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Salmon Thrombin-Fibrinogen Dressing Allows Greater Survival and Preserves Distal Blood Flow Compared to Standard Kaolin Gauze in Coagulopathic Swine with a Standardized Lethal Femoral Artery Injury

Floyd CT, Rothwell SW, Risdahl J, Martin R, Olson CE, Rose N 12(2). 16 - 26 (Journal Article)

We have previously shown that lyophilized salmon thrombin and fibrinogen (STF) embedded in a dissolvable dextran dressing is as efficacious as Combat Gauze™ (CG) with regard to controlling hemorrhage and survival in non-coagulopathic swine with femoral artery lacerations. A major limitation of currently available advanced field dressings is the inability to control hemorrhage in coagulopathic casualties because of the exhaustion of host coagulation proteins. We tested the hypothesis that the STF dressing would be better able to control hemorrhage and prolong survival in coagulopathic swine compared to CG. Survival rate was 50% in CG-treated animals versus 90% in STF-treated animals. Survival time was significantly greater in STF-treated animals. Clots formed over the arterial injury in 100% of STF-treated animals compared to 0% in CG-treated animals (ρ < 0.001). STF-treated animals consumed less host coagulation factors, including platelets (ρ = 0.03). Survival after limb manipulation that simulated casualty evacuation was significantly higher with the STF dressing (ρ < 0.005). Angiographic observation of distal blood flow was seen twice as often with the STF dressing as with CG. The STF dressing allows a high survival rate, significantly greater survival time, and a significantly more stable dressing than CG in coagulopathic swine. The clot formed by the STF dressing also enables restoration of distal blood flow to the limb potentially resulting in higher limb salvage.

Preparedness for Resuscitation at a Geographically Isolated Army Troop Medical Clinic: Lessons From Camp Blanding, Florida

Studer NM, Horsley GW, Godbee DC 14(2). 14 - 19 (Journal Article)

Introduction: Many Servicemembers rely on nondeployed Role 1 facilities, such as troop medical clinics, as their primary source of healthcare. At geographically isolated military installations, these facilities are the "only game in town" for medical care. Servicemembers may present to these facilities with emergent conditions, regardless of designed intent of the facility or the wishes of staff. The U.S. Army Troop Medical Clinic, Camp Blanding is such a facility. Methods: The clinic was reorganized with a 5S approach, streamlining supply, equipment, and workflow processes. This was accomplished to allow the facility to not only improve its general delivery of care but also ensure capability to handle at least one medical or trauma resuscitation. Equipment, disposable supplies, documentation, and staff training were addressed.Results/ Discussion/ Conclusion: Despite facility intention, lack of supplies/equipment, or staff inexperience with emergency care, an acute ill or injured Servicemember must be stabilized at the nondeployed Role 1 facility while awaiting transport to a higher level of care. This expectation is the same as that of deployed Role 1 facilities. A cost-savings can also be realized when minor "emergencies" are handled in-house.

Lesions Arising in a Tattoo of an Active Duty US Marine Corps Woman

Winn AE, Rivard SC, Green B 16(2). 96 - 100 (Journal Article)

Tattoos are ubiquitous in modern society; however, they do not come without risk of medical complications. When complications arise in the military community, a particularly thorough differential diagnosis should be considered based on the increased exposures service members have during deployment and throughout their military career. We present a case of a 38-year-old active duty US Marine Corps woman with worsening skin lesions arising within a tattoo 6 weeks after acquiring the tattoo on her right chest. Given environmental exposures from a recent deployment to the Middle East, a wide differential was considered. Ultimately, a skin biopsy revealed early hypertrophic scar formation responsive to therapy with intralesional triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog® [ILK]). However, given the Marine had recently deployed and is part of the active duty population, consideration of alternative, albeit rare, etiologies was imperative.

