Management of Acute Lung Injuries and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in the Tactical and Prolonged Field Care Setting

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Bagley GF, Ciochirca C 22(2). 104 - 109 (Journal Article)

The authors examine two acute lung injuries (ALI) that can occur in the tactical setting - positive pressure pulmonary edema and inhalation injury - as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), all of which can quickly progress in a prolonged field care (PFC) environment. These conditions present complex problems to emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU) teams worldwide, requiring intimate knowledge of their distinct disease pathophysiology and advanced critical care equipment. These challenges are compounded in the world of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) medic who often operates as the sole provider in environments with both limited resources and prolonged evacuation times. It is the hope of the authors that by breaking down these complex critical care topics and providing concrete guidance and treatment recommendations that we can ultimately improve the care SOF medics provide overseas in an austere operational environment.

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