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Deployed Combat Use of Methoxyflurane for Analgesia

Schauer S, Fisher AD, April MD 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: The U.S. Military needs fast-acting, non-opioid solutions for battlefield pain. The U.S. Military recently used morphine auto-injectors, which are now unavailable. Off-label ketamine and oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate use introduces challenges and is therefore uncommon among conventional forces. Sublingual suftentanil is the only recent pain medication acquired to fill this gap. Conversely, methoxyflurane delivered by a handheld inhaler is promising, fast-acting, and available to some partner forces. We describe methoxyflurane use reported in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DODTR). Methods: We requested all available DODTR encounters from 2007 to 2023 with a documented intervention or assessment within the first 72 hours of care. We analyzed casualties who received methoxyflurane in the prehospital setting using descriptive statistics. Results: There were 22 encounters with documented methoxyflurane administration. The median patient age was 23 (range 21-31) years. All were men. The largest proportion was partner force (50%), followed by U.S. Military (27%). Most (64%) sustained battle injuries. Explosives were the most common mechanism of injury (46%), followed by firearms (23%). The median injury severity score was 5 (range 1-17). The most frequent injuries were serious injuries to the extremities (27%), and 23% of patients (5) received a tourniquet. One-half of the casualties received concomitant pain medications. Only three casualties had multiple pain scores measured, with a median pain score change of -3 on a scale of 10. Conclusion: Methoxyflurane use in deployed combat shows both feasibility and usability for analgesia.

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Sterile Instrument Storage in an Austere Environment: Are Sterile Peel Packaging and Cellulose Wrapping Equivalent?

Lanham N, Belyea CM, Marcello D, Wataka AB, Musila L 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: Recommendations for optimal temperature and humidity for sterile instrument storage vary according to different sources. Furthermore, there are limited data comparing methods of packing smaller, lightweight, low-profile instruments. The purpose of this study was to compare sterile peel packaging and sterile cellulose wrapping for sterile instrument storage in an austere environment characterized by elevated temperature and humidity. Methods: Stainless steel screws were sterilized and stored in either sterile peel packaging, sterile cellulose wrapping, or no packaging. Four groups were evaluated. Group 1 consisted of four screws in a sterile peelpack envelope and served as a time-zero control. Group 2 consisted of two groups of five screws, each packaged with blue sterilization cellulose wrap. Group 3 consisted of two groups of five screws, each packaged in sterile peel-pack envelopes. Group 4 consisted of 10 non-sterile unpackaged screws, which served as controls. Screws from groups 2, 3, and 4 were then cultured for 6 and 12 weeks. Temperature and humidity values were recorded in the instrument storage area. Results: Average temperature was 21.3°C (SD 1.2°C; range 18.9°C-27.2°C) and average humidity was 51.7% (SD 3.9%; range 39%- 70%). Groups 1 (time-zero control) and 2 (sterile cellulose wrapping) demonstrated no growth. After 6 and 12 weeks, groups 3 (sterile peel packaging) and 4 (control) demonstrated bacterial growth. Conclusion: The most common culture isolates were gram-positive rods and two common nosocomial Staphylococcius species. Sterile peel packaging was not found to be equivalent to sterile cellulose wrapping in austere environmental conditions.

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Emergency Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion Training for Ukrainian Health Professionals in Austere Environments

Brown ZL, Cuestas JP, Matthews KJ, Shumaker JT, Moore DW, Cole R 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: Blood is a highly valuable medical resource that necessitates strict guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the recipient. Since the onset of the war in Ukraine there has been an increased demand for training in emergency fresh whole blood transfusion (EFWBT) to improve damage control resuscitation capabilities. To meet this demand, we developed, implemented, and evaluated a training program aimed at enhancing Ukrainian EFWBT proficiency. Methods: Eight Ukrainian healthcare professionals (UHPs), including six physicians and two medics, completed our training, derived from the Joint Trauma System Clinical Practice Guidelines, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Guidelines, 75th Ranger Regiment Ranger O-Low Titer (ROLO) program, and Marine Corps Valkyrie program. Participants were assessed on their confidence in the practical application and administrative oversight requirements of an EFWBT program. A cross-comparison was conducted between a larger data set of third-year medical students from the Uniformed Services University and the UHPs to determine the statistical significance of the program. Results: The difference in mean scores of UHPs during preand post-training was statistically significant (p<0.001). Additionally, the average rate of improvement was greater for the UHPs compared with the third-year medical students (p=0.000065). Conclusion: Our study revealed that the application of an EFWBT training program for UHPs can significantly increase confidence in their ability to conduct EFWBTs on the battlefield. Further larger-scale research is needed to determine the impact of this training on performance outcomes.

