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Assessment of User, Glove, and Device Effects on Performance of Tourniquet Use in Simulated First Aid

Kragh JF, Aden JK, Lambert CD, Moore VK, Dubick MA 17(4). 29 - 36 (Journal Article)

Background: The effects of users, glove types, and tourniquet devices on the performance of limb tourniquet use in simulated first aid were measured. Materials and Methods: Four users conducted 180 tests of tourniquet performance in eight glove groups compared with bare hands as a control. Results: Among tests, 99% (n = 179) had favorable results for each of the following: effectiveness (i.e., bleeding control), distal pulse stoppage, and tourniquet placement at the correct site. However, only 90% of tests ended with a satisfactory result, which is a composite outcome of aggregated metrics if all (patient status is stable, tourniquet placement is good, and pressure is good) are satisfactory. Of 18 unsatisfactory results, 17 (94%) were due to pressure problems. Most of the variance of the majority of continuous metrics (time to determination of bleeding control, trial time, overall time, pressure, and blood loss) could be attributed to the users (62%, 55%, 61%, 8%, and 68%, respectively). Glove effects impaired and slowed performance; three groups (cold gloves layered under mittens, mittens, and cold gloves) consistently had significant effects and five groups (examination gloves, flight gloves, leather gloves, glove liners, and glove liners layered under leather gloves) did not. For time to bleeding control and blood loss, performance using these same three glove groups had worse results compared with bare hands by 26, 18, and 17 seconds and by 188, 116, and 124mL, respectively. Device effects occurred only with continuous metrics and were often dominated by user effects. Conclusion: In simulated first aid with tourniquets used to control bleeding, users had major effects on most performance metrics. Glove effects were significant for three of eight glove types. Tourniquet device effects occurred only with continuous metrics and were often dominated by user effects.

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Effects of Distance Between Paired Tourniquets

Wall PL, Buising CM, Nelms D, Grulke L, Renner CH, Sahr SM 17(4). 37 - 44 (Journal Article)

Background: In practice, the distance between paired tourniquets varies with unknown effects. Methods: Ratcheting Medical Tourniquets were applied to both thighs of 15 subjects distally (fixed location) and proximally (0, 2, 4, 8, 12cm gap widths, randomized block). Applications were pair, single distal, single appropriate proximal. Tightening ended one-ratchet tooth advance past Doppler-indicated occlusion. Pairs had alternating tightening starting distal. Results: Occlusion pressures were higher for: each single than respective individual pair tourniquet, each pair distal than respective pair proximal, and each single distal than respective single proximal (all p < .0001). Despite thigh circumference increasing proximally, occlusion pressures were lower with proximal tourniquet involvement (pair or single, p < .0001). Occlusion losses before 120 seconds occurred most frequently with pairs (0cm 4, 2cm 4, 4cm 6, 8cm 7, 12cm 5 for 26 of 150), in increasing frequency with increasingly proximal singles (0cm 0, 2cm 1, 4cm 1, 8cm 2, 12cm 6 for 10 of 150, p < .0001 for trend), and least with single distal (2 of 150, p < .0001). Paired tourniquets required fewer ratchet advances per tourniquet (pair distal 5 ± 1, pair proximal 4 ± 1, single distal 6 ± 1, single proximal 6 ± 1). Final ratchet tooth advancement pressure increases (mmHg) were greatest for singles (distal 61 ± 10, proximal 0cm 53 ± 7, 2cm 51 ± 9, 4cm 50 ± 7, 8cm 45 ± 7, 12cm 36 ± 7) and least in pairs (distal 41 ± 8, proximal 32 ± 7) with progressively less pair interaction as distance increased (pressure change for the pair tourniquet not directly advanced: 0cm 13 ± 4, 2cm 10 ± 4, 4cm 6 ± 3, 8cm 1 ± 2, 12cm -1 ± 2). Conclusions: Occlusion pressures are lower for paired than single tourniquets despite variable intertourniquet distances. Very proximal placement has a pressure advantage; however, pairs and very proximal locations may be less likely to maintain occlusion. Increasingly proximal placements also increase tissue at risk; therefore, distal placements and minimal intertourniquet distances should still be recommended.

