Advances in military resuscitation
Sharon Edwards Nursing officer, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, emergency department, DMG (SW), Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Jason Smith Surgeon Captain Royal Navy, consultant in emergency medicine, DMG (SW) Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (Research & Academia), Medical Directorate, Birmingham
Trauma is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, in civilian environments and on the battlefield. Trauma-induced haemorrhage is the principal cause of potentially preventable death, which is generally attributable to a combination of vascular injury and coagulopathy. Survival rates following severe traumatic injury have increased due to advanced trauma management initiatives and treatment protocols, influenced by lessons learned from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The use of tourniquets and intraosseous needles, early blood and blood product transfusion, administration of tranexamic acid in pre-hospital settings, and consultant-led damage control resuscitation incorporating damage control surgery have all played their part. All are quantified by trauma governance processes, including a robust trauma registry. Some of the lessons learned in combat are equally applicable to civilian environments, and this article describes several of the most important of these. It also gives an overview of advancements in UK military trauma management of severely injured combat casualties, honed over a decade of conflict.
Emergency Nurse. 24, 6, 25-29. doi: 10.7748/en.2016.e1630Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
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Received: 10 August 2016
Accepted: 17 August 2016