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Select units in the military have improved combat medic training by integrating their functions into routine clinical care activities with measurable improvements in battlefield care. This level of integration is currently limited to special operations units. It is unknown if regular Army units and combat medics can emulate these successes. The goal of this project was to determine whether US Army combat medics can be integrated into routine emergency department (ED) clinical care, specifically medication administration.
This was a quality assurance project that monitored training of combat medics to administer parenteral medications and to ensure patient safety. Combat medics were provided training that included direct supervision during medication administration. Once proficiency was demonstrated, combat medics would prepare the medications under direct supervision, followed by indirect supervision during administration. As part of the quality assurance and safety processes, combat medics were required to document all medication administrations, supervising provider, and unexpected adverse events. Additional quality assurance follow-up occurred via complete chart review by the project lead.
During the project period, the combat medics administered the following medications: ketamine (n=13), morphine (n=8), ketorolac (n=7), fentanyl (n=5), ondansetron (n=4), and other (n=6). No adverse events or patient safety events were reported by the combat medics or discovered during the quality assurance process.
In this limited case series, combat medics safely administered parenteral medications under indirect provider supervision. Future research is needed to further develop this training model for both the military and civilian setting.
SchauerSG, CunninghamCW, FisherAD, DeLorenzoRA. A Pilot Project Demonstrating that Combat Medics Can Safely Administer Parenteral Medications in the Emergency Department. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):679–681.
To aid in preparation of military medic trainers for a possible new curriculum in teaching junctional tourniquet use, the investigators studied the time to control hemorrhage and blood volume lost in order to provide evidence for ease of use.
Models of junctional tourniquet could perform differentially by blood loss, time to hemostasis, and user preference.
In a laboratory experiment, 30 users controlled simulated hemorrhage from a manikin (Combat Ready Clamp [CRoC] Trainer) with three iterations each of three junctional tourniquets. There were 270 tests which included hemorrhage control (yes/no), time to hemostasis, and blood volume lost. Users also subjectively ranked tourniquet performance. Models included CRoC, Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT), and SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SJT). Time to hemostasis and total blood loss were log-transformed and analyzed using a mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) with the users represented as random effects and the tourniquet model used as the treatment effect. Preference scores were analyzed with ANOVA, and Tukey’s honest significant difference test was used for all post-hoc pairwise comparisons.
All tourniquet uses were 100% effective for hemorrhage control. For blood loss, CRoC and SJT performed best with least blood loss and were significantly better than JETT; in pairwise comparison, CRoC-JETT (P < .0001) and SJT-JETT (P = .0085) were statistically significant in their mean difference, while CRoC-SJT (P = .35) was not. For time to hemostasis in pairwise comparison, the CRoC had a significantly shorter time compared to JETT and SJT (P < .0001, both comparisons); SJT-JETT was also significant (P = .0087). In responding to the directive, “Rank the performance of the models from best to worst,” users did not prefer junctional tourniquet models differently (P > .5, all models).
The CRoC and SJT performed best in having least blood loss, CRoC performed best in having least time to hemostasis, and users did not differ in preference of model. Models of junctional tourniquet performed differentially by blood loss and time to hemostasis.
KraghJFJr, LunatiMP, KharodCU, CunninghamCW, BaileyJA, StockingerZT, CapAP, ChenJ, AdenJK3d, CancioLC. Assessment of Groin Application of Junctional Tourniquets in a Manikin Model. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(4):358–363.
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