conditioning programs (ECPs). ECPs typically involve high-volume and high-intensity physical activities with short rest periods between movements and use of multiple joint exercises. Data on changes in fitness with ECPs are limited to CrossFit investigations that demonstrated improvements in muscle strength, muscular endurance, aerobic fitness, and body composition. However, no study has directly compared Cross-Fit or other ECPs to other more traditional forms of aerobic and resistance training within the same investigation. These direct comparisons are needed to more adequately evaluate the effectiveness of ECPs. Until these studies emerge, the comparisons with available literature suggest that improvements in CrossFit, in terms of muscular endurance (push-ups, sit-ups), strength, and aerobic capacity, appear to be similar to those seen in more traditional training programs. Investigations of injuries in ECPs are limited to two observational studies that suggest that the overall injury rate is similar to that seen in other exercise programs. Several cases of rhabdomyolysis and cervical carotid artery dissections have been reported during CrossFit training. The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of these are reviewed here. Until more data on ECPs emerge, physical training should be aligned with US Army doctrine. If ECPs are included in exercise programs, trainers should (1) have appropriate training certifications, (2) inspect exercise equipment regularly to assure safety, (3) introduce ECPs to new participants, (4) ensure medical clearance of Soldiers with special health problems before participation in ECPs, (4) tailor ECPs to the individual Soldier, (5) adjust rest periods to optimize recovery and reduce fatigue, (6) monitor Soldiers for signs of overtraining, rhabdomyolysis, and other problems, and (7) coordinate exercise programs with other unit training activities to eliminate redundant activities and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

Keywords: exercise; physical conditioning; extreme conditioning program; CrossFit

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Keyword: exertional rhabdomyolysis

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Exertional Rhabdomyolysis: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

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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Keyword: expedtionary medicine

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Field Sterilization in the Austere and Operational Environment A Literature Review of Recommendations

Will JS, Alderman SM, Sawyer RC. 16(2). 36 - 43. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Special Operations Forces medical providers are often deployed far beyond traditional military supply chains, forcing them to rely on alternative methods for field sterilization of medical equipment. This literature review proposes several alternative methods for both sterilization and disinfection of medical instruments after use and cleaning of skin and wounds before procedures. This article reviews recommendations from sources like the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keywords: prolonged field care; field sanitation; instrument sterilization; expedtionary medicine

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Keyword: expired pharmaceuticals

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What Can Be Done With Expired Pharmaceuticals? A Review Of Literature As It Pertains To Special Operations Force's Medics

Culbertson NT. 11(2). 1 - 6. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Over the past decade, increasing evidence suggests that pharmaceuticals may continue to be potent beyond their date of expiration. Despite this evidence, we have not yet experienced a change in United States federal policy that would recommend usage of expired pharmaceuticals. While the scientific community and federal regulators continue to study the matter, the medical community is often guilty of misunderstanding the nuances of the issue. As a result, many healthcare professionals misinform their peers and their patients on either the appropriateness or inappropriateness of taking expired medications. Even though both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recommend the dosing of expired pharmaceuticals at this time, discussion of the issue is warranted in order to understand the potential behind some expired drugs and to encourage further research. This discussion is particularly relevant to the Special Operations medical community, since Special Operations Force's (SOF) medic s frequently encounter expired medication overseas. Given thei r unique sk ill set and working environ ment, the SOF medic should be familiar with the potential applications of expired medications, including their drawbacks.

Keywords: date of expiration; expired pharmaceuticals; shelf-life extension

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Keyword: extended care

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Preparing for Operations in a Resource-Depleted and/or Extended Evacuation Environment

Corey G, Lafayette T. 13(3). 74 - 80. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are the only conflicts to which many medics have ever been exposed. These mature theaters have robust medical systems that ensure rapid access to full-spectrum medical care for all combat-wounded and medically injured personnel. As current conflicts draw to a close, U.S. medics may be deployed to environments that will require the ability to stabilize casualties for longer than 1 hour. Historical mission analysis reveals the need to review skills that have not been emphasized during upgrade and predeployment training. This unit's preparation for the extended care environment can be accomplished using a 4-point approach: (1) review of specific long-term skills training, (2) an extended care lab that reviews extended care skills and then lets the medic practice in a real-time scenario, (3) introduction to the HITMAN mnemonic tool, which helps identify and address patient needs, and (4) teleconsultation.