An Evaluation of Common Cleaning Methods for the Removal of a Clinical Isolate of Escherichia coli in Personal Hydration System Water Reservoirs

Helmus S, Blythe J, Guevara P, Washington MA 16(2). 101 - 104 (Journal Article)

Waterborne infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Personal hydration packs have been used by military personnel since the Gulf War and are now a common issue item. Since military personnel tend to operate under austere conditions and may use a variety of water sources, preventing the acquisition of waterborne infections is extremely important. Further, since hydration pack water reservoir replacements may not be available during combat operations, the development of a reliable cleaning protocol for use in the field is essential. Several methods for cleaning have been described. In the current study, three common cleaning methodologies-bleach treatment, baking soda treatment, and proprietary CAMELBAK Cleaning Tabs™-were evaluated for the ability to remove Escherichia coli contamination from hydration pack water reservoirs. The study results suggest that the use of bleach and proprietary CAMELBAK tablets should be encouraged since they both operate by releasing bactericidal chlorine compounds into solution, which is more effective at reducing post-treatment bacterial burden. It should be noted that no method was 100% effective at completely eliminating bacteria from the reservoirs and that mechanical cleaning was not attempted.

Graduate Medical Education in Tactical Medicine and the Impact of ACGME Accreditation of EMS Fellowships

Tang N, Levy MJ, Margolis AM, Woltman N 17(1). 101 - 104 (Journal Article)

Physician interest in tactical medicine as an area of professional practice has grown significantly over the past decade. The prevalence of physician involvement in terms of medical oversight and operational support of civilian tactical medicine has experienced tremendous growth during this timeframe. Factors contributing to this trend are multifactorial and include enhanced law enforcement agency understanding of the role of the tactical physician, support for the engagement of qualified medical oversight, increasing numbers of physicians formally trained in tactical medicine, and the ongoing escalation of intentional mass-casualty incidents worldwide. Continued vigilance for the sustenance of adequate and appropriate graduate medical education resources for physicians seeking training in the comprehensive aspects of tactical medicine is essential to ensure continued advancement of the quality of casualty care in the civilian high-threat environment.

Special Forces Medical Sergeants' Perceptions and Beliefs Regarding Their Current Medical Sustainment Program: Implications for the Field

Wilson RL, DeZee KJ 14(4). 59 - 69 (Journal Article)

Background: Special Forces Medical Sergeants (SFMS) are trained to provide trauma and medical care in support of military operations and diplomatic missions throughout the world with indirect physician oversight. This study assessed their perceptions of the current program designed to sustain their medical skills. Methods: An Internet-based survey was developed using the constructs of the Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior and validated through survey best practices. Results: Of the 334 respondents, 92.8% had deployed at least once as an SFMS. Respondents reported spending 4 hours per week sustaining their medical skills and were highly confident that they could perform their duties on a no-notice deployment. On a 5-point, Likerttype response scale, SFMS felt that only slight change is needed to the Special Operations Medical Skills Sustainment Course (mean: 2.17; standard deviation [SD]: 1.05), while moderate change is needed to the Medical Proficiency Training (mean: 2.82; SD: 1.21) and nontrauma modules (mean: 3.02; SD: 1.22). Respondents desire a medical sustainment program that is provided by subject matter experts, involves actual patient care, incorporates new technology, uses hands-on simulation, and is always available. Conclusions: SFMS are challenged to sustain their medical skills in the current operational environment, and barriers to medical training should be minimized to facilitate sustainment training. Changes to the current medical sustainment program should incorporate operator-level perspectives to ensure acceptability and utility but must be balanced with organizational realities. Improving the medical sustainment program will prepare SFMS for the challenges of future missions.

The Operational Canine and K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Initiative

Palmer LE, Maricle R, Brenner J 15(3). 32 - 38 (Journal Article)

Background: Approximately 20% to 25% of traumarelated, prehospital fatalities in humans are due to preventable deaths. Data are lacking, however, on the nature and the prevalence of operational canine (OC) prehospital deaths. It is plausible that OCs engaged in high-threat operations are also at risk for suffering some type of preventable death. Tactical Combat Casualty Care has significantly reduced human fatality rates on the battlefield. Standardized guidelines specifically for prehospital trauma care have not been developed for the OC caregiver. An initiation has been approved by the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care to form a K9-Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) working group to develop such guidelines. Significance: The intent of the K9-TECC initiative is to form best practice recommendations for the civilian high-risk OC caregiver. These recommendations are to focus on interventions that (1) eliminate the major causes of canine out-of-hospital preventable deaths, (2) are easily learned and applied by any civilian first responder, and (2) minimize resource consumption.

