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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)

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.

Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta: Pushing Care Forward

Teeter W, Romagnoli A, Glaser J, Fisher AD, Pasley J, Scheele B, Hoehn M, Brenner M 17(1). 17 - 21 (Case Reports)

Background: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA), used to temporize noncompressible and junctional hemorrhage, may be deployable to the forward environment. Our hypothesis was that nonsurgeon physicians and high-level military medical technicians would be able to learn the theory and insertion of REBOA. Methods: US Army Special Operations Command medical personnel without prior endovascular experience were included. All participants received didactic instruction of the Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma Course™ together, with individual evaluation of technical skills. A pretest and a posttest were administered to assess comprehension. Results: Four members of US Army Special Operations Command-two nonsurgeon physicians, one physician assistant, and one Special Operations Combat Medic-were included. REBOA procedural times moving from trial 1 to trial 6 decreased significantly from 186 ± 18.7 seconds to 83 ± 10.3 seconds (ρ < .0001). All participants demonstrated safe REBOA insertion and verbalized the indications for REBOA insertion and removal through all trials. All five procedural tasks were performed correctly by each participant. Comprehension and knowledge between the pretest and posttest improved significantly from 67.6 ± 7.3% to 81.3 ± 8.1% (ρ = .039). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that nonsurgeon and nonphysician providers can learn the steps required for REBOA after arterial access is established. Although insertion is relatively straightforward, the inability to gain arterial access percutaneously is prohibitive in providers without a surgical skillset and should be the focus of further training.

A Novel Ultrasound Transmission Gel for Resource-Constrained Environments

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

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.

Invasive Reduction of Paraphimosis in an Adolescent Male While in a Deployed Austere Environment

Pham C, Zehring J, Berry-Caban CS 17(1). 9 - 13 (Case Reports)

Paraphimosis is a urologic emergency resulting in tissue necrosis and partial amputation, if not reduced. Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin of the uncircumcised or partially circumcised male is retracted behind the glans penis, develops venous and lymphatic congestion, and cannot be returned to its normal position. Invasive reduction of paraphimosis requires minimal instruments and can be accomplished by experienced providers. This case describes a 10-year-old local national with paraphimosis over 10 days that required invasive reduction in a deployed austere environment in Africa.

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)

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.

A Prehospital Trauma Registry for Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Kotwal RS, Montgomery HR, Mechler KK 11(3). 127 - 128 (Previously Published)

Many combat-related deaths occur in the prehospital environment before the casualty reaches a medical treatment facility. The tenets of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) were published in 1996 and integrated throughout the 75th Ranger Regiment in 1999. In order to validate and refine TCCC protocols and procedures, a prehospital trauma registry was developed and maintained. The application of TCCC, in conjunction with validation and refinement of TCCC through feedback from a prehospital trauma registry, has translated to an increase in survivability on the battlefield.

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)

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.

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC): Guidelines For The Provision Of Prehospital Trauma Care In High Threat Environments

Callaway DW, Smith ER, Cain JS, Shapiro G, Burnett WT, McKay SD, Mabry RL 11(3). 104 - 122 (Journal Article)

Hot Dogs: Not Just Backyard Fun A K-9 Heat Injury Case Study

LeClair TG 11(3). 66 - 68 (Journal Article)

Underneath The Unconventional: Philosophies And Paradigms Of Special Operations Forces Clinical Science

Froede K 11(3). 56 - 60 (Journal Article)

Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel (clinicians) directly impact their patients' outcomes, regardless if the patient is a Soldier, civilian, or indigenous person. Any health practitioner who specializes in trauma, Soldiers' healthcare, or tactical and/or operational healthcare must have a working knowledge of SOF medicine and its philosophical, political, and contextual origins. SOF clinical evidence and knowledge base is extensive and inextricably linked to SOF clinicians' underlying warrior philosophy and worldview. This submission will argue the point that SOF healthcare is a discipline and mature science in its own right, as evidenced by SOF's utilization and/or rejection of other disciplines' (nursing, medicine, conventional military) paradigms, community-wide adoption of its own specific paradigms, disciplinary matrix, and language. Peer-reviewed articles relevant to SOF and military healthcare from 2009-2011 are reviewed to determine possible philosophical frameworks, identify extant methodologies, and demonstrate underlying philosophical constructs.

