Prehospital Battlefield Casualty Intervention Decision Cognitive Study

Marc A. Schweizer, David Wampler, Kevin Lu, Andrew S. Oh, Stephen J. Rahm, Nicholas M. Studer, Cord W. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Airway compromise is the third most common cause of preventable battlefield death. Surgical cricothyroidotomy (SC) is recommended by Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) guidelines when basic airway maneuvers fail. This is a descriptive analysis of the decision-making process of prehospital emergency providers to perform certain airway interventions. Methods: We conducted a scenario-based survey using two sequential video clips of an explosive injury event. The answers were used to conduct descriptive analyses and multivariable logistic regression models to estimate the association between the choice of intervention and training factors. Results: There were 254 respondents in the survey, 176 (69%) of them were civilians and 78 (31%) were military personnel. Military providers were more likely to complete TCCC certification (odds ratio [OR]: 13.1; confidence interval [CI]: 6.4-26.6; P-value < 0.001). The SC was the most frequently chosen intervention after each clip (29.92% and 22.10%, respectively). TCCC-certified providers were more likely to choose SC after viewing the two clips (OR: 1.9; CI: 1.2-3.2; P-value: 0.009), even after controlling for relevant factors (OR: 2.3; CI: 1.1-4.8; P-value: 0.033). Conclusions: Military providers had a greater propensity to be certified in TCCC, which was found to increase their likelihood to choose the SC in early prehospital emergency airway management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
StatePublished - Jan 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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