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Prescreened Whole O Blood Group Walking Blood Bank Capabilities for Nontraditional Maritime Medical Receiving Platforms: A Case Series

Chang R, Boyle BP, Udoh MO, Maestas JM, Gehrz JA, Ruano E, Banker L, Cap AP, Bitterman JW, Deaton TG, Auten JD 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines recognize low-titer group O whole blood (LTOWB) as the resuscitative fluid of choice for combat wounded. Utilization of prescreened LTOWB in a walking blood bank (WBB) format has been well described by the Ranger O low-titer blood (ROLO) and the United States Marine Corps Valkyrie programs, but it has not been applied to the maritime setting. Methods: We describe three WBB experiences of an expeditionary resuscitative surgical system (ERSS) team, attached to three nontraditional maritime medical receiving platforms, over 6 months. Results: Significant variations were identified in the number of screened eligible donors, the number of LTOWB donors, and the timely arrival at WBB activation sites between the platforms. Overall, 95% and 84% of the screened eligible group O blood donors on the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer (DDG) and Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier (CVN), respectively, were determined to be LTOWB. However, only 37% of the eligible screened group O blood donors aboard the Harper's Ferry Class Dock Landing Ship (LSD) were found to be LTOWB. Of the eligible donors, 66% did not complete screening, with 52% citing a correctable reason for nonparticipation. Conclusion: LTOWB attained through WBBs may be the only practical resuscitative fluid on maritime platforms without inherent blood product storage capabilities to perform remote damage control resuscitation. Future efforts should focus on optimizing WBBs through capability development, education, and training efforts.

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The Use of Tourniquets in the Russo-Ukrainian War

Samarskiy IM, Khoroshun EM, Vorokhta Y 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Aim: The objective of the study was to evaluate the use of tourniquets in the Russo-Ukrainian war. Methods: The type, number, and duration of tourniquets per limb, the clinical course of limb injuries, and the functional status of the injured limbs during the 24 hours post-injury were evaluated in military hospital facilities for the period of 2014-2022. Statistical frequencies and variances were analyzed. Results: During active hostilities, the medical units of the Southern Operational Command received 2,496 patients with limb injuries that required the application of tourniquets. Lower extremity injuries were predominantly observed (84.4%). A single tourniquet was used in 1,538 cases (61.6%), whereas two tourniquets were used in 533 (21.4%), and three tourniquets in 425 cases (17.0%). During the 2014- 2021 period, Esmarch's tourniquet was most commonly used. However, in 2022, it was mostly replaced by the Combat Application Tourniquet and similar systems (e.g., Sich, Dnipro). The duration of the tourniquet use ranged from 50 to 380 minutes (mean 205.9 [standard error 8.1] min), which prolonged ischemia in a significant number of cases. Limb amputations, mainly due to extensive necrosis, were performed in 92 cases (3.7%). In addition to 101 deaths (4.0% of patients), 11 cases of severe tourniquet syndrome were encountered. The limb was salvaged in 9 cases (81.8%). Conclusion: Prompt triage and evacuation of injured combatants can save affected limbs, even when the duration of tourniquet use exceeds 2 hours. Tourniquet syndrome can be prevented using a hemostatic tourniquet.

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Maritime Applications of Prolonged Casualty Care: A Series Introduction

Tadlock MD, Kitchen LK, Brower JJ, Tripp MS 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

The current United States Navy and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) maritime strategy is coalescing around the concept of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMOs) to prepare for future large-scale combat operations with peer or near-peer competitors. As a result, individual components of naval forces will be more geographically dispersed and oper- ating at a significant time and distance from higher levels of medical care. We developed a series of educational scenarios informed by real-world events to enhance the ability of Role 1 medical caregivers to apply the principles of Prolonged Ca- sualty Care during current routine, crisis, and contingency DMOs.