Keywords: extended care; austere environments; long-term skills training; teleconsultation

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Keyword: external hemorrhage control

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Optimizing the Use of Limb Tourniquets in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 14-02

Shackelford S, Butler FK, Kragh JF, Stevens RA, Seery JM, Parsons DL, Montgomery HR, Kotwal RS, Mabry RL, Bailey JA. 15(1). 17 - 31. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Keywords: tourniquet; Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines; external hemorrhage control; shock; resuscitation; emergency medical services

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Keyword: extreme conditioning program

Top

Extreme Conditioning Programs: Potential Benefits and Potential Risks

Knapik JJ. 15(3). 108 - 113. (Journal Article)

Abstract

CrossFit, Insanity, Gym Jones, and P90X are examples of extreme conditioning programs (ECPs). ECPs typically involve high-volume and high-intensity physical activities with short rest periods between movements and use of multiple joint exercises. Data on changes in fitness with ECPs are limited to CrossFit investigations that demonstrated improvements in muscle strength, muscular endurance, aerobic fitness, and body composition. However, no study has directly compared Cross-Fit or other ECPs to other more traditional forms of aerobic and resistance training within the same investigation. These direct comparisons are needed to more adequately evaluate the effectiveness of ECPs. Until these studies emerge, the comparisons with available literature suggest that improvements in CrossFit, in terms of muscular endurance (push-ups, sit-ups), strength, and aerobic capacity, appear to be similar to those seen in more traditional training programs. Investigations of injuries in ECPs are limited to two observational studies that suggest that the overall injury rate is similar to that seen in other exercise programs. Several cases of rhabdomyolysis and cervical carotid artery dissections have been reported during CrossFit training. The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of these are reviewed here. Until more data on ECPs emerge, physical training should be aligned with US Army doctrine. If ECPs are included in exercise programs, trainers should (1) have appropriate training certifications, (2) inspect exercise equipment regularly to assure safety, (3) introduce ECPs to new participants, (4) ensure medical clearance of Soldiers with special health problems before participation in ECPs, (4) tailor ECPs to the individual Soldier, (5) adjust rest periods to optimize recovery and reduce fatigue, (6) monitor Soldiers for signs of overtraining, rhabdomyolysis, and other problems, and (7) coordinate exercise programs with other unit training activities to eliminate redundant activities and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

Keywords: exercise; physical conditioning; extreme conditioning program; CrossFit

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Keyword: extremity

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Forward Assessment of 79 Prehospital Battlefield Tourniquets Used in the Current War

King DR, van der Wilden GM, Kragh JF, Blackbourne LH. 12(4). 33 - 38. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Battlefield tourniquet use can be lifesaving, but most reports are from hospitals with knowledge gaps remaining at the forward surgical team (FST). The quality of tourniquet applications in forward settings remain unknown. The purpose of this case series is to describe observations of tourniquet use at an FST in order to improve clinical performance. Methods: War casualties with tourniquet use presenting to an FST in Afghanistan in 2011 were observed. We identified appliers by training, device effectiveness, injury pattern, and clinical opportunities for improvement. Feedback was given to treating medics. Results: Tourniquet applications (79) were performed by special operations combat medics (47, 59%), flight medics (17, 22%), combat medics (12, 15%), and general surgeons (3, 4%). Most tourniquets were Combat Application Tourniquets (71/79, 90%). With tourniquets in place upon arrival at the FST, most limbs (83%, 54/65) had palpable distal pulses present; 17% were pulseless (11/65). Of all tourniquets, the use was venous in 83% and arterial in 17%. In total, there were 14 arterial injuries, but only 5 had effective arterial tourniquets applied. Discussion: Tourniquets are liberally applied to extremity injuries on the battlefield. 17% were arterial and 83% were venous tourniquets. When ongoing bleeding or distal pulses were appreciated, medics tightened tourniquets under surgeon supervision until distal pulses stopped. Medics were generally surprised at how tight a tourniquet must be to stop arterial flow - convert a venous tourniquet into an arterial tourniquet. Implications for sustainment training should be considered with regard to this life-saving skill.

