Feasibility of Electronic Stethoscope for En Route and Combat Casualty Care
Technical Report,01 Jan 2017,30 Sep 2018
USAFSAM/FHE Wright-Patterson AFB United States
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In the En Route and Combat Casualty Care environments, occupational stressors can complicate the ability to perform medical interventions which are often used in civilian ground healthcare facilities. Conventional stethoscopes are the primary diagnostic tool for patient assessment and triage, but during aeromedical transport high noise limits the ability to auscultate patients to assess cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems for clinically relevant abnormalities. To address this gap, this research effort aimed to investigate the feasibility of an electronic stethoscope designed for high noise environments during flights on En Route and Combat Casualty Care transport vehicles. Six Pararescue providers and three Aeromedical Evacuation providers performed cardiopulmonary auscultation on two mock patients using an electronic stethoscope on the HH-60G, and C-130H airframes, respectively. The nine providers assessed the stethoscope using a questionnaire and provided feedback about the usability and applicability of the stethoscope within the En Route and Combat Casualty Care environments. Results from the study highlighted the feasibility of an electronic stethoscope for use in high noise military environments such as En Route and Combat Casualty Care and provided recommendations for future research efforts. The ability to accurately identify clinical irregularities using an essential diagnostic tool and medically intervene when necessary may reduce the number of preventable deaths from the battlefield and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.
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