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Traumatic Brain Injury Management in Prolonged Field Care

van Wyck D, Loos PE, Friedline N, Stephens D, Smedick BC, McCafferty R, Rush SC, Keenan S, Powell D, Shackelford S 17(3). 130 - 140 (Journal Article)

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Teleconsultation in Prolonged Field Care Position Paper

Vasios WN, Pamplin JC, Powell D, Loos PE, Riesberg J, Keenan S 17(3). 141 - 144 (Journal Article)

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To Cut or Not to Cut: That Is an Ultrasound Question!

Poston WH, Hampton K 17(3). 145 (Journal Article)

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Remote Dental Surgery as a Medical Civilian Assistance Program (MEDCAP): Helping Iraqi, Kurdish, and U.S. Forces Win Hearts and Minds in the Fight Against Daesh

Ferreira B 17(3). 148 - 150 (Journal Article)

Dr Ferreira discusses the work of the Humanitarian Aid and Security Forces (HASF) in providing volunteer dental services to a local Christian militia in Mosul, Iraq.

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Hepatitis E

Burnett MW 17(3). 114 - 115 (Journal Article)

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Tools to Assess and Reduce Injury Risk (Part 1)

Knapik JJ 17(3). 116 - 119 (Journal Article)

Many injuries are preventable. Useful tools are available that can aid in assessing injury risks and developing methods to reduce these risks. This is part 1 of a two-part article that will discuss these tools, which include the Haddon Matrix, the 10 Countermeasure Strategies, the Injury Control Process, and the Army Risk-Management Process. The Haddon Matrix is 3 ® 3 table that, across the top (columns), provides an approach to conceptualizing injury prevention and control through modifications of the human, equipment, and environment; and, across rows, thinking about injury prevention and control before, during, and after the injury-producing event. The basic premise of the 10 Countermeasure Strategies is that injuries are largely due to energy exchanges between a person and the external environment in such a way that body cannot properly avoid or absorb the energy and anatomic structures are damaged. The Countermeasure Strategies are (1) eliminating the hazard altogether, (2) reducing the amount of the hazard, (3) preventing release of the hazard, (4) modifying the rate or spatial distribution of the hazard, (5) separating in space or time the hazard and the individual, (6) separating the individual from the hazard using a barrier, (7) modifying the basic qualities of the hazard, (8) strengthening the individual to make them more resistant to damage, (9) countering the damage done, and (10) stabilizing, healing, and rehabilitating the individual. Part 2 of this series will discuss the injury control process and the Army risk management process.

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Carfentanil: A New and Often Unrecognized Threat

Cowles CE, Mitchell J, Stepp JE, Bewley VZ 17(3). 120 - 122 (Journal Article)

Law enforcement officers, whether working the streets or on narcotic detail, and even those who operate in strike teams, face a new danger from an old drug: carfentanil. Drug dealers seeking to increase profits cut this cheap synthetic drug into expensive heroin, providing an extreme high. As a potent synthetic opioid narcotic, it is finding its way to the streets of the United States and can pose a threat to life for law enforcement, first responders, and medical examiners.

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An Outbreak Investigation Report and Lessons Learned by Multinational Coalition Forces: October 2016, Baghdad, Iraq

Gorzelnik SA, Kephart LN, Miklos WE 17(3). 123 - 129 (Journal Article)

Background: Public health personnel from the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, conducted an outbreak investigation in response to many local cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness presenting to U.S. medical facilities. The investigation was conducted to identify the source of the illness, assess the extent of cases, and make recommendations to prevent similar outbreaks. Methods and Materials: For this retrospective cohort study, medical records and patient outbreak questionnaires were reviewed. A patient case, relative to the outbreak, was defined as any person who had developed a GI illness and presented for medical evaluation to either sick call or an emergency service at a diplomatic or military medical facility in Baghdad from 30 September to 12 October 2016. Results: A total of 123 people met the case definition. The most common presenting symptom was diarrhea (91% to 96% of cases). Other symptoms included abdominal cramps, fatigue, and headache. Most cases were military personnel (n =100). Salad was significantly associated with GI illness (70% of respondents). Five salad ingredients had significantly elevated levels of Escherichia coli. Conclusion: Mitigation strategies to reduce the probability of similar outbreaks include purchasing food solely from approved vendors or thoroughly cooking all foods, including fruits and vegetables.