Keywords: first aid; hemorrhage; extremity; damage control; resuscitation

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Keyword: extremity injury

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The Highest-Impact Combat Orthopedic and Extremity Injury Articles in the Past 70 Years: A Citation Analysis

Nam J, Do WS, Stinner DJ, Wenke JC, Orman JA, Kragh JF. 17(1). 55 - 66. (Journal Article)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify the most-cited peer-reviewed combat orthopedic and extremity injury articles published during the past 70 years. Orthopedic trauma presents ongoing challenges to both US civilian and military healthcare personnel. Improvements in combat trauma and extremity injury survival and quality of life are the result of advances in orthopedic trauma research. The Web of Science (including Science Citation Index) was searched for the most cited articles related to combat orthopedic trauma, published from 1940 to 2013. The most-cited article was by Owens et al. (Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, 2007; 137 citations). Between the 1990s and 2000s, there was a 256% increase in the number of highly cited publications. A total of 69% of the articles were on the topics of comorbid vascular trauma (25%), epidemiology (23%), or orthopedic trauma (21%). This study identifies some of the most important contributions to combat orthopedic trauma and research and the areas of greatest scientific interest to the specialty during the past seven decades and highlights key research that has contributed to the evolution of modern combat orthopedic traumatology.

Keywords: combat; orthopaedics; trauma; extremity injury

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Keyword: eye

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Field Diagnosis and Treatment of Ophthalmic Trauma

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW. 12(2). 58 - 64. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Identification and management of injuries to the eyes and ocular adnexa is commonly encountered by frontline medical personnel. This brief review is intended for the Special Forces Medic of all branches and describes the clinical presentation of common ophthalmic and periocular trauma with appropriate management strategies. Prompt recognition of these wounds facilitates early treatment and optimized visual outcomes for affected Soldiers and civilians alike.

Keywords: trauma; eye; ophthalmology; vision; open globe

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Keyword: eye injuries

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Rigid Eye Shields: A Critical Gap in the Individual First Aid Kit

Brunstetter T, Diaz GY, Wasner C, Hart S, Burrows S. 13(3). 26 - 28. (Journal Article)

Abstract

From 5% to 22% of all U.S. Department of Defense combat casualties between 2001 and 2010 suffered some form of ocular trauma. Ocular injuries have an inordinately dramatic impact on return to duty, retention, and reintegration; only 25% of warfighters with severe ocular trauma return to duty. After a traumatic ocular event, the likelihood of saving an eye and preserving vision depends on several factors, especially the treatment quality at the point of injury. Every major organization associated with combat casualty care (e.g., the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and the Department of Defense/VA Vision Center of Excellence) emphasizes the importance of placing a rigid eye shield on known/suspected eye injuries at point of injury. On the battlefield, there is no better way to protect an injured eye from further damage than with an eye shield, but shields are not readily available in individual first aid kits. Therefore, it is highly recommended that each Service rapidly integrate at least one rigid eye shield into every individual first aid kit, making them immediately available to every warfighter.

Keywords: rigid eye shield; ocular trauma; ballistic eye protection; eye injuries; open globe injuries; first aid kit

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Keyword: far-forward surgery

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Experience Of A US Air Force Surgical And Critical Care Team Deployed In Support Of Special Operations Command Africa

Delmonaco BL, Baker A, Clay J, Kilbourn J. 16(1). 103 - 108. (Journal Article)

Abstract

An eight-person team of conventional US Air Force (USAF) medical providers deployed to support US Special Operations Forces (SOF) in North and West Africa for the first time in November 2014. The predeployment training, operations while deployed, and lessons learned from the challenges of performing surgery and medical evacuations in the remote desert environment of Chad and Niger on the continent of Africa are described. The vast area of operations and far-forward posture of these teams requires cooperation between partner African nations, the French military, and SOF to make these medical teams effective providers of surgical and critical care in Africa. The continuous deployment of conventional USAF medical providers since 2014 in support of US Special Operations Command Africa is challenging and will benefit from more medical teams and effective air assets to provide casualty evacuation across the vast area of operations.

