INTRODUCTION: Hemorrhage is the leading cause of preventable death on the battlefield, and hemostasis is particularly challenging to achieve at junctional sites such as the axillary or inguinal regions. Mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear, as worn most recently in Syria to guard against chemical weapons, can make the performance of technical skills more challenging still. The objective of this study was to evaluate how wearing MOPP gear affects the application time of the SAM Medical Junctional Tourniquet (SJT) by U.S. Army combat medics. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective, randomized control trial evaluating time for SJT application between participants wearing MOPP versus those not wearing MOPP. Secondary outcomes included SJT application success rate and participant appraisal of SJT application difficulty assessed with five-point Likert items, between groups. Participants placed SJTs on robotic simulation mannequins with a penetrating inguinal injury. RESULTS: In April 2019, we enrolled 49 combat medics. Most participants were male (77.5%), had a median age of 25 (interquartile range 23-28), and in the grade of E4 or less (63.3%). Mean SJT application times in seconds were higher among those wearing MOPP versus those who were not (223.1 versus 167.2; 95% confidence interval for difference in means 5.293, 106.374; P = 0.03). Participants wearing MOPP had a less successful application rate overall, but this difference was not statistically significant (64.3% versus 81.0%, P = 0.34). Compared to participants not wearing MOPP, those wearing MOPP agreed that SJT application was difficult (4 versus 3, P = 0.03), what they were wearing affected SJT application (4 versus 2, P = 0.01), and it was difficult to use their hands during SJT application (4 versus 1, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Wearing military MOPP gear significantly prolongs the amount of time required for combat medics to apply an SJT on a simulated casualty with a penetrating inguinal injury. This study highlights the importance of incorporating MOPP gear into medical training scenarios to improve skills competency while wearing these protective garments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health