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Salmonella Infections Including Typhoid Disease

Burnett MW 14(1). 96 - 98 (Journal Article)

It is estimated that more than 20 million cases of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi and 6 million cases of paratyphoid disease occur worldwide annually, with typhoid disease alone causing more than 200,000 deaths. The clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and vaccination guidelines are discussed.

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Operational Stressors on Physical Performance in Special Operators and Countermeasures to Improve Performance: A Review of the Literature

O'Hara R, Henry A, Serres J, Russell D, Locke R 14(1). 67 - 78 (Journal Article)

Objective: Military training in elite warfighters (e.g., U.S. Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, and U.S. Air Force Battlefield Airmen) is challenging and requires mental and physical capabilities that are akin to that of professional athletes. However, unlike professional athletes, the competitive arena is the battlefield, with winning and losing replaced by either life or death. The rigors of both physical training and prolonged deployments without adequate rest and food intake can compromise physical performance. Therefore, the primary purpose of this effort was to identify occupational stressors on the physical performance of Special Operators during training and while on missions. The secondary purpose was to suggest specific countermeasures to reduce or prevent significant decrements in physical performance and reduce musculoskeletal injuries. Methods: A search of the literature for 2000-2012 was performed using the Air Force Institute of Technology search engines (i.e., PubMed and ProQuest). There were 29 articles located and selected that specifically addressed the primary and secondary purposes of this literature review. The remaining 32 of 61 referenced articles were reviewed after initial review of the primary literature. Conclusions: This review indicates that operational stress (e.g., negative energy balance, high-energy expenditure, sleep deprivation, environmental extremes, heavy load carriage, etc.) associated with rigorous training and sustained operations negatively affects hormonal levels, lean muscle mass, and physical performance of Special Operators. The number of musculoskeletal injuries also increases as a result of these stressors. Commanders may use simple field tests to assess physical decrements before and during deployment to effectively plan for missions. Specific countermeasures for these known decrements are lacking in the scientific literature. Therefore, future researchers should focus on studying specific physical training programs, equipment, and other methods to minimize the effects of operational stress and reduce recovery time. These countermeasures could prevent mission mishaps and may save the lives of Special Operators during severe operational stress.

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Effects of Intraosseous and Intravenous Administration of Hextend® on Time of Administration and Hemodynamics in a Swine Model

Johnson D, Dial J, Ard J, Yourk T, Burke E, Paine C, Gegel B, Burgert J 14(1). 79 - 85 (Journal Article)

Introduction: The military recommends that a 500mL bolus of Hextend® be administered via an intravenous (IV) 18-gauge needle or via an intraosseous (IO) needle for patients in hypovolemic shock. Purposes: The purposes of this study were to compare the time of administration of Hextend and the hemodynamics of IV and IO routes in a Class II hemorrhage swine model. Methods: This was an experimental study using 27 swine. After 30% of their blood volume was exsanguinated, 500mL of Hextend was administered IV or IO, but not to the control group. Hemodynamic data were collected every 2 minutes until administration was complete. Results: Time for administration was not significant (p = .78). No significant differences existed between the IO and IV groups relative to hemodynamics (p > .05), but both were significantly different than the control group (p < .05). Conclusions: The IO route is an effective method of administering Hextend.

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Evaluation of Contingency Telemedical Support to Improve Casualty Care at a Simulated Military Intermediate Resuscitation Facility: The EM-ANGEL Study

Gerhardt RT, Berry J, Mabry RL, Flournoy L, Arnold RG, Hults C, Robinson JB, Thaxton RA, Cestero R, Heiner JD, Koller AR, Cox KM, Patterson JN, Dalton WR, McKeague AL, Gilbert G, Manemeit C, Adams BD 14(1). 50 - 57 (Journal Article)