Keywords: US Special Operations Command North and West Africa; far-forward surgery; conventional US Air Force; Mobile Field Surgical Team; Niamey, Niger; N'Dhamena, Chad; CASEVAC; Boko Haram; al-Qaeda I the Islamic Maghreb; French Military

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Keyword: fascia wounds

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Quality of Care Assessment in Forward Detection of Extremity Compartment Syndrome in War

King DR, Kragh JF, Blackbourne LH. 13(2). 20 - 24. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Recent efforts to improve the quality of care in the Afghanistan theater have focused on extremity compartment syndrome, a common, disabling, and costly problem. To identify opportunities to improve care, the present survey was undertaken to observe the use of two standard methods-the traditional, improvised method and the common, off-the-shelf method-for determining intracompartmental pressures in the lower extremities of combat casualties. Methods: As part of a quality of care improvement effort during Operation Enduring Freedom, all combat casualties presenting to a forward surgical team at Forward Operating Base Shank from August to November 2011 with lower-extremity major trauma were evaluated for signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome. Results: Ten casualties had pressure measurement surveyed simultaneously using both methods. A two one-sided test analysis demonstrated a mean difference of -0.13 (90% confidence interval, -0.36 to 0.096), which indicated that the methods were similar. A repeated-measures analysis yielded a p value of .72, indicating no statistical difference between the methods. The receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated excellent agreement within the prespecified limits (±2mm Hg, area under the curve 1.0), which indicated that the methods were similar. Conclusion: The main finding of the quality of care effort was that clinicians received similar information from use of two standard methods for far forward measurement of pressures to detect extremity compartment syndrome. This finding may help clinicians improve the quality of care in the theater in detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring compartment syndrome.

Keywords: fascia wounds; injuries; emergency medical services; Afghan Campaign 2001-present; military medicine

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Keyword: fast-roping

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Fast-Roping: Potential Consequences of Vibrations for Sensation and Regulation of Movement

Goldmann J, Braunstein B, Sanno M, Kurzner S, Brüggemann G, Mester J. 14(2). 80 - 83. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objectives: Short-term exposure (2-30 seconds) to segmental mechanical vibrations with frequencies between 20 and 80 Hz affects proprioception of the central nervous system and manual dexterity and strength of man. It could be supposed that during fast-roping, Soldiers are exposed to hand-arm vibrations caused by the geometry of the rope. After the maneuver, Soldiers are encouraged to operate with high precision (e.g., aiming and shooting) within a few seconds. For safety, disturbances of the sensory system should be strongly avoided. The purpose of the study was to determine the vibrations induced by different rope geometries during fast-roping. Methods: Eight men of the German Special Forces performed 10 fast-roping maneuvers with two different shaped ropes (slightly molded versus deeply molded). Vibration data and frequency spectrum for each trial were measured by using fast Fourier transformation. Results: The analysis of data showed that fast-roping with a slightly molded rope produced frequencies of up to 10 Hz, while the frequencies with a deeply molded rope accounted for 18 to 60 Hz. The ropes differed significantly (ρ < .001) in frequencies between 20 and 50 Hz. The exposure time of vibration lasted between 3 and 5 seconds. Conclusion: Considering the negative effects associated with vibrations, prudence is required when using deeply molded ropes due to the increased vibrations of about 20 Hz.