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Heat Tolerance Testing and the Return to Duty Decision: A Two-Year Case Cohort Analysis

Kester R, Abraham PA, Leggit JC, Harp JB, Kazman JB, Deuster PA, O'Connor FG 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: Among individuals with prior exertional heat illness (EHI), heat tolerance testing (HTT) may inform risk and return to duty/activity. However, little is known about HTT's predictive validity, particularly for EHI recurrence. Our project sought to demonstrate the predictive validity of HTT in EHI recurrence and HTT's utility as a diagnostic tool in exertional heat stroke (EHS). Methods: Participants with prior EHS were recruited for the study by a physician's referral and were classified as heat tolerant or intolerant after completing demographics and an HTT. Participants were further categorized as single/simple (SS) EHI or recurrent/complex (RC) EHI by conducting a retrospective record review of the following two years. We calculated the positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) of HTT. Results: The retrospective review of HTT records was used to categorize 44% of Servicemembers as RC, with 77% classified as heat tolerant, 14% as heat intolerant, and 9% as borderline. When borderline cases were classified as heat intolerant, HTT had a high NPV, indicating a high probability that heat-tolerant individuals did not have recurrent EHI. When borderline cases were classified as heat tolerant, NPV and sensitivity decreased while specificity increased. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the HTT had a 100% NPV for future EHI over two years of follow-up for Servicemembers with a history of recurrent heat injury and negative HTT results. An HTT can provide critical data points to inform return to duty decisions and timelines by predicting the risk of EHI recurrence.

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Development and Implementation of a Standard Operating Procedure for Military Working Dog Blood Collection, Storage, and Transport

Evernham EL, Fedeles BT, Knuf K 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Military working canines are critical assets and force multipliers for the Joint Force. Most often deployed forward of Role 2 assets, they are reliant on non-veterinary resources when wounded, ill, or injured in an operational environment. Hemorrhagic shock is the most prevalent form of shock seen in battlefield injuries and is most effectively treated with whole blood transfusion. Dogs cannot be transfused with human blood and there is no formal Department of Defense (DoD) canine blood product distribution system to operational settings. A walking blood bank is helpful when multiple dogs are geographically co-located and the resource can be provided to an injured patient quickly. In areas as widely dispersed as the Horn of Africa, the likelihood of co-location is slim and delaying this vital resource can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, personnel at the Role 2 facility in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, filled a critical capability gap for the operational area by producing a local canine whole blood bank with distribution to multiple countries. This protocol can be replicated by other locations to improve medical readiness for the working canines who serve to maintain DoD Force Protection.

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Warning: Tourniquets Risk Frostbite in Cold Weather

Kragh JF, O'Conor DK 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

We sought to better understand the frostbite risk during first-aid tourniquet use by reviewing information relevant to an association between tourniquet use and frostbite. However, there is little information concerning this subject, which may be of increasing importance because future conflicts against near-peer competitors may involve extreme cold weather environments. Historically, clinical frostbite cases with tourniquet use occurred in low frequency but in high severity when leading to limb amputation. The physiologic response of vasoconstriction to cold exposure leads to limb cooling and causes a reduction of limb blood flow, but cold-induced vasodilation ensues as periodic fluctuations that increase blood flow to hands and feet. In animal experiments, tourniquet use increased the development of frostbite. Evidence from human experiments also supports an association between tourniquet use and frostbite. Clinical guidance for caregiving to casualties at risk for frostbite with tourniquet use had previously been provided but slowly and progressively dropped out of documents. Conclusions: The cause of frostbite was deduced to be a sufficiently negative heat-transfer trend in local tissues, which tourniquet use may worsen because of decreasing tissue perfusion. An association between tourniquet use and frostbite exists but not as cause and effect. Tourniquet use increased the risk of the cold causing frostbite by allowing faster cooling of a limb because of reduced blood flow and lack of cold-induced vasodilation. Care providers above the level of the lay public are warned that first-aid tourniquet use in low-temperature (<0°C [<32°F]) environmental conditions risks frostbite.