Early, Prehospital Activation of the Walking Blood Bank Based on Mechanism of Injury Improves Time to Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion

Bassett AK, Auten JD, Zieber TJ, Lunceford NL 16(2). 5 - 8 (Journal Article)

Balanced component therapy (BCT) remains the mainstay in trauma resuscitation of the critically battle injured. In austere medical environments, access to packed red blood cells, apheresis platelets, and fresh frozen plasma is often limited. Transfusion of warm, fresh whole blood (FWB) has been used to augment limited access to full BCT in these settings. The main limitation of FWB is that it is not readily available for transfusion on casualty arrival. This small case series evaluates the impact early, mechanism-of-injury (MOI)-based, preactivation of the walking blood bank has on time to transfusion. We report an average time of 18 minutes to FWB transfusion from patient arrival. Early activation of the walking blood bank based on prehospital MOI may further reduce the time to FWB transfusion.

Biofeedback Self-Regulation Training to Treat Post-Concussion Headache in a Special Operations Support Soldier

Jenkins CM 12(4). 24 - 27 (Journal Article)

Biofeedback assisted self-regulation training can be an effective treatment for post-concussion headaches. The following is an example of using biofeedback assisted self-regulation training as an intervention to treat posttrauma headaches in a Special Operations Forces (SOF) support soldier. This Soldier was a 23-year-old male who had suffered a concussion while off duty four months earlier and continued to experience headache. Threemodality biofeedback (temperature, surface electromyogram and skin conduction) was used to help the patient learn to self-regulate and control his headaches. This was accomplished over four visits over two weeks. This was a compressed timeline to allow him to deploy with his unit. This form of treatment can be a viable nonmedication based option for addressing post concussion headaches for deploying Soldiers.

Analgesia and Sedation Management During Prolonged Field Care

Pamplin JC, Fisher AD, Penny A, Olufs R, Rapp J, Hampton K, Riesberg J, Powell D, Keenan S, Shackelford S 17(1). 106 - 120 (Journal Article)

Avoiding Program-Induced Cumulative Overload (PICO)

Orr R, Knapik JJ, Pope R 16(2). 91 - 95 (Journal Article)

This article defines the concept of program-induced cumulative overload (PICO), provides examples, and advises ways to mitigate the adverse effects. PICO is the excessive cumulative physical workload that can be imparted to military personnel by a military training program with an embedded physical training component. PICO can be acute (accumulating within a single day) or chronic (accumulating across the entirety of the program) and results in adverse outcomes for affected personnel, including detrimental fatigue, performance degradation, injuries, or illness. Strategies to mitigate PICO include focusing administration and logistic practices during the development and ongoing management of a trainee program and implementing known musculoskeletal injury prevention strategies. More training is not always better, and trainers need to consider the total amount of physical activity that military personnel experience across both operational training and physical training if PICO is to be mitigated.

Risk Factors for Injuries During Airborne Static Line Operations

Knapik JJ, Steelman R 14(3). 95 - 97 (Journal Article)

US Army airborne operations began in World War II. Continuous improvements in parachute technology, aircraft exit procedures, and ground landing techniques have reduced the number of injuries over time from 27 per 1,000 descents to about 6 per 1,000 jumps. Studies have identified a number of factors that put parachutists at higher injury risk, including high wind speeds, night jumps, combat loads, higher temperatures, lower fitness, heavier body weight, and older age. Airborne injuries can be reduced by limiting risker training (higher wind speeds, night jumps, combat load) to the minimum necessary for tactical and operational proficiency. Wearing a parachute ankle brace (PAB) will reduce ankle injuries without increasing other injuries and should be considered by all parachutists, especially those with prior ankle problems. A high level of upper body muscular endurance and aerobic fitness is not only beneficial for general health but also associated with lower injury risk during airborne training.