Keywords: fast-roping; vibrations; motion; rope; sensations; rappelling; abseiling; kinesthetic illusions; Special Operations Forces

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Keyword: fatigue, volitional

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Effects of a New Cooling Technology on Physical Performance in US Air Force Military Personnel

O'Hara R, Vojta C, Henry A, Caldwell L, Wade M, Swanton S, Linderman JK, Ordway J. 16(2). 57 - 61. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Introduction: Heat-related illness is a critical factor for military personnel operating in hyperthermic environments. Heat illness can alter cognitive and physical performance during sustained operations missions. Therefore, the primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of a novel cooling shirt on core body temperature in highly trained US Air Force personnel. Methods: Twelve trained (at least 80th percentile for aerobic fitness according to the American College of Sports Medicine, at least 90% on the US Air Force fitness test), male Air Force participants (mean values: age, 25 ± 2.8 years; height, 178 ± 7.9cm; body weight 78 ± 9.6kg; maximal oxygen uptake, 57 ± 1.9mL/kg/ min; and body fat, 10% ± 0.03%) completed this study. Subjects performed a 70-minute weighted treadmill walking test and 10-minute, 22.7kg sandbag shuttle test under two conditions: (1) "loaded" (shirt with cooling inserts) and (2) "unloaded" (shirt with no cooling inserts). Results: Core body temperature, exercise heart rate, capillary blood lactate, and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded. Core body temperature was lower (ρ = .001) during the 70-minute treadmill walking test in the loaded condition. Peak core temperature during the 70-minute walking test was also significantly lower (ρ = .038) in the loaded condition. Conclusion: This lightweight (471g), passive cooling technology offers multiple hours of sustained cooling and reduced core and peak body temperature during a 70-minute, 22.7kg weighted-vest walking test.

Keywords: cooling; Special Forces; physical activity; hyperthermia; fatigue, volitional

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Keyword: femoral

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Evaluation of Commercially Available Traction Splints for Battlefield Use

Studer NM, Grubb SM, Horn GT, Danielson PD. 14(2). 46 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Femoral fracture is a common battlefield injury with grave complications if not properly treated. Traction splinting has been proved to decrease morbidity and mortality in battlefield femur fractures. However, little standardization of equipment and training exists within the United States Armed Forces. Currently, four traction splints that have been awarded NATO Stock Numbers are in use: the CT-6 Leg Splint, the Kendrick Traction Device (KTD), the REEL Splint (RS), and the Slishman Traction Splint (STS). Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the differences between the four commercially available traction devices sold to the U.S. Government. Methods: After standardized instruction, subjects were timed and evaluated in the application of each of the four listed splints. Participant confidence and preferences were assessed by using Likert-scaled surveys. Free response remarks were collected before and after timed application. Results: Subjects had significantly different application times on the four devices tested (analysis of variance [ANOVA], ρ < .01). Application time for the STS was faster than that for both the CT-6 (t-test, ρ < .0028) and the RS (ρ < .0001). Subjects also rated the STS highest in all post-testing subjective survey categories and reported significantly higher confidence that the STS would best treat a femoral fracture (ρ < .00229). Conclusions: The STS had the best objective performance during testing and the highest subjective evaluation by participants. Along with its ability to be used in the setting of associated lower extremity amputation or trauma, this splint is the most suitable for battlefield use of the three devices tested.

Keywords: combat medic; medical training; traction splinting; Tactical Combat Casualty Care; femoral

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Keyword: femoral artery

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Prehospital Emergency Care: Evaluation of the Junctional Emergency Tourniquet Tool With a Perfused Cadaver Model

Gates K, Baer L, Holcomb JB. 14(1). 40 - 44. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Objective: Junctional bleeding from the groin is a leading cause of potentially preventable death on the battlefield. To address this problem, a novel device called the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT™) was developed. The JETT was designed to stabilize pelvic ring fractures while controlling lower extremity bleeding sustained during high-energy traumatic events on the battlefield and in the civilian environment. Our purpose was to assess the effectiveness of the JETT in the control of simulated life threatening hemorrhage from proximal injuries in the groin of a perfused cadaver. Methods: The JETT was compared with the standard issue combat tourniquet and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared junctional hemorrhage control clamp (CRoC™) in a perfused human cadaver model. The JETT's ability to stop pulsatile flow at the common femoral artery was assessed through proximal aorta and distal measurements of arterial flow rates and pressures. Results: In three cadavers, when the JETT or the CRoC was applied in the groin, there was an immediate cessation of fluid flow from the common femoral artery while the inlet flow aortic pulsatile pressure was maintained. However, the time to bilateral application of the JETT was faster (10 seconds vs. 68 seconds) than bilateral sequential application of two CRoC devices. Conclusions: The JETT is a single device capable of effectively and quickly controlling bilateral lower extremity junctional hemorrhage at normal physiological blood pressures.

