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Trauma- Focused Individual Training

Soldiers continue to die on today's battlefield just as they did during the Civil War. The standards of care applied to the battlefield have always been based on civilian care principals. These principals while appropriate for the civilian community often do not apply to care on the battlefield.

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Trauma- Focused Individual Training

Revised and Updated

January 2005

Trauma Focused Individual Training
"T-FIT"

Instructor Name:

Title:

Unit:

Introduction

Soldiers continue to die on today's battlefield just as they did during the Civil War. The standards of care applied to the battlefield have always been based on civilian care principals. These principals while appropriate for the civilian community often do not apply to care on the battlefield.

Introduction

Civilian medical trauma training is based on the following principles:

Emergency Medical Technicians

(EMT-B,I,P)

Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS)

Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)

Introduction

Tactical Combat Casualty Care has been approved by the American College of Surgeons and National Association of EMTs and is included in the Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support manual 5th edition.

Introduction

Three goals of TCCC

1. Treat the casualty

2. Prevent additional casualties

3. Complete the mission

Introduction

This approach recognizes a particularly important principle -

Performing the correct intervention at the correct time in the continuum of combat care. A medically correct intervention performed at the wrong time in combat may lead to further casualties

Introduction

Pre-hospital care continues to be critically important

Up to 90% of all combat deaths occur before a casualty reaches a Medical Treatment Facility (MTF)

Penetrating vs. Blunt trauma

Factors influencing combat casualty care

Enemy Fire

Medical Equipment Limitations

Widely Variable Evacuation Time

Factors influencing combat casualty care

Tactical Considerations

Casualty Transportation

STAGES OF CARE

Care Under Fire

Tactical Field Care

Combat Casualty Evacuation Care

Care Under Fire

"Care under fire" is the care rendered by the medic at the scene of the injury while he and the casualty are still under effective hostile fire. Available medical equipment is limited to that carried by the soldier or the medic in his aid bag.

Tactical Field Care

"Tactical Field Care" is the care rendered by the medic once he and the casualty are no longer under effective hostile fire. It also applies to situations in which an injury has occurred, but there has been no hostile fire. Available medical equipment is still limited to that carried into the field by medical personnel. Time to evacuation to a MTF may vary considerably.

Combat Casualty Evacuation Care

"Combat Casualty Evacuation Care" is the care rendered once the casualty has been picked up by an aircraft, vehicle or boat. Additional medical personnel and equipment may have been pre-staged and available at this stage of casualty management.

Care Under Fire

Care Under Fire

Medical personnel's firepower may be essential in obtaining tactical fire superiority. Attention to suppression of hostile fire may minimize the risk of injury to personnel and minimize additional injury to previously injured soldiers.

Care Under Fire

Personnel may need to assist in returning fire instead of stopping to care for casualties

Wounded soldiers who are unable to fight should lay flat and motionless if no cover is available or move as quickly as possible to any nearby cover

Care Under Fire

Medical personnel are limited and if injured no other medical personnel may be available until the time of extraction during the CASEVAC phase

No immediate management of the airway is necessary at this time due to movement of the casualty to cover

Care Under Fire

Control of hemorrhage is important since injury to a major vessel can result in hypovolemic shock in a short time frame

Over 2500 deaths occurred in Viet Nam secondary to hemorrhage from extremity wounds

Care Under Fire

Use of temporary tourniquets to stop the bleeding is essential in these types of casualties

Tourniquet

Care Under Fire

The need for immediate access to a tourniquet in such situations makes it clear that all soldiers on combat missions have a suitable tourniquet readily available at a standard location on their battle gear and be trained in its use.

Combat Application Tourniquet

Care Under Fire

Penetrating neck injuries do not require C-spine immobilization. Other neck injuries, such as falls over 15 feet, fast-roping injuries, or MVAs may require C-spine control unless the danger of hostile fire constitutes a greater threat in the judgment of the medic

Care Under Fire

Conventional litters may not be available for movement of casualties. Consider alternate methods to move casualties such as a SKED� or Talon II� litter. Smoke, CS, and vehicles may act as screens to assist in casualty movement.

Care Under Fire

Do not attempt to salvage a casualty's rucksack, unless it contains items critical to the mission

Take the patient's weapon and ammunition if possible to prevent the enemy from using it against you.

KEY POINTS

Return fire as directed or required

The casualty(s) should also return fire if able

Try to keep yourself from being shot

Try to keep the casualty from sustaining any additional wounds

Airway management is generally best deferred until the Tactical Field Care phase

Stop any life threatening hemorrhage with a tourniquet

Reassure the casualty

Tactical Field Care

Tactical Field Care

The Tactical Field Care phase is distinguished from the Care Under Fire phase by having more time available to provide care and a reduced level of hazard from hostile fire. The times available to render care may be quite variable.