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Derivation of a Procedural Performance Checklist for Bifemoral Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Cannula Placement in Operational Environments

Powell E, Betzold R, Kundi R, Anderson D, Haase D, Keville M, Galvagno S 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO) is a low-frequency, high-intensity procedure used for severe lung illness or injury to facilitate rapid correction of hypoxemia and respiratory acidosis. This technology is more portable and extracorporeal support is more frequently performed outside of the hospital. Future conflicts may require prolonged causality care and more specialized critical care capabilities including VV ECMO to improve patient outcomes. We used an expert consensus survey based on a developed bifemoral VV ECMO cannulation checklist with an operational focus to establish a standard for training, validation testing, and sustainment. Methods: A 36-item procedural checklist was provided to 14 experts from multiple specialties. Using the modified Delphi method, the checklist was serially modified based on expert feedback. Results: Three rounds of the study were performed, resulting in a final 32-item checklist. Each item on the checklist received at least 70% expert agreement on its inclusion in the final checklist. Conclusion: A procedural performance checklist was created for bifemoral VV ECMO using the modified Delphi method. This is an objective tool to assist procedural training and validation for medical providers performing VV ECMO in austere environments.

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Life Over Limb: Why Not Both? Revisiting Tourniquet Practices Based on Lessons Learned From the War in Ukraine

Patterson J, Bryan RT, Turconi M, Leiner A, Plackett TP, Rhodes LL, Sciulli L, Donnelly S, Reynolds CW, Leanza J, Fisher AD, Kushnir T, Artemenko V, Ward KR, Holcomb JB, Schmitzberger FF 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

The use of tourniquets for life-threatening limb hemorrhage is standard of care in military and civilian medicine. The United States (U.S.) Department of Defense (DoD) Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) guidelines, as part of the Joint Trauma System, support the application of tourniquets within a structured system reliant on highly trained medics and expeditious evacuation. Current practices by entities such as the DoD and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are supported by evidence collected in counter-insurgency operations and other conflicts in which transport times to care rarely went beyond one hour, and casualty rates and tactical situations rarely exceeded capabilities. Tourniquets cause complications when misused or utilized for prolonged durations, and in near-peer or peer-peer conflicts, contested airspace and the impact of high-attrition warfare may increase time to definitive care and limit training resources. We present a series of cases from the war in Ukraine that suggest tourniquet practices are contributing to complications such as limb amputation, overall morbidity and mortality, and increased burden on the medical system. We discuss factors that contribute to this phenomenon and propose interventions for use in current and future similar contexts, with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality.

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Occlusion Pressures of Tactical Pneumatic Tourniquet 2"

Wall P, Buising CM, Eernisse D, Rentschler T, Winters C, Renner CH 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: The Tactical Pneumatic Tournqiuet 2" (TPT2, 5.1cm-wide deflated) allows total average applied pressure measurement, which should be useful toward development of emergency-use limb tourniquet certification devices. Methods: The TPT2 hand bulb was replaced with stopcocks and syringes, allowing filling with continuous pressure measurement. Forearm and mid-thigh applications involved two sets of five Doppler-based pulse gone/return pairs. Second set pulse gones were chosen a priori for occlusion pressures (preliminary work indicated greater consistency in second sets). Results: All 68 forearms occluded (30 female, 38 male, median circumference 17.8cm, range 14.6-23.5cm; median second set of pulse gone tourniquet pressures 176mmHg, range 128-282mmHg). Fifty-five thighs occluded (median circumference 54.3cm, range 41.6-62.4cm; median systolic pressure 126mmHg, range 102-142mmHg; median second set of pulse gone pressures 574mmHg, range 274-1158mmHg). Thirteen thigh applications were stopped without occlusion because of concerning pressures combined with no indication of imminent occlusion and difficulties forcing more air into the TPT2 (3 female, 10 male, peak pressures from 958-1377mmHg, median 1220mmHg, p<.0001 versus occluded thighs; median circumference 63.3cm, range 55.0-72.9cm, p<.0001 versus occluded thighs; median systolic pressure 126mmHg, range 120-173mmHg, p<.019 versus occluded thighs). Thigh TPT2 impression widths on five subjects after occlusion were as follows: 3.5cm, occlusion 274mmHg; 2.8cm, occlusion 348mmHg; 2.9cm, occlusion 500mmHg; 2.8cm, occlusion 782mmHg; 2.7cm, occlusion 1114mmHg. Conclusions: Though probably useful to tourniquet certification, the required pressures for thigh occlusion make the TPT2 undesirable for any clinical use, emergency or otherwise.