Keywords: hemorrhage; tourniquet; wounds and injuries; junctional hemorrhage; combat casualty care; femoral artery

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Keyword: fentanyl

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A Triple-Option Analgesia Plan for Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 13-04

Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Buckenmaier CC, Edgar EP, O'Connor KC, Montgomery HR, Shackelford S, Gandy JV, Wedmore I, Timby JW, Gross K, Bailey JA. 14(1). 13 - 25. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Although the majority of potentially preventable fatalities among U.S. combat forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq have died from hemorrhagic shock, the majority of U.S. medics carry morphine autoinjectors for prehospital battlefield analgesia. Morphine given intramuscularly has a delayed onset of action and, like all opioids, may worsen hemorrhagic shock. Additionally, on a recent assessment of prehospital care in Afghanistan, combat medical personnel noted that Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) battlefield analgesia recommendations need to be simplified-there are too many options and not enough clear guidance on which medication to use in specific situations. They also reported that ketamine is presently being used as a battlefield analgesic by some medics in theater with good results. This report proposes that battlefield analgesia be achieved using one or more of three options: (1) the meloxicam and Tylenol in the TCCC Combat Pill Pack for casualties with relatively minor pain who are still able to function as effective combatants; (2) oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC) for casualties who have moderate to severe pain, but who are not in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress and are not at significant risk for developing either condition; or (3) ketamine for casualties who have moderate to severe pain but who are in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress or are at significant risk for developing either condition. Ketamine may also be used to increase analgesic effect for casualties who have previously been given opioids (morphine or fentanyl.)

Keywords: battlefield analgesia; fentanyl; ketamine; morphine

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Battlefield Analgesia: TCCC Guidelines Are Not Being Followed

Schauer SG, Robinson JB, Mabry RL, Howard JT. 15(1). 85 - 89. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Servicemembers injured in combat often experience moderate to severe acute pain. Early and effective pain control in the prehospital setting has been shown to reduce the sequelae of untreated pain. Current data suggest that lack of point-of-injury (POI) analgesia has significant, downstream effects on healthcare quality and associated costs. Methods: This was a process improvement project to determine the current rate of adherence to existing prehospital pain management guidelines. The records of patients who had sustained a major injury and met current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) criteria for POI analgesia from July 2013 through March 2014 were reviewed to determine if pain medication was given in accordance with existing guidelines, including medication administration and routes. On 31 October 2013, the new TCCC guidelines were released. The "before" period was from July 2013 through October 2013. The "after" period was from November 2013 through March 2014. Results: During the project period, there were 185 records available for review, with 135 meeting TCCC criteria for POI analgesia (68 pre-, 66 postintervention). Prior to 31 October 2013, 17% of study patients received analgesia within guidelines at the POI compared with 35% in the after period. The most common medication administered preand post-release was oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate. Special Operations Forces had higher adherence rates to TCCC analgesia guidelines than conventional forces, but these still were low. Conclusion: Less than half of all eligible combat casualties receive any analgesia at the POI. Further research is needed to determine the etiology of such poor adherence to current TCCC guidelines.