Zoonotic And Infectious Disease Surveillance In Ecuador: Ehrlichia Canis, Anaplasma Phagocytophilum, Borrelia Burgdorferi, And Dirofilaria Immitis Prevalence Rates In Canines

McCown ME, Monterroso VH, Grzeszak B 11(3). 61 - 65 (Journal Article)

Vector-borne diseases (VBD) make up a large number of emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases. Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are effective vectors parasitizing canines, making dogs adequate reservoirs for zoonoses. The U.S. military deploys personnel and government- owned animals around the world with possible risk of exposure to VBD. Canine VBD have veterinary and public health significance for the host nations as well as for the U.S. troops and its working animals deployed in the theater of operations. These factors make disease surveillance a great importance. The objective of this work was to survey canines from the cities of Manta and Guayaquil in Ecuador to determine prevalence of heartworm disease (D. immitis), ehrlichi os is (E. canis), Lyme disease (B. burgdorf eri), and anapl asmosis (A. phagocytophilum). Canine blood samples (1-3ml) collected from the cities of Manta (n=50) and Guayaquil (n=50) were tested on site using a SNAP® 4Dx® Test Kit. Prevalence for single or multiple disease status was calculated for each city. In the city of Manta the overall prevalence of diseases was 78%; 52% for E. canis alone, and 26% for co-infection with E. canis and A. phagocytophilum. The overall prevalence for the city of Guayaquil was 88%; 40% for E. canis alone, 22% for A. phagocytophilum alone, and 26% for co-infection with E. canis and A. phagocytophilum. Neither heartworm disease nor Lyme disease was detected in any samp le. In conclusion, this study showed the extensive presence of E. canis and A. phagocytophilum in both cities in Ecuador, emphasizing the value of surveillance for zoonotic diseases to determine disease prevalence and risk assessments, as well as to implement control measures.

Parasitology Results From A Medcap In Africa

Franklin B, Swierczewski B 11(3). 48 - 51 (Journal Article)

The Medical Civil Action Program (MEDCAP) is an important tool that is utilized to support the larger missions in all areas of current operations. In Ethiopia, MEDCAPs are one of many tools commanders use to earn the trust and confidence of the local population. There are many ways to implement a MEDCAP and this paper will highlight one such successful engagement. This mission was intended in increase the medical capacity of host nation (HN) medical personnel and increase HN confidence in their government to provide for essential services. The mission was broken into four phases similar to traditional MEDCAPs, but with a significant difference.

A New Plan For The 800-pound Guerrilla: Perinatal Mortality. A 21st Century Medical Counterinsurgency Model For Afghanistan

Johnson TC 11(3). 52 - 55 (Journal Article)

Afghanistan has the highest perinatal mortality rate in the entire world. One Afghani woman dies every 30 minutes from perinatal- related event. One of eight Afghani women will die from perinatal events. Maternal mortality is (use percentage, not fractions) 1600/100,000 vs 13 /100,000 in the United States. Afghanistan is one of the only countries in the world in which the average woman's life expectancy is shorter than a males- despite the active, nationwide combat fought primarily by Afghani males. Meaning, women in Afghanistan are not routinely involved in combat, yet are more likely to die than a man of the same age. This article presents an alternative model Medical Seminar (MEDSEM) for a successful Special Forces (SF) medical counterinsurgency (COIN) plan that can obtain real results by addressing the mission of the Afghan Ministry of Health versus clinging to old notions. This model forms around the medical capabilities of the SF Operational Detachment (ODA)- Alpha (A) and preventinmaternal- infant complications.

Fresh Whole Blood Transfusions In The Austere Environment

Bowling F, Kerr W 11(3). 3 - 37 (Journal Article)

The use of Fresh Whole Blood (FWB) transfusions can be a powerful tool for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic to treat uncontrolled hemorrhage. In fact, it may be the only tool currently available for hemostatic resuscitation, which along with hypotensive resuscitation, forms the basis for Damage Control Resuscitation (DCR). Until now, no comprehensive protocol has existed for conducting FWB transfusions in austere environments. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) sponsored Curriculum Evaluation Board (CEB), which is responsible for authoring the Tactical Emergency Medical Protocols (TMEPs) has produced a protocol. This article serves as its introduction.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Literature Review and Proposed Changes To Classification

Krainin BM, Forsten RD, Kotwal RS, Lutz RH, Guskiewicz KM 11(3). 38 - 47 (Journal Article)

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) reportedly occurs in 8-22% of U.S. servicemembers who conduct combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The current definition for mTBI found in the medical literature, to include the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Administration (VA) clinical practice guidelines is limited by the parameters of loss of consciousness, altered consciousness, or post-traumatic amnesia, and does not account for other constellations of potential symptoms. Although mTBI symptoms typically resolve within seven days, some servicemembers experience symptoms that continue for weeks, months, or years following an injury. Mild TBI is one of few disorders in medicine where a benign and misleading diagnostic classification is bestowed on patients at the time of injury, yet still can be associated with lifelong complications. This article comprehensively reviews the clin ical literature over the past 20 years and proposes a new classification for TBI that addresses acute, sub-acute, and chronic phases, and includes neurocognitive, somatic, and psychological symptom presentation.