Objective: We sought to determine whether Contingency Telemedical Support (CTS) improves the success rate and efficiency of primary care providers performing critical actions during simulated combat trauma resuscitation. Critical actions included advanced airway, chest decompression, extremity hemorrhage control, hypothermia prevention, antibiotics and analgesics, and hypotensive resuscitation, among others. Background: Recent studies report improved survival associated with skilled triage and treatment in the out-of-hospital/preoperative phase of combat casualty care. Historically, ground combat units are assigned primary care physicians and physician assistants as medical staff, due to resource limitations. Although they are recognized as optimal resuscitators, demand for military trauma surgeons and emergency physicians exceeds supply and is unlikely to improve in the near term. Methods: A prospective trial of telemedical mentoring during a casualty resuscitation encounter was studied using a high-fidelity patient simulator (HFPS). Subjects were randomized and formed into experimental (CTS) or control teams. CTS team leaders were equipped with a headset/microphone interface and telementored by a combat-experienced emergency physician or trauma surgeon. A standardized, scripted clinical scenario and HFPS were used with 14 critical actions. At completion, subjects were surveyed. Statistical approach included contingency table analysis, two-tailed t-test, and correlation coefficient. This study was reviewed and approved by our institutional review board (IRB). Results: Eighteen CTS teams and 16 control teams were studied. By intention-to-treat ITT analysis, 89% of CTS teams versus 56% of controls completed all life-threatening inventions (LSIs) (p < .01); 78% versus 19% completed all critical actions (p < .01); and 89% versus 56% established advanced airways within 8 minutes (p < .06). Average time to completion in minutes (95% confidence interval [CI] 95) was 12 minutes (10-14) for CTS versus 18 (16-20) for controls, with 75% of control teams not completing all critical actions. Conclusion: In this model, real-time telementoring of simulated trauma resuscitation was feasible and improved accuracy and efficiency of non-emergency-trained resuscitators. Clinical validation and replicated study of these findings for guiding remote damage control resuscitation are warranted.

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Clinical Relevance of Optimizing Vitamin D Status in Soldiers to Enhance Physical and Cognitive Performance

Wentz LM, Eldred JD, Henry MD, Berry-Caban CS 14(1). 58 - 66 (Journal Article)

Vitamin D deficiency initiates a loss of combat effectiveness by impairing physical and cognitive functioning of combat Operators. Synthesized in response to sunlight and consumed in the diet, vitamin D functions as a hormone and regulates gene expression for nearly 300 genes throughout the human body. These target genes are involved processes essential to combat operations, such as immune function, response to stress, inflammation, and regulation of calcium movement. Since widespread vitamin D deficiency is observed across the U.S. population, poor vitamin D status is expected in Servicemembers. Physical conditions linked to vitamin D deficiency include increased risk for muscle or bone injury, muscle weakness, and reduced neuromuscular function. Hormonally, vitamin D levels have been positively correlated with testosterone levels. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with cognitive decline, depression, and may prolong recovery following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Since vitamin D deficiency elevates systemic inflammation, poor vitamin D status at the time of brain injury may prolong the inflammatory response and exacerbate postconcussive symptoms. Furthermore, veterans with mTBI experience chronic endocrine dysfunction. While vitamin D status has not been assessed post-mTBI, it is plausible that vitamin D levels are altered along with testosterone and growth hormone, raising the question of whether vitamin D deficiency results from trauma-related hormonal abnormalities or whether vitamin D deficiency increases the risk for endocrine dysfunction. Through its association with testosterone production, vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since testosterone levels are altered in veterans with PTSD. Therefore, vitamin D status has a significant impact on Operator health and performance. Supplementing vitamin D to deficient Operators provides a noninvasive and low-cost intervention to maintain combat force.

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Prehospital Emergency Care: Evaluation of the Junctional Emergency Tourniquet Tool With a Perfused Cadaver Model

Gates K, Baer L, Holcomb JB 14(1). 40 - 44 (Journal Article)

Objective: Junctional bleeding from the groin is a leading cause of potentially preventable death on the battlefield. To address this problem, a novel device called the Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT™) was developed. The JETT was designed to stabilize pelvic ring fractures while controlling lower extremity bleeding sustained during high-energy traumatic events on the battlefield and in the civilian environment. Our purpose was to assess the effectiveness of the JETT in the control of simulated life threatening hemorrhage from proximal injuries in the groin of a perfused cadaver. Methods: The JETT was compared with the standard issue combat tourniquet and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared junctional hemorrhage control clamp (CRoC™) in a perfused human cadaver model. The JETT's ability to stop pulsatile flow at the common femoral artery was assessed through proximal aorta and distal measurements of arterial flow rates and pressures. Results: In three cadavers, when the JETT or the CRoC was applied in the groin, there was an immediate cessation of fluid flow from the common femoral artery while the inlet flow aortic pulsatile pressure was maintained. However, the time to bilateral application of the JETT was faster (10 seconds vs. 68 seconds) than bilateral sequential application of two CRoC devices. Conclusions: The JETT is a single device capable of effectively and quickly controlling bilateral lower extremity junctional hemorrhage at normal physiological blood pressures.