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Atropine Eye Drops: A Proposed Field Expedient Substitute in the Absence of Atropine Autoinjectors

Calvano CJ, Enzenauer RW, Eisnor DL, Mazzoli RA 17(3). 81 - 83 (Journal Article)

Nerve agents are a threat to military and civilian health. The antidote, atropine sulfate, is delivered by autoinjector, which is a limited resource. We propose the use of 1% atropine ophthalmic solution (supplied commercially in 5mL or 15 mL bottles) via oral, ocular, and intranasal administration as an expedient substitute in austere environments.

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Chest Seal Placement for Penetrating Chest Wounds by Prehospital Ground Forces in Afghanistan

Schauer SG, April MD, Naylor JF, Simon EM, Fisher AD, Cunningham CW, Morissette DM, Fernandez JD, Ryan KL 17(3). 85 - 89 (Journal Article)

Background: Thoracic trauma represents 5% of all battlefield injuries. Communicating pneumothoraces resulting in tension physiology remain an important etiology of prehospital mortality. In addressing penetrating chest trauma, current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines advocate the immediate placement of a vented chest seal device. Although the Committee on TCCC (CoTCCC) has approved numerous chest seal devices for battlefield use, few data exist regarding their use in a combat zone setting. Objective: To evaluate adherence to TCCC guidelines for chest seal placement among personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Methods: We obtained data from the Prehospital Trauma Registry (PHTR). Joint Trauma System personnel linked patients to the Department of Defense Trauma Registry, when available, for outcome data upon reaching a fixed facility. Results: In the PHTR, we identified 62 patients with documented gunshot wound (GSW) or puncture wound trauma to the chest. The majority (74.2%; n = 46) of these were due to GSW, with the remainder either explosive-based puncture wounds (22.6%; n = 14) or a combination of GSW and explosive (3.2%; n = 2). Of the 62 casualties with documented GSW or puncture wounds, 46 (74.2%) underwent chest seal placement. Higher proportions of patients with medical officers in their chain of care underwent chest seal placement than those that did not (63.0% versus 37.0%). The majority of chest seals placed were not vented. Conclusion: Of patients with a GSW or puncture wound to the chest, 74.2% underwent chest seal placement. Most of the chest seals placed were not vented in accordance with guidelines, despite the guideline update midway through the study period. These data suggest the need to improve predeployment training on TCCC guidelines and matching of the Army logistical supply chain to the devices recommended by the CoTCCC.

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No Ordinary Sleeper Cell: Managing the Varied Problems of Plasmodium vivax Malaria

Jarvis J 17(3). 90 - 94 (Journal Article)

Plasmodium vivax malaria is an essential yet elusive target of tropical disease eradication efforts, and is the focus of this literature review. This review will reacquaint Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medics with the basic principles of malaria as context for understanding the several confounding issues particular to P. vivax infections. The review concludes with current malaria guidelines and malaria mitigation strategies.

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Humanitarian Struggle in Burma's Conflict Zones

Gyo M 17(3). 95 - 99 (Journal Article)

The Back Pack Health Worker Team (BPHWT), a community- based health organization, provides primary health care to ethnic people in conflict, remote, and internally displaced areas, in Burma (aka Myanmar), controlled by ethnic armed organizations fighting against the Burma government. Its services include both curative and preventative health care through a network of 1,425 health personnel including community health workers and village-embedded traditional birth attendants and village health workers. The BPHWT organizational and program model may prove useful to Special Operations medical actions in support of insurgent movements and conversely with a host nation's counterinsurgency strategies, which include the extension of its health services into areas that may be remote and/or inhabited by indigenous people and have insurgency potential. In the former respect, special attention is directed toward "humanitarian struggle" that uses health care as a weapon against the counterinsurgency strategies of a country's oppressive military.