What Can Be Done With Expired Pharmaceuticals? A Review Of Literature As It Pertains To Special Operations Force's Medics

Culbertson NT 11(2). 1 - 6 (Journal Article)

Over the past decade, increasing evidence suggests that pharmaceuticals may continue to be potent beyond their date of expiration. Despite this evidence, we have not yet experienced a change in United States federal policy that would recommend usage of expired pharmaceuticals. While the scientific community and federal regulators continue to study the matter, the medical community is often guilty of misunderstanding the nuances of the issue. As a result, many healthcare professionals misinform their peers and their patients on either the appropriateness or inappropriateness of taking expired medications. Even though both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not recommend the dosing of expired pharmaceuticals at this time, discussion of the issue is warranted in order to understand the potential behind some expired drugs and to encourage further research. This discussion is particularly relevant to the Special Operations medical community, since Special Operations Force's (SOF) medic s frequently encounter expired medication overseas. Given thei r unique sk ill set and working environ ment, the SOF medic should be familiar with the potential applications of expired medications, including their drawbacks.

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

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

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

A Soldier With an Exertional Heat Injury, Ischemic-Appearing Electrocardiogram, and Elevated Troponins: A Clinical Case Report

Schauer SG, Pfaff JA 17(1). 14 - 16 (Case Reports)

Heat injuries are a common occurrence in the military training setting due to both the physically demanding nature of the training and the environments in which we train. Testing is often done after the diagnosis of a heat injury to screen for abnormalities. We present the case of a 20-year-old male Soldier with an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) with a possible injury pattern and an elevated troponin level. He underwent a diagnostic cardiac angiogram, which demonstrated no abnormal findings. He was returned to duty upon recovery from the catheterization. Ischemic-appearing ECG and troponin findings may be noted after heat injury. In this case, it was not associated with any cardiac lesions.

Lighting Did Not Affect Self-application of a Stretch and Wrap Style Tourniquet

Wall PL, Welander JD, Sahr SM, Buising CM 12(3). 68 - 73 (Journal Article)

The objective was to determine the effects of darkness on self-application of a stretch and wrap style tourniquet. Methods: Following training and practice, 15 volunteers self-applied the Stretch, Wrap, and Tuck-Tourniquet (SWAT-T) to their leg, thigh, dominant forearm, and dominate arm. Proper application in lighted conditions was followed by the same applications in darkness. Proper stretch was determined by alteration of shapes printed on the tourniquet. Results: High rates of proper application and successful arterial occlusion (60 second Doppler signal elimination) occurred in darkness just as in lighted conditions (darkness: 56 proper and 60 successful of 60 applications, lighted: 57 proper and 53 successful of 60 applications). Lighting did not affect ease of application or discomfort. Males (8) and females (7) were similarly successful. Lower limb applications were predominantly rated easy (51 of 60). Upper limb applications had fewer easy ratings (15 easy, 32 challenging, 13 difficult ratings). Arterial occlusion took < 60 seconds in 112 of 113 successful applications; completion took < 60 seconds in 88 of all 120 applications. Upper limb applications took longer for completion. Conclusions: The SWAT-T stretch and wrap style tourniquet can be self-applied properly even in darkness. When properly applied, it can stop limb arterial flow.

Operational Point-of-Care Ultrasound Review: Low-Cost Simulators and Resources for Advanced Prehospital Providers

Ross EM, Deaton TG, Hurst N, Siefert J 15(1). 71 - 78 (Journal Article)

Prehospital ultrasound use is a relatively new skill set. The military noted the clear advantages of this skill set in the deployed setting and moved forward with teaching their advanced combat trauma medics skills to perform specific examinations. The training curriculum for Special Operations-level clinical ultrasound was created and adapted from training guidelines set forth by the American College of Emergency Physicians with a focus on the examinations relevant to the Special Operations community. Once providers leave the training environment, skill sustainment can be difficult. We discuss the relevant ultrasound exams for the prehospital setting. We address opportunities to improve point-of-care ultrasound skills through hands-on experience while in a fixed medical facility. Options for simulation-based training are discussed with descriptions for creating lowcost simulation models. Finally, a list of online resources is provided to review specific ultrasound examinations.

