Implementation and Evaluation of Tactical Combat Casualty Care for Army Aviators.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Introduction

The importance of developing military strategies to decrease preventable death by mitigating hemorrhage and reducing time between the point of injury and surgical intervention on the battlefield is highlighted in previous studies. Successful implementation of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) throughout elements of the USA and allied militaries begins to address this need. However, TCCC implementation is neither even nor complete in the larger, conventional force. Army Aviators are at risk for preventable death as they do not receive prehospital care training and are challenged to render prehospital care in the austere environment of helicopter operations. Army aviators are at risk for preventable death due to the challenges to render prehospital care in the austere environment of helicopter operations. Helicopters often fly at low altitudes, engage in direct action in support of ground troops, operate at a great distance from medical facilities, typically do not have medical personnel onboard, and can have long wait times for medical evacuation services due to the far forward nature of helicopter operations.

Materials and methods

This is a quality improvement pre-post-intervention design study evaluating the implementation of a combat casualty care training program for Army aviators using well-established evidence-based guidelines for providing care to casualties on the battlefield. The evaluation consisted of participants' self-perceived confidence in providing care to a casualty and change in knowledge level in combat casualty care in a pre/post-intervention design. Clinical skills of tourniquet application, nasopharyngeal airway placement, and needle chest decompression were assessed on a pass/fail grading standard.

Results

A total of 18 participants completed the pre- and post-education surveys. A paired t-test showed a statistically significant increase in total composite scores from pre (M = 24.67, SD = 5.06) to post-education self-efficacy (M = 37.94, SD = 2.10), t (17) = -11.29, p < 0.001. A paired t-test revealed a significant increase in exam scores from pre (M = 70.22, SD = 9.43) to post (M = 87.78, SD = 7.19), t (17) = -7.31, p < 0.001. There was no pre-intervention skills assessment, however, all participants (n = 18, 100%) passed the tourniquet application, needle chest compression, and insertion of nasopharyngeal airway.

Conclusion

TCCC for Army Aviators is easily implemented, demonstrates an increase in knowledge and confidence in providing prehospital care, and provides effective scenario-based training of necessary psychomotor skills needed to reduce preventable death on the battlefield. TCCC for Army Aviators effectively takes the TCCC for All Combatants curriculum and modifies it to address the unique considerations in treating wounded aviators and passengers, both in flight and after crashes. This project demonstrates on a small scale how TCCC can be tailored to specific military jobs in order to successfully meet the intent of the upcoming All Service Member TCCC course mandated in DoD 1322.24. Beyond Army aviation, this program is easily modifiable for aviators throughout the military and civilian sector.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Scott, SM; Carman, MJ; Zychowicz, ME; Shapiro, ML; True, NA

Published Date

  • August 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 185 / 7-8

Start / End Page

  • e1271 - e1276

PubMed ID

  • 32314785

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-613X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0026-4075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/milmed/usz491

Language

  • eng