Tactical Field Care

In some cases, tactical field care may consist of rapid treatment of wounds with the expectation of a re-engagement of hostile fire at any moment. In some circumstances there may be ample time to render whatever care is available in the field. The time to evacuation may be quite variable from 30 minutes to several hours.

Tactical Field Care

If a victim of a blast or penetrating injury is found without a pulse, respirations, or other signs of life,

Do Not attempt CPR

Casualties with altered mental status should be disarmed immediately, both weapons and grenades

Tactical Field Care

Initial assessment consists of

Airway

Breathing

Circulation

Tactical Field Care Airway

Open the airway with a jaw thrust maneuver, if unconscious insert a nasopharyngeal airway or Combitube, and place the casualty in the recovery position

Nasopharyngeal Airway

Tactical Field Care

Airway

If the casualty is unconscious with an obstructed airway, perform a surgical cricothyroidotomy

Tactical Field Care

Airway

Oxygen is usually not available in this phase of care

Tactical Field Care

Breathing

Traumatic chest wall defects should be closed with an occlusive dressing without regard to venting one side of the dressing or use an "Asherman Chest Seal�". Place the casualty in the sitting position if possible.

"Asherman Chest Seal"

Tactical Field Care Breathing

Progressive respiratory distress secondary to a unilateral penetrating chest trauma should be considered a tension pneumothorax and decompressed with a 14 gauge needle

Tension pneumothorax is the 2nd leading cause of preventable death on the battlefield

Tension Pneumothorax

Needle Chest Decompression

Tactical Field Care

Bleeding

Any bleeding site not previously controlled should now be addressed. Only the absolute minimum of clothing should be removed.

Tactical Field Care

Bleeding cont'd

Significant bleeding should be controlled using a tourniquet as described previously.

Once the tactical situation permits, consideration should be given to loosening the tourniquet and using direct pressure or hemostatic dressings (HemCon�) or hemostatic powder (QuikClot�) to control any additional hemorrhage

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Hold the foil over-pouch so that instructions can be read. Identify unsealed edges at the top of the over-pouch

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Peel open over-pouch by pulling the unsealed edges apart

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Trap dressing between bottom foil and non-absorbable green/black polyester backing with your hand and thumb

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Hold dressing by the non-absorbable polyester backing and discard the foil over-pouch. Hands must be dry to prevent dressing from sticking to hands.

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

Place the light colored sponge portion of the dressing directly to the wound area with the most severe bleeding. Apply pressure for 2 minutes or until the dressing adheres and bleeding stops. Once applied and in contact with the blood and other fluids, the dressing cannot be repositioned.

A new dressing should be applied to other exposed bleeding sites Each new dressing must be in contact with tissue where bleeding is heaviest. Care must be taken to avoid contact with the patient's eyes.

Chitosan Hemostatic Dressing

If dressing is not effective in stopping bleeding after 4 minutes, remove original and apply a new dressing. Additional dressings cannot be applied over ineffective dressing

Apply a battle dressing/bandage to secure hemostatic dressing in place

Hemostatic dressings should only be removed by responsible persons after evacuation to the next level of care

Tactical Field Care

IV

IV access must be gained next. The use of a single 18 gauge catheter is recommended, because of the ease of starting and also helps to conserve supplies.

A Heparin or saline lock-type access tubing should be used unless the patient needs immediate resuscitation.

Saline Lock

Saline Lock

Saline Lock

Saline Lock

Saline Lock

Tactical Field Care

IV

Medics should insure the IV is not started distal to a significant wound.

If unable to start an IV consideration should be given to starting a sternal I/O line to provide fluids

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

1000ml of Ringers Lactate (2.4lbs) will expand the intravascular volume by 250ml within 1 hour

500ml of 6% Hetastarch (trade name Hextend�, weighs 1.3lbs) will expand the intravascular volume by 800ml within 1 hour, and will sustain this expansion for 8 hours

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

Algorithm for fluid resuscitation

BP verses palpable radial pulse and mentation

Superficial wounds (>50% injured); no immediate IV fluids needed. Oral fluids should be encouraged.