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Social Determinant of Unconventional Resilience Tactical Engagement with Bonding Patterns

Jeschke EA, Wyma-Bradley J, Baker JB, Dorsch J, Huffman SL 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Building upon our strategic framework and operational model, we will discuss findings from our ethnographic study, entitled: "The Impact of Catastrophic Injury Exposure on Resilience in Special Operations Surgical Teams (SOSTs)," to explain the tactical nature and importance of social determinants within our new characterization of unconventional resilience. Our fourth paper in this series, will explain how bonding patterns establish the quality of intra- and interpersonal connections that create a tensive conduit for the pressure of performance within our operational model, allowing for dynamic freedom of maneuver to take place in ambiguity. We will use qualita- tive quotes to illustrate various ways SOST medics relate to themselves, other people, and the Special Operations Forces (SOF) culture. To achieve our goals, we will: 1) provide an in- troduction to social determinants as tactical engagement with unconventional resilience; 2) define the social determinant of bonding patterns as extrapolated from qualitative data as well as use qualitative data to thematize various types of bonding patterns; and 3) relate tactical engagement with bonding pat- terns to our metaphor of bag sets. We conclude by gesturing to the importance of bonding patterns in orienting SOF medics' proprioception and kinesthesia in the SOF performance space.

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Effects of Tourniquet Features on Application Processes Times

Wall P, Buising CM, White A, Jensen J, Davis J, Renner CH 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: We investigated emergency-use limb tourniquet design features effects on application processes (companion paper) and times to complete those processes (this paper). Methods: Sixty-four appliers watched training videos then each applied all eight tourniquets: Combat Application Tour- niquet Generation 7 (CAT7), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 3 (SOFTTW3), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 5 (SOFTTW5), Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT), OMNA Marine Tourniquet (OMT), X8T-Tourniquet (X8T), Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet (Tac RMT), and RapidStop Tourniquet (RST). Application processes times were captured from videos. Results: From "Go" to "touch tightening system" was fastest with clips and self-securing redirect buckles and without strap/redirect application process problems (n, median seconds: CAT7 n=23, 26.89; SOFTTW3 n=11, 20.95; SOFTTW5 n=16, 20.53; TMT n=5, 26.61; OMT n=12, 25.94; X8T n=3, 18.44; Tac RMT n=15, 30.59; RST n=7, 22.80). From "touch tightening system" to "last occlusion" was fastest with windlass rod systems when there were no tightening system understanding or mechanical problems (seconds: CAT7 n=48, 4.21; SOFTTW3 n=47, 5.99; SOFTTW5 n=44, 4.65; TMT n=38, 6.21; OMT n=51, 6.22; X8T n=48, 7.59; Tac RMT n=52, 8.44; RST n=40, 8.02). For occluded, tightening system secure applications, from "touch tightening system" to "Done" was fastest with self-securing tightening systems tightening from a tight strap (occluded, secure time in seconds from a tight strap: CAT7 n=17, 14.47; SOFTTW3 n=22, 10.91; SOFTTW5 n=38, 9.19; TMT n=14, 11.42; OMT n=44, 7.01; X8T n=12 9.82; Tac RMT n=20, 6.45; RST n=23, 8.64). Conclusions: Suboptimal processes in- crease application times. Optimal design features for fast, occlusive, secure tourniquet applications are self-securing strap/ redirect systems with an easily identified and easily used clip and self-securing tightening systems.