A Triple-Option Analgesia Plan for Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 13-04

Butler FK, Kotwal RS, Buckenmaier CC, Edgar EP, O'Connor KC, Montgomery HR, Shackelford S, Gandy JV, Wedmore I, Timby JW, Gross K, Bailey JA 14(1). 13 - 25 (Journal Article)

Although the majority of potentially preventable fatalities among U.S. combat forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq have died from hemorrhagic shock, the majority of U.S. medics carry morphine autoinjectors for prehospital battlefield analgesia. Morphine given intramuscularly has a delayed onset of action and, like all opioids, may worsen hemorrhagic shock. Additionally, on a recent assessment of prehospital care in Afghanistan, combat medical personnel noted that Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) battlefield analgesia recommendations need to be simplified-there are too many options and not enough clear guidance on which medication to use in specific situations. They also reported that ketamine is presently being used as a battlefield analgesic by some medics in theater with good results. This report proposes that battlefield analgesia be achieved using one or more of three options: (1) the meloxicam and Tylenol in the TCCC Combat Pill Pack for casualties with relatively minor pain who are still able to function as effective combatants; (2) oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC) for casualties who have moderate to severe pain, but who are not in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress and are not at significant risk for developing either condition; or (3) ketamine for casualties who have moderate to severe pain but who are in hemorrhagic shock or respiratory distress or are at significant risk for developing either condition. Ketamine may also be used to increase analgesic effect for casualties who have previously been given opioids (morphine or fentanyl.)

Fluid Resuscitation for Hemorrhagic Shock in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines Change 14-01 - 2 June 2014

Butler FK, Holcomb JB, Schreiber MA, Kotwal RS, Jenkins DA, Champion HR, Bowling F, Cap AP, Dubose JJ, Dorlac WC, Dorlac GR, McSwain NE, Timby JW, Blackbourne LH, Stockinger Z, Strandenes G, Weiskopf RB, Gross K, Bailey JA 14(3). 13 - 38 (Journal Article)

This report reviews the recent literature on fluid resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock and considers the applicability of this evidence for use in resuscitation of combat casualties in the prehospital Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) environment. A number of changes to the TCCC Guidelines are incorporated: (1) dried plasma (DP) is added as an option when other blood components or whole blood are not available; (2) the wording is clarified to emphasize that Hextend is a less desirable option than whole blood, blood components, or DP and should be used only when these preferred options are not available; (3) the use of blood products in certain Tactical Field Care (TFC) settings where this option might be feasible (ships, mounted patrols) is discussed; (4) 1:1:1 damage control resuscitation (DCR) is preferred to 1:1 DCR when platelets are available as well as plasma and red cells; and (5) the 30-minute wait between increments of resuscitation fluid administered to achieve clinical improvement or target blood pressure (BP) has been eliminated. Also included is an order of precedence for resuscitation fluid options. Maintained as recommendations are an emphasis on hypotensive resuscitation in order to minimize (1) interference with the body's hemostatic response and (2) the risk of complications of overresuscitation. Hextend is retained as the preferred option over crystalloids when blood products are not available because of its smaller volume and the potential for long evacuations in the military setting.


Burnett MW 13(4). 113 - 114 (Journal Article)

Background: Pertussis, a disease that has been well described since the Middle Ages, has a worldwide distribution and can infect all ages. It is caused by the gram-negative, pleomorphic bacillus Bordetella pertussis, which is transmitted from human to human via aerosolized droplets at close range. Descriptions such as the one-hundred day cough in Chinese and whooping cough in English, describe the severity of this disease seen in both the developed and the developing world.

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