Military Static Line Parachuting Injuries Seen By The Airborne Battalion Provider

Healy ML 11(2). 45 - 51 (Journal Article)

Military static line parachuting exposes jumpers to a variety of novel methods of injury. Providers assigned to Airborne units need to develop and maintain a high index of suspicion when dealing with jump-related injuries. Understanding the incident rate and the mechanism of injury can help a provider better identify injuries based on the history of the incidence and develop that index of suspicion. Injuries can happen at almost any point during the jump process and each step has both common and unique injuries associated with it. In addition to identifying, managing, and treating the injuries involved, providing information on estimated time until return to duty can be beneficial for the commander. In the end, a provider's best tools for managing Airborne-related injuries are an understanding of Airborne operations, quality orthopedic skills, and a high index of suspicion.

Case Report: Acute Intermittent Porphyria In A 21-year-old Active Dutymale

Thompson WD 11(2). 52 - 56 (Journal Article)

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.

Interest Survey And Guide To Medical Schooladmissions For SOF Medics

True NA, Conway AC, Landis TM, Cairns CB, Cairns BA 11(2). 30 - 34 (Journal Article)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Special Warfare Training Group, Airborne (SWTG)(A) at Fort Bragg, NC began a bilateral partnership in 2009 to enhance medical training, care and innovation in austere environments. As a result of this partnership, instructors from the Joint Special Operations Training Center have been completing month-long rotations in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center and University of North Carolina Hospitals. This rotation has been successful and prompted us to assess the interest of Special Operation Forces (SOF) medics is in pursuing careers in healthcare, especially medical school. We surveyed the Special Forces Medical Sergeant (SFMS) listserve on Army Knowledge Online (AKO) to collect these data. This article will review SFMS survey responses and offer information on how to negotiate medical school admissions.

Adaptations To A New Physical Training Program In The Combat Controller Training Pipeline

Walker TB, Lennemann LM, Anderson V, Lyons W, Zupan MF 11(2). 37 - 44 (Journal Article)

objectives: The United States Air Force combat controller (CCT) training pipeline is extremely arduous and historically has a high attrition rate of 70 to 80%. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of incorporating a 711 Human Performance Wing (HPW) / Biobehavior, Bioassessment, and Biosurveillance Branch (RHPF)-developed physical fitness-training program into the combat controller (CCT) 5-level training physical fitness program. methods: One-hundred-nine CCT trainees were tested and trained during their initial eight weeks at the 720th Special Tactics Training Squadron (STTS) at Hurlburt Field. Modifications to their physical training program were principally aimed at reducing overtraining and overuse injury, educating trainees and cadre on how to train smarter, and transitioning from traditional to "functional" PT. A battery of physiological measurements and a psychological test were administered prior to and immediately after trainees undertook an 8-week modified physical fitness training program designed to reduce overtraining and injury and improve performance. We performed multiple physical tests for cardiovascular endurance (VO2max and running economy), "anaerobic" capacity (Wingate power and loaded running tests), body composition (skinfolds), power (Wingate and vertical jump), and reaction time (Makoto eye-hand test). We used the Mental Toughness Questionnaire 48 (MTQ-48) for the psychological test. results: We observed several significant improvements in physical and physiological performance over the eight weeks of training. Body composition improved by 16.2% (p<0.05). VO2max, time-to-exhaustion, and ventilatory threshold were all significantly higher after implementation of the new program than before it. We observed strong trends towards improvement in work accomplished during loaded running (ρ = 0.07) and in average power per body mass during lower body Wingate (ρ = 0.08). Other measures of lower body power did not change significantly over the training period, but did show mild trends towards improvement. Upper body average and peak power per kilogram of body mass both improved significantly by 5.8% and 8.1%, respectively. Reaction time was significantly better posttraining as demonstrated by a 7% improvement during the reactive test. Reactive accuracy also improved significantly with the post test accuracy percentage jumping from 61% to 76%. Furthermore, overuse injuries, a major source of attrition fell by a dramatic 67%. conclusions: The modifications resulted in significant improvement in trainees' graduation rate. In the eight classes prior to implementation of these changes, average CCT graduating class size was nine trainees. For the eight classes following the changes, average CCT graduating class rose to 16.5 trainees, an increase of 83%. Due to its success, STTS leadership expanded the modifications from the eight weeks prior to CDS to include the entire second year of the pipeline.

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