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3D-Printed Tourniquets Used at the Battlefront in Ukraine: A Pilot Study

Melau J, Bergan-Skar P, Callender N, Rognhaug M, Bekkestad E 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: The war in Ukraine urged a need for prompt deliv- erance and resupply of tourniquets to the front. Producing tour- niquets near the battlefront was a feasible option with respect to resupply and cost. Methods: A locally produced 3D-printed tourniquet (Ukrainian model) from the "Tech Against Tanks" charity was tested against commercially available and Committee of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC)- recommended tourniquets (C-A-T™ and SOF™TT-W). We tested how well the tourniquets could hold pressure for up to 2 hours. Results: A Kruskal-Wallis test revealed significant differences between the groups (p<.05). Post-hoc testing revealed a signif- icant difference between the C-A-T and the Ukrainian tourni- quet (p=.004). A similar significance was not found between the SOF™TT-W Wide and the Ukrainian model (p=.08). Dis- cussion: The Ukrainian model can hold pressure as well as the commercially available tourniquets. There is much value if this can be produced close to the battlefield. Factors including lo- gistics, cost, and self-sufficiency are important during wartime. Conclusion: We found that our sample of 3D-printed tourni- quets, currently used in the war in Ukraine, could maintain pressure as well as the commercially available tourniquets. In- deed, our tests demonstrated that it could maintain a signifi- cantly higher pressure.

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Effects of Tourniquet Features on Application Process Times

Wall P, Buising CM, White A, Jensen J, Davis J, Renner CH 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: We investigated emergency-use limb tourniquet design features effects on application processes (companion paper) and times to complete those processes (this paper). Methods: Sixty-four appliers watched training videos then each applied all eight tourniquets: Combat Application Tour- niquet Generation 7 (CAT7), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 3 (SOFTTW3), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 5 (SOFTTW5), Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT), OMNA Marine Tourniquet (OMT), X8T-Tourniquet (X8T), Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet (Tac RMT), and RapidStop Tourniquet (RST). Application processes times were captured from videos. Results: From "Go" to "touch tightening system" was fastest with clips and self-securing redirect buckles and without strap/redirect application process problems (n, median seconds: CAT7 n=23, 26.89; SOFTTW3 n=11, 20.95; SOFTTW5 n=16, 20.53; TMT n=5, 26.61; OMT n=12, 25.94; X8T n=3, 18.44; Tac RMT n=15, 30.59; RST n=7, 22.80). From "touch tightening system" to "last occlusion" was fastest with windlass rod systems when there were no tightening system understanding or mechanical problems (seconds: CAT7 n=48, 4.21; SOFTTW3 n=47, 5.99; SOFTTW5 n=44, 4.65; TMT n=38, 6.21; OMT n=51, 6.22; X8T n=48, 7.59; Tac RMT n=52, 8.44; RST n=40, 8.02). For occluded, tightening system secure applications, from "touch tightening system" to "Done" was fastest with self-securing tightening systems tightening from a tight strap (occluded, secure time in seconds from a tight strap: CAT7 n=17, 14.47; SOFTTW3 n=22, 10.91; SOFTTW5 n=38, 9.19; TMT n=14, 11.42; OMT n=44, 7.01; X8T n=12 9.82; Tac RMT n=20, 6.45; RST n=23, 8.64). Conclusions: Suboptimal processes in- crease application times. Optimal design features for fast, occlusive, secure tourniquet applications are self-securing strap/ redirect systems with an easily identified and easily used clip and self-securing tightening systems.

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Effects of Tourniquet Features on Application Processes

