Efficacy of the Mnemonic Device "MARCH PAWS" as a Checklist for Pararescuemen During Tactical Field Care and Tactical Evacuation

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Kosequat J, Rush SC, Simonsen I, Gallo I, Scott A, Swats K, Gray CC, Mason B 17(4). 80 - 84 (Journal Article)

Background: The application of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) represents evidence-based medicine to improve survival in combat. Over the past several years, US Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) have expanded the mnemonic device "MARCH" to "MARCH PAWS" for use during tactical field care and tactical evacuation (TACEVAC). The mnemonic stands for massive bleeding, airway, respiration, circulation, head and hypothermia, pain, antibiotics, wounds, and splinting. We undertook this performance improvement project to determine the efficacy of this device as a treatment checklist. Methods: The mission reports of a 16-PJ combat rescue deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from January through June 2012 were reviewed. The triage category, mechanism of injury, injury, and treatments were noted. The treatments were then categorized to determine if they were included in MARCH PAWS. Results: The recorded data for missions involving 465 patients show that 45%, 48%, and 7%, were in category A, B, and C, respectively (urgent, priority, routine); 55% were battle injuries (BIs) and 45% were nonbattle injuries (NBIs). All treatments for BI were accounted for in MARCH PAWS. Only 9 patients' treatments with NBI were not in MARCH PAWS. Conclusion: This simple mnemonic device is a reliable checklist for PJs, corpsmen, and medics to perform TACEVAC during combat Operations, as well as care for noncombat trauma patients.

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