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Burnett MW 16(4). 71 - 73 (Journal Article)

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)

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

Mitigating Exertional Heat Illness in Military Personnel: The Science Behind a Rice-Based Electrolyte and Rehydration Drink

Moore B, O'Hara R 16(4). 49 - 53 (Journal Article)

Background: Exertional heat illness continues to be prevalent among members of active duty personnel, especially those in specific military occupational specialties such as loadmasters, flight crew, flight maintainers, and Special Operations Forces. Therefore, the primary objective of this article was to elucidate the various oral rehydration solutions (ORSs) on the market that are used to mitigate exertional heat illness (EHI) in military personnel, and to focus on the science behind a ricebased electrolyte drink, CeraSport®, currently used by US military personnel in mitigating EHI during sustained training operations in high-heat environments. Methods: A search of the literature (through March 2016) was performed using PubMed and ProQuest, in addition to searching bibliographies and text books. We reviewed 63 articles and three texts. Articles were limited to those published in English and to studies that used only carbohydrates (e.g., no amino acids) and drinks reported to be used by the military in field training and deployment. Conclusion: Heat illness is prevalent among military personnel operating in high-heat environments and a variety of ORSs and sports drinks are available to help mitigate this. However, CeraSport, compared with other ORSs and sports drinks, may offer benefits such as faster gastric emptying rates and improved absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, which can provide rapidly available carbohydrate substrates for energy needs, and increased water retention for maintenance of blood plasma volume.

Red-Green Versus Blue Tactical Light: A Direct, Objective Comparison

Pedler M, Ruiz F, Lamari M, Hutchinson C, Noyes B, Petrash M, Calvano CJ, La Porta A, Enzenauer RW 16(4). 54 - 58 (Journal Article)

Background: Success in Special Operations Forces medicine (SOFMED) depends on maximizing visual capability without compromising the provider or casualty when under fire. There is no single light that has been deemed "ideal" for all SOFMED environments. Methods: We used the Farnsworth-Munsell (FM) hue test to determine color vision of normal subjects under white, red-green, and blue flashlights to determine color discrimination. Then we used a timed color-determination visual test to determine how quickly normal subjects can identify color correctly. We had subjects perform a simulated surgery illuminated by a normal white-light source, then by red-green or blue light-emitting diode (LED) tactical light. Results: The total error score for white light was 49.714, 272.923 for red/green light, and 531.4 for blue light. The subjective perception of simulated trauma wounds was not substantially different with red-green LED tactical light when compared with white LED light. However, simulated surgery under the blue LED was more difficult compared with simulated surgery under the red-green LED light. Conclusion: Red-green was a superior light source for SOFMED and military first responders in this study, especially, where light was required to allow accurate and efficient application of Tactical Combat Casualty Care to injured personnel.

Trigger-Point Dry Needling for the SOF Medic

Cavett T, Solarczyk J 16(4). 33 - 39 (Journal Article)

We propose that trigger-point dry needle (TrP-DN) therapy is an effective low-risk treatment for pain associated with myofascial trigger points (MTrP), and should be incorporated into the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medic's scope of practice. Furthermore, TrP-DN therapy can be used as a treatment adjunct on the SOF continuum of care, providing analgesia and increased tolerance for rehabilitative therapy, thereby facilitating improved patient outcomes and faster return to operational readiness. The incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in the SOF community is discussed, as are available treatment options TrP-DN methods, a case study of a Soldier deployed to Afghanistan, the science behind the subject of MTrP and TrP-DN, and the risks associated with TrP-DN and how we can mitigate them effectively. Caution should be used in the interpretation of a body of literature based largely on case studies. Although the amount of published evidence in support of the potential benefits of TrP-DN is growing, larger, randomized, placebo-controlled trials and studies that evaluate the effects of TrP-DN in a methodologically rigorous and statistically significant way are needed. Based on anecdotal evidence of and personal experience with the success of the therapy, as well as its growing use within both civilian and military medicine, the possible therapeutic benefit of TrP-DN is relevant for the SOF community.

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)

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.

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)

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.