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

Any significant extremity or truncal wound ( neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis)

1. If the soldier is coherent and has a palpable radial pulse, start a saline lock, hold fluids and reevaluate as frequently as the situation permits

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

2. Significant blood loss from any wound, and the soldier has no radial pulse or is not coherent-STOP THE BLEEDING- by whatever means available- tourniquet, direct pressure, hemostatic dressings, or hemostatic powder etc. Start 500ml of Hextend�. If mental status improves and radial pulse returns, maintain saline lock and hold fluids

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

3. If no response is seen give an additional 500ml of Hextend� and monitor vital signs. If no response is seen after 1000ml of Hextend�, consider triaging supplies and attention to more salvageable casualties

Tactical Field Care

Fluids

4. Because of coagulation concerns, no casualty should receive more than 1000 ml of Hextend�.

Tactical Field Care

Wounds

Dress wounds to prevent further contamination and help hemostasis

(Emergency Trauma Dressing�)

Check for additional wounds (exit)

Tactical Field Care

Pain Control

Able to fight

Bextra� 50 mg po qd

Acetaminophen 1000 mg po q6hr

Unable to fight

Morphine 5 mg IV / IO

Phenergan� 25mg IV, IM

Combat Pill Pack

Tactical Field Care

Pain Control

Pain control should be achieved by intravenous morphine, if possible

1. 5mg IV morphine may be given every 10 minutes until adequate pain control is achieved. If a saline lock is used it should be flushed with 5ml of sterile solution (saline, LR etc.) after morphine administration.

Tactical Field Care

Pain control

2. Insure some visible indication of time and amount of morphine given.

3. Soldiers who administer morphine should also be trained in its side effects and in the use of Naloxone

Tactical Field Care

Pain Control

Soldiers should avoid aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines while in a combat zone because of detrimental effects on hemostasis.

Tactical Field Care

Fractures

Splint fractures as circumstances allow, insuring pulse, motor, and sensory checks before and after splinting

Tactical Field Care

Antibiotics

Antibiotics should be considered in any wound sustained on the battlefield.

Tactical Field Care

Casualties who are awake and alert, Gatifloxacin 400 mg, one tablet Q day with increased fluids

Casualties who are unconscious, Cefotetan 2gms IV push over 3-5 minutes, may be repeated at 12 hour intervals.

Personnel with allergies to Fluoroquinolones or Cephalosporins, consider other broad spectrum antibiotics in the planning phase.

Casevac Care

Casevac Care

At some point in the operation the casualty will be scheduled for evacuation. Time to evacuation may be quite variable from minutes to hours.

Casevac

Casevac Care

There are only minor differences in care when progressing from the Tactical Field Care phase to the Casevac phase.

1. Additional medical personnel may accompany the evacuation asset and assist the medic on the ground. This may be important for the following reasons:

Casevac Care

The medic may be among the casualties

The medic may be dehydrated, hypothermic, or otherwise debilitated

Casevac Care

The Evac asset's medical equipment may need to be prepared prior to evacuation.

There may be multiple casualties that exceed the capability of the medic to care for simultaneously.

Casevac Care

2. Additional medical equipment can be brought in with the EVAC asset to augment the equipment the medic already has.

This equipment may include:

Casevac Care

Electronic monitoring equipment capable of measuring a patient's blood pressure, pulse, and pulse oximetry.

Oxygen should be available during this phase

Casevac Care

Ringers Lactate at a rate of 250ml per hour for patients not in shock should help to reverse dehydration.

Blood products may be available during this phase of care.

Summary

How people die in ground combat:

31% Penetrating Head Trauma

25% Surgically Uncorrectable Torso

Trauma

10% Potentially Correctable Surgical Trauma

Summary

9% Exsanguination from Extremity Wounds 1st

7% Mutilating Blast Trauma

5% Tension Pneumothorax 2nd

1% Airway Problems 3rd

12% Died of Wounds (Mostly infections and complications of shock)

Today < 5 %

Summary

Three categories of casualties on the battlefield

Soldiers who will do well regardless of what we do for them

Soldiers who are going to die regardless of what we do for them

Soldiers who will die if we do not do something for them Now (7-15%)

Summary

If during the next war you could do only two things, (1) put a tourniquet on and (2) relieve a tension pneumothorax then you can probably save between 70 and 90 percent of all the preventable deaths on the battlefield. COL Ron Bellamy

Summary

Medical care during combat differs significantly from the care provided in the civilian community. New concepts in hemorrhage control, fluid resuscitation, analgesia, and antibiotics are important steps in providing the best possible care to our combat soldiers.

Summary

These timely interventions will be the mainstay in decreasing the number of combat fatalities on the battlefield.

National Stock Numbers

One handed tourniquet 6515-01-504-0827

Hextend� Fluid 6505-01-498-8636

FAST 1� 6515-01-453-0960

Emergency Trauma Dressing� 6510-01-492-2275

HemCon Chitosan Dressing� 6510-01-502-6938

Sked Litter� 6530-01-260-1222

Talon II Litter� 6530-01-452-1651

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