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The Cric-Key™ and Cric-Knife™: A Combined Tube-Introducer and Scalpel-Hook Open Cricothyrotomy System

Levitan RM 14(1). 45 - 49 (Journal Article)

The author describes a cricothyrotomy system that consists of two devices that, packaged together, are labeled the Control-Cric™ system. The Cric-Key™ was invented to verify tracheal location during surgical airway procedures- without the need for visualization, aspiration of air, or reliance on clinicians' fine motor skills. The Cric-Knife™ combines a scalpel with an overlying sliding hook to facilitate a smooth transition from membrane incision to hook insertion and tracheal control. In a recent test versus a traditional open technique, this system had a higher success rate and was faster to implement.

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Emergency Tourniquet Effectiveness in Four Positions on the Proximal Thigh

Kragh JF, Wallum TE, Aden JK, Dubick MA, Baer DG 14(1). 26 - 29 (Journal Article)

Objective: The purpose of the present study is to determine the performance of tourniquet use by the placement of the tourniquet's windlass on the extremity in four positions-medial, lateral, anterior, and posterior-to inform tourniquet instructors and develop best tourniquet practices. Methods: A HapMed™ Leg Tourniquet Trainer was used as a manikin to test the effectiveness of an emergency tourniquet, the Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet. Two users made 10 tests, each in four positions. Results: Effectiveness rates of tourniquet use were 100% in all four positions. The two tourniquet users were both right-hand dominant and used their right hand to turn the windlass. One user turned the windlass clockwise, and the other turned it counterclockwise. The association between time to stop bleeding and tourniquet position was statistically significant but associations between time to stop bleeding and the user, user-by-position, and windlass turn number were not statistically significant. The association between tourniquet position and pressure under the tourniquet was statistically significant, and the association between user and pressure under the tourniquet was statistically significant, but the user-by-position and windlass turn number were not statistically significant. The associations between tourniquet position and blood loss volume, user and blood loss volume, and user-by-position and blood loss volume were statistically significant. Conclusions: The present study found that tourniquet effectiveness rates were uniformly 100% irrespective of whether the windlass position was medial, lateral, anterior, or posterior. These excellent clinical and statistical results indicate that users may continue to place the tourniquets as they prefer upon the proximal thigh.

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ReSTART: A Novel Framework for Resource-Based Triage in Mass-Casualty Events

Mills AF, Argon NT, Ziya S, Hiestand B, Winslow J 14(1). 30 - 39 (Journal Article)

Objective: Current guidelines for mass-casualty triage do not explicitly use information about resource availability. Even though this limitation has been widely recognized, how it should be addressed remains largely unexplored. The authors present a novel framework developed using operations research methods to account for resource limitations when determining priorities for transportation of critically injured patients. To illustrate how this framework can be used, they also develop two specific example methods, named ReSTART and Simple- ReSTART, both of which extend the widely adopted triage protocol Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) by using a simple calculation to determine priorities based on the relative scarcity of transportation resources. Methods: The framework is supported by three techniques from operations research: mathematical analysis, optimization, and discrete-event simulation. The authors' algorithms were developed using mathematical analysis and optimization and then extensively tested using 9,000 discrete-event simulations on three distributions of patient severity (representing low, random, and high acuity). For each incident, the expected number of survivors was calculated under START, ReSTART, and Simple-ReSTART. A web-based decision support tool was constructed to help providers make prioritization decisions in the aftermath of mass-casualty incidents based on ReSTART. Results: In simulations, ReSTART resulted in significantly lower mortality than START regardless of which severity distribution was used (paired t test, ρ < .01). Mean decrease in critical mortality, the percentage of immediate and delayed patients who die, was 8.5% for low-acuity distribution (range -2.2% to 21.1%), 9.3% for random distribution (range -0.2% to 21.2%), and 9.1% for high-acuity distribution (range -0.7% to 21.1%). Although the critical mortality improvement due to ReSTART was different for each of the three severity distributions, the variation was less than 1 percentage point, indicating that the ReSTART policy is relatively robust to different severity distributions. Conclusions: Taking resource limitations into account in mass-casualty situations, triage has the potential to increase the expected number of survivors. Further validation is required before field implementation; however, the framework proposed in here can serve as the foundation for future work in this area.