Postural Stability of Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen With Tactical Gear

Morgan PM, Williams VJ, Sell TC 16(4). 27 - 31 (Journal Article)

Background: The US Naval Special Warfare's Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) operate on small, high-speed boats while wearing tactical gear (TG). The TG increases mission safety and success but may affect postural stability, potentially increasing risk for musculoskeletal injury. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of TG on postural stability during the Sensory Organization Test (SOT). Methods: Eight SWCC performed the SOT on NeuroCom's Balance Manager with TG and with no tactical gear (NTG). The status of gear was performed in randomized order. The SOT consisted of six different conditions that challenge sensory systems responsible for postural stability. Each condition was performed for three trials, resulting in a total of 18 trials. Results: Overall performance, each individual condition, and sensory system analysis (somatosensory, visual, vestibular, preference) were scored. Data were not normally distributed therefore Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare each variable (ρ = .05). No significant differences were found between NTG and TG tests. No statistically significant differences were detected under the two TG conditions. This may be due to low statistical power, or potentially insensitivity of the assessment. Also, the amount and distribution of weight worn during the TG conditions, and the SWCC's unstable occupational platform, may have contributed to the findings. The data from this sample will be used in future research to better understand how TG affects SWCC. Conclusion: The data show that the addition of TG used in our study did not affect postural stability of SWCC during the SOT. Although no statistically significant differences were observed, there are clinical reasons for continued study of the effect of increased load on postural stability, using more challenging conditions, greater surface perturbations, dynamic tasks, and heavier loads.

Secondary Hypertension, Erythrocytosis, and Unilateral Renal Cystic Disease in a Submariner: A Case Report

Forbes AS, Yeo FE 16(4). 1 - 5 (Case Reports)

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

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)

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.

Effective Monitoring and Evaluation of Military Humanitarian Medical Operations

Waller SG, Powell C, Ward JB, Riley K 11(4). 9 - 14 (Journal Article)

Non-military government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have made great strides in the evaluation of humanitarian medical work, and have learned valuable lessons regarding monitoring and evaluation (M&E) that may be equally as valuable to military medical personnel. We reviewed the recent literature by the worldwide humanitarian community regarding the art and science of M&E, with focus toward military applications. The successes and failures of past humanitarian efforts have resulted in prolific analyses. Alliances of NGOs set the standard for humanitarian quality and M&E standards. Military medical personnel can apply some of these standards to military humanitarian M&E in complex and stability operations. The authors believe that the NGO community's M&E standards should be applied to improve evaluation of U.S. military medical humanitarian operations.

Increasing Security through Public Health: A Practical Model

Parker RD 11(4). 4 - 8 (Journal Article)

As political and social changes swee p the globe, there are opportunities to increase national security through innovative approaches. While traditional security methods such as defense forces and homeland security provide both pre-emptive and defensive protection, new methods could meet emerging challenges by responding to the political, financial, and social trends. One method is the integration of defense, medicine and public health. By assisting a nation by providing basic services, such as healthcare, collaborative efforts can increase stabilization in areas of unrest. Improved health outcomes leads to increased domestic security, which can create a ripple effect across a region. Assessment, uptake and sustainability by the host nation are critical for program success. The proposed methodology focuses on the use of primarily extant resources, such as programs used by Special Operations Forces and other health and defense programs. Additional components include evaluation, set objectives and mission collaborations. As the nexus between foreign affairs, security, and public heal th is in crea s ing ly valida ted thr ough research and prac tice, stand ard ized i nt erv entions should b e developed to minimize overlapping expenditures, promote security and strengthen international relations.

Management of the Mangled Face by a Forward Surgical Team

Brisson P, Woll M, Welden B 11(4). 25 - 27 (Case Reports)

A mangled face is an uncommon injury that can occur in a combat zone as a result of blunt trauma, penetrating trauma or explosion injury. Despite the patient's dramatic disfigurement, attention needs to focus on the basic ABC's of initial trauma management. We present an injured Afghan civilian with a severe facial injury. Our approach to airway management, breathing evaluation and hemorrhage control are described. In addition we utilized two emergency hemorrhage control modalities that are usually associated with other areas of the body, a circumferential compression sling and a laparotomy sponge packing.

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

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

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.

