Background: Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) providers may encounter severe traumatic injuries, with associated hemorrhagic shock, coagulopathy, and hyperfibrinolysis. Tranexamic acid (TXA) administration represents a potential intervention in this operational environment. This study evaluated TXA availability and use among US tactical medical personnel supporting law enforcement tactical teams. Methods: An anonymous on-line survey of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Tactical Emergency Medicine (TEM) section was administered. Results: Fifty respondents were included in the final study. Fifty-four percent reported TXA availability, with 14% reporting its use at least once in the past year. Additional available resuscitative products included crystalloids (88%) and packed red blood cells (6%). Twenty-five respondents reported managing ≥ 1 patient(s) with hemorrhagic shock in the past year. Resuscitative measures included crystalloids (96%), TXA (68%), and blood products (16%). Overall, 88% of respondents were supportive of TXA use. Full-time teams, those with = 3 monthly callouts, and teams that carried blood products were more likely to have TXA. Conclusions: Half of respondents reported managing a patient with hemorrhagic shock in the past year. Although 88% were supportive of TXA use, only 54% reported availability. Tactical teams with higher call volume and more resources were more likely to carry TXA. Further studies evaluating TEMS patient wounding patterns and barriers to TXA utilization are required.
Military medical evacuation continues to grow both in distance and transport times. With the need for long-range transport of greater than 2 hours, crews are having to manage critical care patients for longer trips. This case study evaluates one specific event in which long-range transport of a sick noncombat patient required an enroute critical care team. Medical electronics and other equipment require special attention. Oxygen bottles and batteries for medical devices become the limiting factor in transport from point to point. Having to juggle multiple data streams requires prioritization and reassessment of interventions. Using the mnemonic "bottles, bags, batteries, battlefield environment" keeps the transport paramedic and enroute care nurse on track to effectively deliver the patient to the next level of care. Consideration should be given to such mnemonics for long critical care transports.