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Saving Lives on the Battlefield (Part 2) - One Year Later

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Final rept.

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The U.S. has achieved unprecedented survival rates, as high as 98, for casualties arriving alive to the combat hospital. Our military medical personnel are rightly proud of this achievement. Commanders and service members are confident that if wounded and moved to a Role II or III medical facility, their care will be the best in the world. Combat casualty care however, begins at the point of injury and continues through evacuation to those facilities. With up to 25 of deaths on the battlefield being potentially preventable, the pre-hospital environment is the next frontier for making significant further improvements in battlefield trauma care. Strict adherence to the evidence-based Tactical Combat Casualty Care TCCC Guidelines has been proven to reduce morbidity and mortality on the battlefield. However, full implementation across the entire force and commitment from both line and medical leadership continue to face ongoing challenges. This report on pre-hospital trauma in the Combined Joint Operations Area Afghanistan CJOA-A is a follow-on to the one previously conducted in November 2012 and published in January 2013. Both assessments were conducted by the US Central Command USCENTCOM Joint Theater Trauma System JTTS. Observations for this report were collected from December 2013 to January 2014 and were obtained directly from deployed prehospital providers, medical leaders, and combatant leaders. Significant progress has been made between these two reports with the establishment of a Pre-Hospital Care Division within the JTTS development of a pre-hospital trauma registry and weekly pre-hospital trauma conferences and CJOA-A theater guidance and enforcement of pre-hospital documentation. Specific pre-hospital trauma care achievements include expansion of transfusion capabilities forward to the point of injury, junctional tourniquets, and universal approval of tranexamic acid.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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