Keywords: analgesia; point of injury; combat; fentanyl; ketamine; morphine; military

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Keyword: fever of unknown origin

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Fever and Thrombocytopenia in a Returning Soldier

Downs JW, Biggane PJ. 15(4). 75 - 78. (Journal Article)

Abstract

A case of fever and thrombocytopenia in a 33-year-old Special Forces Soldier with recent deployment to the Philippines is discussed, as are differential diagnosis and initial medical management at an overseas, fixed US military medical treatment facility. The authors discuss lessons learned that are applicable for Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical providers and recommend a renewed and continued emphasis on tropical medicine and infectious disease training for SOF medical providers.

Keywords: dengue fever; military medicine; tropical medicine; fever of unknown origin

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Keyword: Fibrin dressing

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A Salmon Thrombin-Fibrinogen Dressing Controls Hemorrhage in a Swine Model Compared to Standard Kaolin-Coated Gauze

Floyd CT, Rothwell SW, Martin R, Risdahl J, Olson CE. 12(1). 49 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Battlefield hemorrhage remains the primary cause of death in potentially survivable combat injuries with noncompressible hemorrhage. Fibrin dressings have great potential for reducing mortality, however are limited by cost, availability, and disease transmission. Methods: Dressings comprising a soluble dextran dressing with lyophilized salmon thrombin and fibrinogen (STF) were tested against Combat Gauze (CG) as a control in a standard swine femoral artery hemorrhage model. Ten female swine were used in each arm of the study. Results: Survival, blood loss, and time to hemostasis were similar between the two dressings. Two of the CGtreated animals that survived exsanguinated during the simulated walking maneuver. Three CG-treated animals formed a clot within the wound, but the clot did not adhere to the femoral artery injury. All ten of the STFtreated animals formed a clot in the wound that adhered and sealed the arterial injury site, even in three animals that did not survive. None of the STF-treated animals bled following the simulated walking maneuver. Three of five STF-treated animals reestablished blood flow distal to the injury as demonstrated by angiography. Conclusions: The STF dressing is as efficacious as CG in treating hemorrhage in this model of a lethal injury. Further, the STF dressing formed a fibrin sealant over the injury, whereas CG achieved hemostasis by occlusive compression of the artery. The sealant property of the STF dressing allowed reestablishment of antegrade blood flow into the distal limb, demonstrating that this dressing has the potential of limb salvage in addition to control of life-threatening hemorrhage.

Keywords: hemorrhage control; Fibrin dressing; Fibrinogen; Combat Gauze™; animal model

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Keyword: Fibrinogen

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A Salmon Thrombin-Fibrinogen Dressing Controls Hemorrhage in a Swine Model Compared to Standard Kaolin-Coated Gauze

Floyd CT, Rothwell SW, Martin R, Risdahl J, Olson CE. 12(1). 49 - 55. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Battlefield hemorrhage remains the primary cause of death in potentially survivable combat injuries with noncompressible hemorrhage. Fibrin dressings have great potential for reducing mortality, however are limited by cost, availability, and disease transmission. Methods: Dressings comprising a soluble dextran dressing with lyophilized salmon thrombin and fibrinogen (STF) were tested against Combat Gauze (CG) as a control in a standard swine femoral artery hemorrhage model. Ten female swine were used in each arm of the study. Results: Survival, blood loss, and time to hemostasis were similar between the two dressings. Two of the CGtreated animals that survived exsanguinated during the simulated walking maneuver. Three CG-treated animals formed a clot within the wound, but the clot did not adhere to the femoral artery injury. All ten of the STFtreated animals formed a clot in the wound that adhered and sealed the arterial injury site, even in three animals that did not survive. None of the STF-treated animals bled following the simulated walking maneuver. Three of five STF-treated animals reestablished blood flow distal to the injury as demonstrated by angiography. Conclusions: The STF dressing is as efficacious as CG in treating hemorrhage in this model of a lethal injury. Further, the STF dressing formed a fibrin sealant over the injury, whereas CG achieved hemostasis by occlusive compression of the artery. The sealant property of the STF dressing allowed reestablishment of antegrade blood flow into the distal limb, demonstrating that this dressing has the potential of limb salvage in addition to control of life-threatening hemorrhage.

Keywords: hemorrhage control; Fibrin dressing; Fibrinogen; Combat Gauze&#