Introduction: The Prehospital Trauma Registry (PHTR) captures after-action reviews (AARs) as part of a continuous performance improvement cycle and to provide commanders real-time feedback of Role 1 care. We have previously described overall challenges noted within the AARs. We now performed a focused assessment of challenges with regard to hemodynamic monitoring to improve casualty monitoring systems. Materials and Methods: We performed a review of AARs within the PHTR in Afghanistan from January 2013 to September 2014 as previously described. In this analysis, we focus on AARs specific to challenges with hemodynamic monitoring of combat casualties. Results: Of the 705 PHTR casualties, 592 had available AAR data; 86 of those described challenges with hemodynamic monitoring. Most were identified as male (97%) and having sustained battle injuries (93%), typically from an explosion (48%). Most were urgent evacuation status (85%) and had a medical officer in their chain of care (65%). The most common vital sign mentioned in AAR comments was blood pressure (62%), and nearly one-quarter of comments stated that arterial palpation was used in place of blood pressure cuff measurements. Conclusions: Our qualitative methods study highlights the challenges with obtaining vital signs - both training and equipment. We also highlight the challenges regarding ongoing monitoring to prevent hemodynamic collapse in severely injured casualties. The U.S. military needs to develop better methods for casualty monitoring for the subset of casualties that are critically injured.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health