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Medical Screening of a Repatriated Afghan National Army Special Operations Command Prisoner of War

Florance JM, Hicks M 19(4). 16 - 18 (Case Reports)

The Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) Surgeon partnered with the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) Surgeon to complete medical screening of a repatriated ANASOC soldier following a 2019 combined raid on a Taliban prison that freed 35 prisoners of war (POWs). This article discusses the presentation and management of the ANASOC POW while also providing a literature review of common pathologies within the POW population. The purpose of this document is to address a unique aspect of military medicine in the expectation that future military providers are prepared to receive repatriated soldiers and prepared to care for fellow prisoners should they themselves become captured.

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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.

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Guidelines For Implementing Medical Operations In The Counterinsurgency (COIN) Fight: A Framework For Engagement

Hamid S 11(2). 7 - 11 (Journal Article)

Several articles have been published over the last decade that describe the current role of medical operations (variously known as MEDCAPS- Medical Civic Action Programs, CMEs- Co-Operative Medical Engagements, etc.) in COIN and stability operations. Many of these articles focus on the experiences of healthcare and support personnel and their observations of inappropriately used U.S. Military healthcare resources. These medical assets were often used to provide fragmented and direct patient care to local populations. These operations were conducted in a non-sustainable fashion. Most importantly, poorly organized efforts damage COIN efforts and alienate local populations. Effective medical operations must be nested within the larger realm of overall COIN actions. In this paper, a fundamental framework is presented to align medical operations within COIN missions.

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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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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.

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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.

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Medical Rules Of Engagement Negative Patients: The Dilemma Of Forward Surgical Teams In Counterinsurgency Operations

Becker T, Ray PD, Link M, Ziemba M 11(2). 12 - 15 (Journal Article)

By definition, Forward Surgical Teams (FSTs) are located far forward in the battlespace to allow for emergent treatment of life and limb threatening trauma sustained by United States and coalition forces as well as those injured according to the medical rules of engagement (MROE). While official doctrine dictates that MROE negative patients are not entitled to care by American military medical assets, experience has shown that some FSTs do not always adhere to that doctrine during counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Medical civic action programs (MEDCAPS) have been used in modern COIN conflicts in an attempt to gain favor with and influence the host nations' local population. However, the results have frequently been counterproductive to the intended mission. The FST, by doctrine, is not equipped to take part in traditional MEDCAPS. The focus of this paper is to explore the potential role of the FST in COIN operations. Possible roles for the FST in COIN include improving the host nation medical capabilities through education and training. Further, surgery can be a useful commodity to gain positive influence with or to trade for intelligence from key local national leaders.

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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

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

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.

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Advanced Airwaymanagement In Combat Casualties By Medics At The Point Of Injury: A Sub-Group Analysis Of The Reach Study

Mabry RL, Cuniowski P, Frankfurt A, Adams BD 11(2). 16 - 19 (Journal Article)

background: Optimal airway management protocols for the prehospital battlefield setting have not been defined. Airway management strategies in this environment must take into account the injury patterns, the environment and training requirements of military prehospital providers. Methods: This is a post-hoc, sub-group analysis of the Registry of Emergency Airways Arriving at Combat Hospitals or REACH database. This study examines only those patients who had advanced airways placed for trauma by an enlisted military medic at the point of injury. results: Twenty (100%) of the patients had a traumatic injury, 19 (95%) were male, and 13 (65%) had a gun shot wounds (GSWs) as the mechanism of injury. The majority, 12 (60%) patients had an esophageal-tracheal airway device placed. Of the remaining patients, four (20%) underwent endotracheal intubation, three (15%) had a surgical cricothyroidotomy performed, and one (5%) had a Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) placed. Seventeen (85%) of the twenty patients were dead on arrival or died shortly after arrival at the Combat Support Hospital (CSH). All of the patients that died had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of three upon arrival. The Glasgow Coma Scale provides a score in the range 3-15; patients with scores of 3-8 are usually said to be in a coma. Three patients in this group survived to transfer from the CSH. Two of the transfers were lost to follow up, one with a GSW to the head and GCS of three, the other with a GCS of five from injuries sustained in an explosion. The third patient had a surgical cricothyroidotomy (SC) performed in the field for an expanding neck hematoma and recovered fully following surgery. conclusions: Casualties that tolerate invasive airway management without sedation in the context of trauma prognosticates a very high mortality. Airway management algorithms for military providers should reflect the casualties encountered on the battlefield not patients in cardiac arrest which predominate in the civilian EMS airway management practice. Further data are needed to understand the injuries encountered on the battlefield and to develop airway management solutions that optimize outcomes of patients with battlefield trauma.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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The Supply of Pharmaceuticals in Humanitarian Assistance Missions: Implications for Military Operations