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Fresh Whole Blood Transfusion for a Combat Casualty in Austere Combat Environment

Cordova CB, Cap AP, Spinella PC 14(1). 9 - 12 (Case Reports)

There are many challenges to treating life-threatening injuries for a healthcare provider deployed to a remote location in a combat setting. Once conventional treatment protocols for exsanguinating hemorrhage have been exhausted and no medical evacuation platform is available, a nonconventional method of treatment to consider is a fresh whole blood (FWB) transfusion. A FWB transfusion can be a life-saving or life-prolonging intervention in the appropriate setting. The authors present the case of a combat casualty in hypovolemic shock and coagulopathy with delayed medical evacuation to a surgical team. While the ultimate outcome was death in this case report, the patient arrived to a surgical team 15 hours after his injury, alert and oriented. In this scenario, FWB transfusion gave this patient the best chance of survival.

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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.)

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Erythema Ab Igne

Gregory JF, Beute TC 13(4). 115 - 119 (Journal Article)

Erythema ab igne is a reticulated, erythematous, hyperpigmented dermatosis resulting from chronic mild to moderate heat exposure. The authors present two cases of erythema ab igne, one from a hot water bottle to treat chronic low back pain and another from a heated automobile seat. They review other reported etiologies and highlight scenarios in which military medical providers may encounter erythema ab igne.

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Experience in Treating Combat Burns in Afghanistan by Using Silver-Nylon Dressing

Pozza M, Matthew P, Lunardi F 14(1). 1 - 5 (Case Reports)

Background: On the battlefield, insidious and devastating weapons like the improvised explosive device (IED) rapidly emit extreme heat (thousands of degrees), create a shock wave (overpressure) that can hurl bodies long distances (inducing secondary fall lesions), and deliver thousands of pieces of shrapnel over hundreds of meters. Materials and Methods: Very often, Soldiers injured by an IED blast are inside their vehicle. Subsequently, they are exposed to the thermal effects of the blast. Frequently, these patients have complex wounds that consist of extensive burn areas, bone fractures, and internal organ lesions. The use of silver-nylon burn wrap dressing is widely documented for its bactericidal properties. Silverlon® Burn Dressings is an elastic bandage made of nylon and plated with pure metallic silver. Results: In summer 2008, in a U.S. advanced Role 2 facility, two U.S. Soldiers with extensive second- and third-degree burn injuries were successfully treated with the use of Silverlon Burn Dressings and Silverlon® Burn Gloves. Conclusions: From this experience emerged the ease of use silver-nylon dressing in treating badly burned Soldiers on the battlefield.

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Articulating Tractical Traction Splint Use on Pulseless Forearm Fracture

Schwartz DS 14(1). 6 - 8 (Journal Article)

An articulating tactical traction splint (REEL™ Tactical Traction Splint), commonly issued to U.S. military per-sonnel, was used to maintain traction in a pulseless fore-arm fracture during a confined space rescue, with good peripheral perfusion maintained through transport. This enabled a single rescuer to focus attention and provide care for other critical aspects of a multisystem trauma patient.

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Tactical Medicine in Response to Acts of Terrorism

Tang N, Kelen GD 13(4). 109 - 110 (Journal Article)

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Pertussis

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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Management of Junctional Hemorrhage in Tactical Combat Casualty Care: TCCC Guidelines-Proposed Change 13-03

Kotwal RS, Butler FK, Gross K, Kheirabadi BS, Baer DG, Dubick MA, Rasmussen TE, Weber MA, Bailey JA 13(4). 85 - 93 (Journal Article)

The vast majority of combat casualties who die from their injuries do so prior to reaching a medical treatment facility. Although most of these deaths result from nonsurvivable injuries, efforts to mitigate combat deaths can still be directed toward primary prevention through modification of techniques, tactics, and procedures and secondary prevention through improvement and use of personal protective equipment. For deaths that result from potentially survivable injuries, mitigation efforts should be directed toward primary and secondary prevention as well as tertiary prevention through medical care with an emphasis toward prehospital care as dictated by the fact that the preponderance of casualties die in the prehospital environment. Since the majority of casualties with potentially survivable injuries died from hemorrhage, priority must be placed on interventions, procedures, and training that mitigate death from truncal, junctional, and extremity exsanguination. In response to this need, multiple novel and effective junctional tourniquets have recently been developed.