Beyond Tears: The Potential Hazards Of The O-Chlorobenzylidene-Malononitrile (Cs) Gas Under Scrutiny

Asuku ME, Milner SM, Gerold KB 11(4). 28 - 30 (Journal Article)

Global Health Language and Culture Competency

Beadling C, Maza J, Nakano G, Mahmood M, Jawad S, Al-Ameri A, Zuerlein S, Anderson W 12(1). 10 - 16 (Journal Article)

This article presents findings from a survey conducted to examine the availability of foreign language and culture training to Civil Affairs health personnel and the relevance of that training to the tasks they perform. Civil Affairs forces recognize the value of cross-cultural communication competence because their missions involve a significant level of interaction with foreign governments' officials, military, and civilians. Members of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) who had a health-related military occupational specialty code were invited to participate in the survey. More than 45% of those surveyed were foreign language qualified. Many also received predeployment language and culture training specific to the area of deployment. Significantly more respondents reported receiving cultural training and training on how to work effectively with interpreters than having received foreign language training. Respondents perceived interpreters as important assets and were generally satisfied with their performance. Findings from the survey highlight a need to identify standard requirements for predeployment language training that focuses on medical and health terminology and to determine the best delivery platform(s). Civil Affairs health personnel would benefit from additional cultural training that focuses on health and healthcare in the country or region of deployment. Investing in the development of distance learning capabilities as a platform for delivering health-specific language and culture training may help ease the time and resources constraints that limit the ability of Civil Affairs health personnel to access the training they need.

Damage Control and Point of Injury Care: Extending the Care Continuum to Military Prehospital Providers

Hetzler MR 12(1). 1 - 10 (Journal Article)

Damage control principles are well founded, well proven, and have been incorporated into many specialties of clinical care in both military and civilian practice. Theories regarding hemostatic and hypovolemic resuscitation and preventing the Lethal Triad have had profound effects on the survival of wounded during the present conflicts. As we continue to refine these practices, implementation of this theory should be extended to military prehospital providers. The impacts of damage control practices from those providing initial treatment could complete the continuity of care, prime patients for additional success, and affect overall morbidity and mortality. The basic tenets of damage control theory are easily transferred to the Role I provider in the field and may even address their unique requirements more appropriately. Understanding the working concept of damage control would improve decision-making skills in both therapeutics and evacuation while managing casualties in the uncontrolled environment of combat. Military prehospital damage control differs greatly from in-hospital use, in that the principles must incorporate both medical and tactical considerations for care of the wounded. Introducing damage control principles to established casualty care guidelines will recognize and unite an often underappreciated level of care into a successful practice.

An Analysis of Battlefield Cricothyrotomy in Iraq and Afghanistan

Mabry RL, Frankfurt A 12(1). 17 - 23 (Journal Article)

Objective: Historical review of modern military conflicts suggests that airway compromise accounts for 1-2% of total combat fatalities. This study examines the specific intervention of pre-hospital cricothyrotomy (PC) in the military setting using the largest studies of civilian medics performing PC as historical controls. The goal of this paper is to help define optimal airway management strategies, tools and techniques for use in the military pre-hospital setting. Methods: This retrospective chart review examined all patients presenting to combat support hospitals following prehospital cricothyrotomy during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during a 22-month period. A PC was determined "successful" if it was documented as functional on arrival to the hospital. All PC complications that were documented in the patients' record were also noted in the review. Results: Two thirds of the patients died. The most common injuries were caused by explosions, followed by gunshot wounds (GSW) and blunt trauma. Eighty-two percent of the casualties had injures to face, neck or head. Those injured by gunshot wounds to the head or thorax all died. The largest group of survivors had gunshot wounds to the face and/or neck (38%) followed by explosion related injury to the face, neck and head (33%). Pre-hospital cricothyrotomy was documented as successful in 68% of the cases while 26% of the PC's failed to cannulate the trachea. In 6% of cases the patient was pronounced dead on arrival without documentation of PC function. The majority of PC's (62%) were performed by combat medics at the point of injury. Physicians and physician assistants (PA) were more successful performing PC than medics with a 15% versus a 33% failure rate. Complications were not significantly different than those found in civilian PC studies, including incorrect anatomic placement, excessive bleeding, air leak and right main stem placement. Conclusions: The majority of patients who underwent PC died (66%). The largest group of survivors had gunshot wounds to the face and/or neck (38%) followed by explosion related injury to the face, neck and head (33%). Military medics have a 33% failure rate when performing this procedure compared to 15% for physicians and physician assistants. Minor complications occurred in 21% of cases. The survival rate and complication rates are similar to previous civilian studies of medics performing PC. However the failure rate for military medics is three to five times higher than comparable civilian studies. Further study is required to define the optimal equipment, technique, and training required for combat medics to master this infrequently performed but lifesaving procedure.

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