Mahmood M, Riley K, Bennett D, Anderson W 11(4). 37 - 42 (Previously Published)

In this article, we provide an overview of key international guidelines governing the supply of pharmaceuticals during disasters and complex emergencies. We review the World Health Organization's guidelines on pharmaceutical supply chain management and highlight their relevance for military humanitarian assistance missions. Given the important role of pharmaceuticals in addressing population health needs during humanitarian emergencies, a good understanding of how pharmaceuticals are supplied at the local level in different countries can help military health personnel identify the most appropriate supply options. Familiarity with international guidelines involved in cross-border movement of pharmaceuticals can improve the ability of military personnel to communicate more effectively with other actors involved in humanitarian and development spheres. Enhancing the knowledge base available to military personnel in terms of existing supply models and funding procedures can improve the effectiveness of humanitarian military operations and invite policy changes necessary to establish more flexible acquisition and funding regulations.

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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.

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Benefit of Critical Care Flight Paramedic-Trained Search and Rescue Corpsmen in Treatment of Severely Injured Aviators

Snow RW, Papalski W, Siedler J, Drew B, Walrath B 18(1). 19 - 22 (Case Reports)

During routine aircraft start-up procedures at a US Naval Air Station, an aviation mishap occurred, resulting in the pilot suffering a traumatic brain injury and the copilot acquiring bilateral hemopneumothoraces, a ruptured diaphragm, and hepatic and splenic contusions. The care of both patients, including at point of injury and en route to the closest trauma center, is presented. This case demonstrates a benefit from advanced life-saving interventions and critical care skills beyond the required scope of practice of search and rescue medical technicians as dictated by relevant instructions.

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Military Prehospital Use of Low Titer Group O Whole Blood

Warner N, Zheng J, Nix G, Fisher AD, Johnson JC, Williams JE, Northern DM, Hellums JS 18(1). 15 - 18 (Case Reports)

The military's use of whole-blood transfusions is not new but has recently received new emphasis by the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Committee. US Army units are implementing a systematic approach to obtain and use whole blood on the battlefield. This case report reviews the care of the first patient to receive low titer group O whole blood (LTOWB) transfusion, using a new protocol.

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Proficiency in Improvised Tourniquets for Extremities: A Review

Rohrich C, Plackett TP, Scholz BM, Hetzler MR 19(3). 123 - 127 (Journal Article)

Tourniquets have become ubiquitous tools for controlling hemorrhage in the modern prehospital environment, and while commercial products are preferable, improvised tourniquets play an important role when commercial options are not available. A properly constructed improvised tourniquet can be highly effective provided the user adheres to certain principles. This review article identifies key skills in the construction and application of improvised tourniquets on an extremity. An improvised tourniquet design for an extremity should include three components: a strap, a rod, and a securing mechanism. The strap can be made from a variety of materials, but cravat- like fabric has been shown to work well. Optimal strap dimensions should be at least 2cm in width and a continuous segment long enough to extend around the extremity while still offering ends to accommodate and secure the rod. The rod should be constructed from a material that is hard, strong, and capable of withstanding the torque placed on it without bending or breaking. After torque is applied, the rod must be secured into position to maintain the constricting force and survive patient transport. Finally, the need for an improvised tourniquet is a contingency that all first responders should anticipate. Hands-on training should be conducted routinely in conjunction with other first responder tasks.

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