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A Shift From Resilience to Human Performance Optimization in Special Operations Training: Advancements in Theory and Practice

Park GH, Messina LA, Deuster PA 17(3). 109 - 113 (Journal Article)

Within the Department of Defense over the past decade, a focus on enhancing Warfighter resilience and readiness has increased. For Special Operation Forces (SOF), who bear unique burdens for training and deployment, programs like the Preservation of the Force and Family have been created to help support SOF and their family members in sustaining capabilities and enhancing resilience in the face of prolonged warfare. In this review, we describe the shift in focus from resilience to human performance optimization (HPO) and the benefits of human performance initiatives that include holistic fitness. We then describe strategies for advancing the application of HPO for future initiatives through tailoring and cultural adaptation, as well as advancing methods for measurement. By striving toward specificity and precision performance, SOF human performance programs can impact individual and team capabilities to a greater extent than in the past, as well as maintaining the well-being of SOF and their families across their careers and beyond.

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A Comparison of Ventilation Rates Between a Standard Bag-Valve-Mask and a New Design in a Prehospital Setting During Training Simulations

Costello JT, Allen PB, Levesque R 17(3). 59 - 63 (Journal Article)

Background: Excessive ventilation of sick and injured patients is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Combat Medical Systems® (CMS) is developing a new bag-valve-mask (BVM) designed to limit ventilation rates. The purpose of this study was to compare ventilation rates between a standard BVM device and the CMS device. Methods: This was a prospective, observational, semirandomized, crossover study using Army Medics. Data were collected during Brigade Combat Team Trauma Training classes at Camp Bullis, Texas. Subjects were observed during manikin simulation training in classroom and field environments, with total duration of manual ventilation and number of breaths given recorded for each device. Analysis was performed on overall ventilation rate in breaths per minute (BPM) and also by grouping the subjects by ventilation rates in low, correct, and high groups based on an ideal rate of 10-12 BPM. Results: A total of 89 Medics were enrolled and completed the classroom portion of the study, with a subset of 36 evaluated in the field. A small but statistically significant difference in overall BPM between devices was seen in the classroom (ρ < .001) but not in the field (ρ >.05). The study device significantly decreased the incidence of high ventilation rates when compared by groups in both the classroom (ρ < .001) and the field (ρ = .044), but it also increased the rate of low ventilation rates. Conclusion: The study device effectively reduced rates of excessive ventilation in the classroom and the field.

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Evaluation of XSTAT® and QuickClot® Combat Gauze® in a Swine Model of Lethal Junctional Hemorrhage in Coagulopathic Swine

Cox JM, Rall JM 17(3). 64 - 67 (Journal Article)

Background: Hemorrhage is associated with most potentially survivable deaths on the battlefield. Effective and field-tested products are lacking to treat junctional and noncompressible injuries. XSTAT® is a newly developed, U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved product designed to treat junctional hemorrhage. The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care has recently approved the product for use as part of its treatment guidelines, but data are lacking to assess its efficacy in different wounding patterns and physiologic states. Methods: Dilutional coagulopathy was induced in 19 large (70-90kg), healthy, male swine by replacing 60% of each animal's estimated blood volume with room temperature Hextend ®. After dissection, isolation, and lidocaine incubation, uncontrolled hemorrhage was initiated by transection of both axillary artery and vein. Free bleeding was allowed to proceed for 30 seconds until intervention with either XSTAT or QuickClot® Combat Gauze® (CG) followed by standard backing. Primary outcomes were survival, hemostasis, and blood loss. Results: XSTAT-treated animals achieved hemostasis in less time and remained hemostatic longer than those treated with CG. Less blood was lost during the first 10 minutes after injury in the XSTAT group than the CG group. However, no differences in survival were observed between XSTAT-treated and CG-treated groups. All animals died before the end of the observation period except one in the XSTAT-treated group. Conclusion: XSTAT performed better than CG in this model of junctional hemorrhage in coagulopathic animals. Continued testing and evaluation of XSTAT should be performed to optimize application and determine appropriate indications for use.