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Tactical Emergency Casualty Care-Pediatric Appendix: Novel Guidelines for the Care of the Pediatric Casualty in the High-Threat, Prehospital Environment

Bobko JP, Lai TT, Smith R, Shapiro G, Baldridge T, Callaway DW 13(4). 94 - 107 (Journal Article)

Background: Active shooter events and active violent incidents are increasingly targeting civilians, placing children at heightened risk for complex and devastating trauma. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified as a priority preparing domestic first responders to manage complex mass casualty incidents as a primary step in strengthening our medical system. Existing literature suggests that many prehospital providers are uncomfortable treating critically ill or injured pediatric patients and that there is a gap in the consistent provision of high-quality trauma care to these patients. The success of threat-based care developed by the military has led to an exponential rise in the familiarity and utilization of these concepts within certain specialized elements of civilian care. Evolution of these concepts is accelerating to meet the demands of the nonmilitary civilian environment through the formation and subsequent work of the Committee for Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC). However, a gap remains in the available literature describing the application of these principles to specialized populations. Methods: In the absence of an evidence-based set of guidelines for prehospital care of the pediatric casualty, the C-TECC sought to establish a set of peer-reviewed guidelines to serve as a foundation describing current best practices. The Pediatric Working Group (PWG) utilized the adult TECC guidelines as a starting point and identified a series of key questions regarding trauma interventions. The PWG conducted a standard PubMed search to identify key relevant or potentially relevant literature. The literature review was presented to the C-TECC Guidelines Committee for review and approval of recommended principles. Recommendations: Given the dearth of supporting literature on the subject, the TECC committee was purposefully conservative in the adaptation of the adult TECC guidelines to a pediatric standard. The guidelines highlight information tailored to the pediatric population and were designed to be a resource for individual agencies seeking guidance for high-threat operations. To our knowledge, the TECC Pediatric Appendix is the first published recommendation for the widespread use of tourniquets in pediatric hemorrhage. In addition, the Guidelines are meant to highlight gaps in trauma literature and stimulate discussion regarding future research in the area of prehospital care of the pediatric casualty.

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Cessation of Vital Signs Monitored During Lethal Hemorrhage: A Swine Study

Bodo M, Pearce FJ, Tsai MD, Garcia A, vanAlbert S, Armonda R 13(4). 63 - 75 (Journal Article)

Introduction: Two challenges of trauma triage are to identify wounded who are in danger of imminent death and to enable medics to determine if resuscitation is possible when making "dead or alive" decisions on the battlefield. Hemorrhagic shock is the leading cause of death in combat injuries. The purpose of this study was to establish the sequence of vital sign cessation during lethal hemorrhage in swine. Our hypothesis was that brain electrical activity (electroencephalography [EEG]) and respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death than traditional modalities measured during triage, such as heart electrical activity (electrocardiography [ECG]) and blood pressure. Methods: Lethal hemorrhage was induced in anesthetized Yorkshire pigs. Vital sign modalities measured were respiration, heart electrical activity (ECG), heart sound, blood pressure (systemic arterial pressure), and brain electrical activity (EEG). Results: The sequence of vital sign cessation was (1) respiration, (2) brain electrical activity (EEG), (3) heart sound, (4) blood pressure, and (5) heart electrical activity (ECG). Cessation of respiration occurred at approximately the same time that brain electrical activity stopped ("flatlined") for 2 seconds and then resumed briefly before cessation; cessation of heart electrical activity occurred almost 8 minutes later. Conclusions: A 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration are useful event markers to indicate an opportunity to prevent irreversible brain damage from lethal hemorrhage. Since the 2-second EEG flatline and final respiration occur about 8 minutes before cessation of heart electrical activity (ECG), EEG and final respiration are earlier indicators of imminent death. The use of deployable noninvasive brain monitors implementing these findings can be live-saving on the battlefield as well is in civilian environments.

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U.S. Military Experience With Junctional Wounds in War From 2001 to 2010

Kragh JF, Dubick MA, Aden JK, McKeague AL, Rasmussen TE, Baer DG, Blackbourne LH 13(4). 76 - 84 (Journal Article)

Background: In 2012, we reported on junctional wounds in war, but only of the few injuries that were critically severe. Objective: The purpose of the present study is to associate a wide range of junctional wounds and casualty survival over a decade in order to evidence opportunities for improvement in trauma care within a large healthcare system. Methods: We retrospectively surveyed data from a military trauma registry. We associated survival and injuries at the junction of the trunk and appendages in the current war (2001 to 2010). Results: The junctional injury rate rose 14-fold from 0%, its minimum in 2001, to 5%, its maximum in 2010. Of the 833 casualties with junctional injury in the study, the survival rate was 83%; its change was not statistically significant over time. Most casualties had severe extremity injuries and associated injuries of other body regions such as the face and head. Conclusions: Junctional injury is common, severe, disabling, and lethal. The findings of this study may increase awareness of junctional injury. Opportunities for improvement which we identified included further research on the future addition of junctional codes (such as neck diagnoses) in order to align research methods to clinical care.

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