Wall P, Buising CM, Jensen J, White A, Davis J, Renner CH 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: We investigated emergency-use limb tourniquet design features effects on application processes (this paper) and times to complete those processes (companion paper). Methods: Sixty-four appliers watched training videos and then each applied all eight tourniquets: Combat Application Tourniquet Generation 7 (CAT7), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 3 (SOFTTW3), SOF™ Tactical Tourniquet-Wide Generation 5 (SOFTTW5), Tactical Mechanical Tourniquet (TMT), OMNA Marine Tourniquet (OMT), X8T tourniquet (X8T), Tactical Ratcheting Medical Tourniquet (Tac RMT), and RapidStop™ Tourniquet (RST). Application processes were scored from videos. Results: Thirty-three appliers had no prior tourniquet experience. All 512 applications were placed proximal to the recipient's simulated distal thigh injury. Thirty-one appliers (13 with no experience) had 66 problem-free applications (18 by no experience appliers). Tightening-system mechanical problems were more frequent with windlass rod systems (26 losing hold of the rod, 27 redoing rod turns, and 58 struggling to secure the rod) versus ratchet systems (3 tooth skips and 16 advance failures). Thirty-five appliers (21 with no experience) had 68 applications (45 by no experience appliers) with an audible Doppler pulse when stating "Done"; causes involved premature stopping (53), inadequate strap pull (1 SOFTTW3, 1 RST), strap/redirect understanding problem (1 SOFTTW5, 1 X8T, 4 Tac RMT, 1 RST), tightening-system understanding problem (2 CAT7, 1 SOFTTW3, 1 TMT, 1 RST), and physical inability to secure (1 SOFTTW3). Fifty-three appliers (32 no experience) had 109 applications (64 by no experience appliers) not correctly secured. Six involved strap/redirect understanding problems: 4 Tac RMT, 1 X8T, 1 SOFTTW5; 103 involved improper securing of non-self-securing design features: 47 CAT7 (8 strap, 45 rod), 31 TMT (17 strap, 19 rod), 22 OMT (strap), and 3 SOFTTW3 (rod). Conclusion: Self-securing systems have process advantages. Because most emergent tourniquet recipients require transport, we believe tourniquet security is a critical design aspect. Decisions regarding tourniquet choices may become very different when both occlusion and tourniquet security are considered.

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Social Determinant of Unconventional Resilience: Tactical Engagement with Impression Management

Jeschke EA, Wyma-Bradley J, Baker JB, Dorsch J, Huffman SL 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Building upon our operational model, we will discuss findings from our ethnographic study titled "The Impact of Catastrophic Injury Exposure on Resilience in Special Operations Surgical Teams" to establish that impression management allows Special Operation Forces (SOF) medics to navigate implicit social status symbols to either degrade or optimize performance. We will use qualitative quotes to explore how Special Operations Surgical Team (SOST) medics engage in impression management to establish individual, team, and/or organizational competency to deal with ambiguity. To achieve our goals, we will: 1) provide a background on impression management and perception of competency; 2) define the social determinant of impression management extrapolated from qualitative data as well as use qualitative data to thematize various types of impression management; and 3) relate tactical engagement with impression to our metaphor of bag sets. We conclude by gesturing to the importance of impression management in orienting SOF medics' proprioception and kinesthesia in the SOF performance space.

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Association of Physical Domain Participation with POTFF Domains in Special Forces Operators

Nelson T, Youngblade L, Goldberg P, Bricker D, Werth K, Riesberg JC, Surrett GW 99(5). 0 (Journal Article)

Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the physical domain (PD) to improve performance in all the POTFF domains (physical, psychological, social/family, and spiritual) among Special Forces (SF) Operators. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of active SF Operators assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). Recruitment began in October 2016. Testing began on 1 January 2017, and concluded on 28 February 2020. Participants completed physical testing, blood draws, and questionnaires to determine domain metrics. Means, medians, and proportions were compared by level of participation in the PD. Results: A total of 231 Soldiers participated; n=63 in the control group, n=93 in the <4 days PD/week (PD <4) group, and n=66 in the >4 days PD/week (PD ≥4) group. The average age was 31 years (range 21-47 y). The average time in the Special Operations Forces (SOF) was 4 years (range 0-19 y). The PD ≥4 group showed significantly greater overall upper (p=.01) and lower (p=0) body strength, power (p=.01), and positive affect (p=.04). The PD ≥4 group also had significantly lower anxiety (p=.03), stress (p=.04), and depression (p=.02) than the control group. Conclusion: The PD and psychological domain metrics were most associated with PD participation. This finding is consistent with the goals of the PD, which are to increase physical and mental capabilities and decrease injury recovery time.

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