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Interoperable Readiness to Use Tourniquets by One's Familiarity With Different Models

Kragh JF, Aden JK, Dubick MA 19(4). 51 - 57 (Journal Article)

Background: We investigated interoperability for a first aid provider to perform simulated use of three tourniquet models of maximal, moderate, and minimal familiarity. Methods: The experiment was focused on the tourniquets used by an expert who rendered aid on a manikin by using three models of tourniquet with different extents of familiarity: The familiarity with Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T) was maximal; that for Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT) was moderate, and that for Military Emergency Tourniquet (MET) was minimal. Each model had a band-and-rod design. Interoperability changes as intermodel differences were beneficial or costly in that performances were improved or impaired in units of time, ease, blood, and pressure. Each model had 10 tests, and test order was randomized by model. The HapMed Leg Tourniquet Trainer simulated a limb amputation. Results: In comparison of interoperability burdens, sums of 10 test durations by model for C-A-T, SOFTT, and MET were 38, 77, and 64 minutes, respectively; C-A-T was fastest (p ≤ .002, both). The sums of times to stop bleeding for C-A-T, SOFTT, and MET were 334, 953, and 826 seconds, respectively; C-A-T was fastest (p ≤ .0013, both). The sums of blood losses for C-A-T, SOFTT, and MET were 2105, 3287, and 4256mL, respectively; that for C-A-T was least (p ≤ .0005, both). The mean ease of use differed, with C-A-T being easiest (p ≤ .0046, both). The mean pressure differed, with C-A-T being higher than SOFTT (p = .0073). Conclusions: Timesaving strongly favored the model with which the user had maximal familiarity. In theory and simulation, interoperability bears costs in successfully attaining it, in maintaining it, and in failing either. The user's familiarity with tourniquet model was associated with improved interoperability as seen by improved performances. If multiple models are fielded, then organizations may plan on extra spending, supplying, training, and managing.

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Leveraging Combat Casualty Reporting in the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command for Evidence-Based Changes in the ANASOC School of Excellence

Florance JM, Hicks M 19(4). 59 - 61 (Journal Article)

The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) uses several documents for casualty reporting. By analyzing these documents from a period of March to December 2018, the authors demonstrate the predominance of gunshot fatalities within ANASOC at approximately 63% of combat deaths and a high rate of prehospital death at approximately 97% of combat deaths. The data also demonstrate relatively few cases of long-term disability from ANASOC soldiers wounded in action. The authors used these conclusions to create a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) working group that recommended changes to the medical curriculum at the ANASOC School of Excellence. These recommendations centered on an increased emphasis on bleeding control to prevent death from hemorrhagic shock.

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A Case for Improvised Medical Training

Hetzler MR 19(4). 123 - 125 (Journal Article)

The hyperresourced, uber-controlled, ultrareactive, constant environment that we have come to know in the past 20 years should not be mistaken as the norm in conflict. In truth, unrealistic expectations of both commanders and systems in resourcing is presently being reinforced almost daily. Only in the past few years of this decade have the majority of allied forces experienced challenge in resupply and support in contingency operations. When logistical lines are cut, limited, or untimely, we must know and exercise other means of providing the highest level of medical care possible-if not with indigenous ways and means, then by improvisation. History has proved that improvised medicine can be capable, professional, and ethically sound if practiced properly and to standards, the price being time, education, and investment in the requirement. Most often, these are already time-honored means of care.

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2019 Recommended Limb Tourniquets in Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Montgomery HR, Hammesfahr R, Fisher AD, Cain JS, Greydanus DJ, Butler FK, Goolsby AM, Eastman AL 19(4). 27 - 50 (Journal Article)

Military and civilian trauma can be distinctly different but the leading cause of preventable trauma deaths in the prehospital environment, extremity hemorrhage, does not discriminate. The current paper is the most comprehensive review of limb tourniquets employable in the tactical combat casualty care environment and provides the first update to the CoTCCC-recommended limb tourniquets since 2005. This review also highlights the lack of unbiased data, official reporting mechanisms, and official studies with established criteria for evaluating tourniquets. Upon review of the data, the CoTCCC voted to update the recommendations in April 2019.

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"There I Was": A Cup of Improvisation

Hubbard B, Freeman C 19(4). 120 - 122 (Journal Article)

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Applying Swiss Armed Forces Training Didactics and Methodology for Tactical Combat Casualty Care Training

Anonymous A 19(4). 114 - 117 (Journal Article)

Some of the current methods of instruction used within international armed forces courses are not always goal oriented and satisfactory for both the teaching staff and the student. The Swiss Armed Forces approach presented here has been historically effective in preparing and sustaining national conscription with large numbers of recruits and new cadres every year.

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Could He Stay or Should He Go Now?

Hampton K, Van Humbeeck L 19(4). 118 (Journal Article)

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Severe Lower Body Swelling and Bacteremia Secondary to Shewanella algae Bacteremia During Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training

Bridwell RE, Carius BM, Oliver JJ 19(4). 19 - 21 (Case Reports)

Shewanella algae is a unique bacterium largely documented in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) with a wide range of presentations from gas-producing necrotizing fasciitis to osteomyelitis. Seawater exposure to lower extremity ulcers and wounds is most often correlated with infection, which has been documented in causing complications of bacteremia, sepsis, and infective endocarditis. Further complicating treatment is poor response to most empiric regimens prior to definitive diagnosis and an uneven response to antibiotics, including documented resistance to carbapenem. This case documents the presentation of a Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) training candidate who presented acutely for complaints of severe lower body swelling and abrasions during "Hell Week" and was found to have polymicrobial bacteremia with Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus, and S algae.

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United States Military Parachute Injuries: Part 2: Interventions Reducing Military Parachute Injuries in Training and Operations

Knapik JJ 19(4). 109 - 113 (Journal Article)

This is part 2 of an article detailing the reduction in airbornerelated injuries over time. Part 1 examined the early history of airborne operations and provided evidence for the reduction in injuries over time; part 2 discusses interventions associated with the decline in injury rates. In 1943 at the United States (US) Army Airborne School, data showed that injuries were substantially reduced from 120 to 18 injuries/1000 trainees. Credit for the reduction was given to development of the parachute landing fall (PLF), better supervision of students while in initial airborne training, intensive ground training prior to actual jumping, and elimination of dangerous and unnecessary training procedures (like practice jumps from 11-foot heights). Compared to the older T-10 parachute introduced in the 1950s, the newer T-11 parachute introduced in 2010 reduced injuries by 43% in operational training (9.1 vs 5.2 injuries/1000 jumps). In aircraft with jump doors on both sides, alternating jumps between the doors so that the jumpers exit at slightly different times reduced high-altitude and mid-altitude entanglement injuries by 85% (0.13 to 0.02 injury/ 1000 jumps). Data from six scientific studies involving more than 1,300,000 jumps and two systematic reviews indicated that the parachute ankle brace (PAB) reduced ankle injuries and ankle fractures by about half with an estimated return on investment of at least $7 in medical and personnel costs for every $1 spent on the PAB. However, the PAB is not currently used or even well-known within the airborne community because of a lack of acceptance and promotion. While some airborne injury-reducing innovations are discussed here it is likely that there have been others that have not been documented. It is important to detail these interventions so future paratroopers and leaders can better understanding their rationale and effectiveness.

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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.

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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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