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Acute blood loss represents a leading cause of death in both civilian and battlefield trauma, despite the prioritization of massive hemorrhage control by well-adopted trauma guidelines. Current Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) guidelines recommend the application of a tourniquet to treat life-threatening extremity hemorrhages. While extremely effective at controlling blood loss, the proper application of a tourniquet is associated with severe pain and could lead to transient loss of limb function impeding the ability to self-extricate or effectively employ weapons systems. As a potential alternative, Innovative Trauma Care (San Antonio, Texas USA) has developed an external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp that could potentially provide effective hemorrhage control without the aforementioned complications and loss of limb function. Thus, this study sought to investigate the effectiveness of blood loss control by an external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp versus a compression tourniquet.
The external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp would be non-inferior at controlling intravascular fluid loss after damage to the femoral and popliteal arteries in a normotensive, coagulopathic, cadaveric lower-extremity flow model using an inert blood analogue, as compared to a compression tourniquet.
Using a fresh cadaveric model with simulated vascular flow, this study sought to compare the effectiveness of the external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp versus the compression tourniquet to control fluid loss in simulated trauma resulting in femoral and posterior tibial artery lacerations using a coagulopathic, normotensive, cadaveric-extremity flow model. A sample of 16 fresh, un-embalmed, human cadaver lower extremities was used in this randomized, balanced two-treatment, two-period, two-sequence, crossover design. Statistical significance of the treatment comparisons was assessed with paired t-tests. Results were expressed as the mean and standard deviation (SD).
Mean intravascular fluid loss was increased from simulated arterial wounds with the external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp as compared to the compression tourniquet at the lower leg (119.8mL versus 15.9mL; P <.001) and in the thigh (103.1mL versus 5.2mL; P <.001).
In this hemorrhagic, coagulopathic, cadaveric-extremity experimental flow model, the use of the external soft-tissue hemostatic clamp as a hasty hemostatic adjunct was associated with statistically significant greater fluid loss than with the use of the compression tourniquet.
Paquette R, Bierle R, Wampler D, Allen P, Cooley C, Ramos R, Michalek J, Gerhardt RT. External soft-tissue hemostatic clamp compared to a compression tourniquet as primary hemorrhage control device in pilot flow model study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):175–181
The “Stop the Bleed” campaign advocates for non-medical personnel to be trained in basic hemorrhage control. However, it is not clear what type of education or the duration of instruction needed to meet that requirement. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of a brief hemorrhage control educational curriculum on the willingness of laypersons to respond during a traumatic emergency.
This “Stop the Bleed” education initiative was conducted by the University of Texas Health San Antonio Office of the Medical Director (San Antonio, Texas USA) between September 2016 and March 2017. Individuals with formal medical certification were excluded from this analysis. Trainers used a pre-event questionnaire to assess participants knowledge and attitudes about tourniquets and responding to traumatic emergencies. Each training course included an individual evaluation of tourniquet placement, 20 minutes of didactic instruction on hemorrhage control techniques, and hands-on instruction with tourniquet application on both adult and child mannequins. The primary outcome in this study was the willingness to use a tourniquet in response to a traumatic medical emergency.
Of 236 participants, 218 met the eligibility criteria. When initially asked if they would use a tourniquet in real life, 64.2% (140/218) responded “Yes.” Following training, 95.6% (194/203) of participants responded that they would use a tourniquet in real life. When participants were asked about their comfort level with using a tourniquet in real life, there was a statistically significant improvement between their initial response and their response post training (2.5 versus 4.0, based on 5-point Likert scale; P<.001).
In this hemorrhage control education study, it was found that a short educational intervention can improve laypersons’ self-efficacy and reported willingness to use a tourniquet in an emergency. Identified barriers to act should be addressed when designing future hemorrhage control public health education campaigns. Community education should continue to be a priority of the “Stop the Bleed” campaign.
RossEM, RedmanTT, MappJG, BrownDJ, TanakaK, CooleyCW, KharodCU, WamplerDA. Stop the Bleed: The Effect of Hemorrhage Control Education on Laypersons’ Willingness to Respond During a Traumatic Medical Emergency. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(2):127–132.
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