Prehospital Anemia Care A Review of Symptoms, Evaluation, and Management

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Rankin CJ, Fetherston T, Ballentine CD, Adams B, Long B, Carius BM 22(2). 69 - 74 (Journal Article)

The ongoing evolution of prehospital medical care continues to advance beyond immediate triage care. Prehospital care is even more important to consider in theaters with extended evacuation times and limited local medical assets. Although blood loss is often associated with settings of acute traumatic hemorrhage in military medicine, the possibility for other hematologic compromise necessitating urgent action requires medics operating in these environments to have a fundamental knowledge of the pathophysiology, manifestations, and stabilization measures of anemia to aid their patients prior to, or in lieu of, evacuation. Continued development of and access to point-of-care testing in increasingly forward-deployed settings further enable medics to perform these tasks. Here, we provide a brief review of hemoglobin function and composition, and presentation and management considerations of anemia, to assist medics in their treatment efforts. We also address specific concerns for battlefield and atraumatic presentations.

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