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A Descriptive Analysis of Occupational Fatalities Due to Felonious Assault Among U.S. Law Enforcement Officers During Tactical Incidents, 1996-2014

Thompson MS, Hartman TM, Sztajnkrycer MD 17(3). 69 - 73 (Journal Article)

Introduction: Little is known about occupational fatalities among tactical officers. A greater understanding of such injuries is needed to improve officer safety. The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive analysis of line-of-duty deaths secondary to felonious assault during tactical incidents. Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed of open-source de-identified Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data inclusive of the years 1996-2014. Officers were included if the fatal injury occurred during operations by a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, fugitive task force, narcotics task force, or if the LEOKA narrative described the event as a tactical situation. Results: Of 1,012 officer deaths during the study period, 57 (5.6%) involved tactical officers. On average (± standard deviation), victim officers were 37.3 ± 7.8 years of age at the time of death, with 11.7 ± 6.6 years of law enforcement experience. High-risk warrant service accounted for 63.2% of fatalities. A single officer was killed in 91.2% of incidents; 49.1% of cases involved injuries to other officers. The majority of officers (59.6%) killed were the first officer(s) to enter the scene. The most commonly identified cause of death was head trauma (n = 28). Chest trauma accounted for 14 deaths; 10 (71.4%) sustained an entry wound via the ballistic vest armhole. Where recorded, 52.0% of officers died within the first hour of injury. The provision or nature of buddy care, tactical emergency medical services (EMS) care, or conventional EMS care was rarely noted. Conclusion: Tactical officer deaths most commonly occur during high-risk warrant service, and most often involve the first officer(s) to enter a scene, suggesting an opportunity for improved operational tactics. The frequency of fatal axillary penetration suggests the opportunity for ballistic protection redesign. Information is lacking regarding on-scene care, limiting the ability to determine optimal medical procedures for downed officers during tactical operations. Nearly 50% of victim officers survived more than 1 hour from time of injury, suggesting opportunities to intervene and potentially affect outcomes.

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Optimization of Simulation and Moulage in Military-Related Medical Training

Petersen C, Rush SC, Gallo I, Dalere B, Staak B, Moore L, Kerr W, Chandler M, Smith W 17(3). 74 - 80 (Journal Article)

Preparation of Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medics as first responders for the battle space and austere environments is critical to optimize survival and quality of life for our Operators who may sustain serious and complex wounding patterns and illnesses. In the absence of constant clinical exposure for these medics, it is necessary to maximize all available training opportunities. The incorporation of scenario-based training helps weave together teamwork and the ability to practice treatment protocols in a tactical, controlled training environment to reproduce, to some degree, the environment in and stressors under which care will need to be delivered. We reviewed the evolution of training scenarios within one Pararescue (PJ) team since 2008 and codified various tools used to simulate physical findings and drive medical exercises as part of scenario-based training. We also surveyed other SOF Medic training resources.

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Surgical Instrument Sets for Special Operations Expeditionary Surgical Teams

Hale DF, Sexton JC, Benavides LC, Benavides JM, Lundy JB 17(3). 40 - 45 (Journal Article)

Background: The deployment of surgical assets has been driven by mission demands throughout years of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The transition to the highly expeditious Golden Hour Offset Surgical Transport Team (GHOST- T) now offers highly mobile surgical assets in nontraditional operating rooms; the content of the surgical instrument sets has also transformed to accommodate this change. Methods: The 102nd Forward Surgical Team (FST) was attached to Special Operations assigned to southern Afghanistan from June 2015 to March 2016. The focus was to decrease overall size and weight of FST instrument sets without decreasing surgical capability of the GHOST-T. Each instrument set was evaluated and modified to include essential instruments to perform damage control surgery. Results: The overall number of main instrument sets was decreased from eight to four; simplified augmentation sets have been added, which expand the capabilities of any main set. The overall size was decreased by 40% and overall weight decreased by 58%. The cardiothoracic, thoracotomy, and emergency thoracotomy trays were condensed to thoracic set. The orthopedic and amputation sets were replaced with an augmentation set of a prepackaged orthopedic external fixator set). An augmentation set to the major or minor basic sets, specifically for vascular injuries, was created. Conclusion: Through the reorganization of conventional FST surgical instrument sets to maintain damage control capabilities and mobility, the 102nd GHOST-T reduced surgical equipment volume and weight, providing a lesson learned for future surgical teams operating in austere environments.

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