Podcast Episode 61: TBI Update with Dr. VanWyck


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Show Notes: Continue reading Podcast Episode 61: TBI Update with Dr. VanWyck

Podcast Episode 57: Snake Envenomation in Austere Environments

Dangerous snakes can be found both while training at home and far away while deployed. It may be a rare occurrence, but a catastrophic event when it does happen. Some austere providers may be aware of outdated treatments, and don’t know where to start when it comes to identification and management of a snake bite.

Feel free to ask yourselves these questions, or bring them up in a group discussion before listening to the podcast:

Continue reading Podcast Episode 57: Snake Envenomation in Austere Environments

INCIDENT REPORT and Example of Remedial Plan of Action


Why does it take the NY Times to identify and disseminate our medical lessons learned?!

How was this not immediately circulated to all medics internally the way parachute failure incidents and military vehicle accidents are?!

Why is there not an immediate safety stand down and retraining required?!

Don’t let Dunning-Kruger fool you. Any one of us could have been the initial medic, the receiving PJ or even the patient. Incidents like this can even occur here at hole in the firat world. Have you ever watched the Elain Bromily case?

Imagine if there were a proper incident report posted in every Command hallway, everytime there were a poor outcome experienced across the enterprise?

How much easier would it be to justify training and equipment needs with the penny pinchers, bean counters and check writers who were acutely aware of the actual risk to force?

If the article is accurate, this was a catastrophe for everyone involved. The lives of the patient, the family, the team and the medics are irreversibly altered.

Our last podcast was about High Reliability Organizations. A key hallmark of an High Reliability Organization involved in life and death operations is a preoccupation with failure. We cannot continue to bury our collective failures and must focus on identifying and fixing them all from an organizational level.

Here is a sample plan of action for organizational remedial training that I would do if I were a Senior Leader with medical personnel in my unit.

I personally challenge you to actually complete the following action items this week. If we do not learn from our collective failure we will repeat it until we do.

  • There should be immediate notification, reeducation and retraining for everyone followed by an improved initial and sustainment training plan. Battalion Surgeons, PAs Instructors and Senior Medics should ensure every single medic does the following:
  • Recieve(or Demand) the incident report and AAR from the Chain of Command the way other Saftey Stand Down incident reports are disseminated. -Post it for the entire unit to read next to the parachute failure incident.
  • As a small group, read and review the report and AAR.

  • Reread the guidelines and watch the videos freely available on the DeployedMedicine App


  • Ensure everyone immediately participates in hands-on table top training with whatever you currently have available or can easily construct.


-Be sure to discuss shortfalls and inaccuracies of your trainer.-Dont just focus on the single skill, discuss other options that could have led to a better outcome:

-‘Could different patient positioning have helped the situation?’
-‘How could the outcome have been different with various pharmacological adjuncts?’

-‘One of the things I have seen in small group training was to inject a hematoma just over the cricothyroid membrane. This makes it super messy and hard to identify landmarks which is usually a slam dunk training scar.’

-Ask Medics how well their non-Medics are trained to take care of them if it were them on that table?

  • Submit a WRITTEN request through multiple channels for proper equipment citing the article, incident report and TCCC guidelines as justification to your MEDLOG, S4, XO and anyone else who can affect the situation.

-Imagine if 10,000 requests were simultaneously submitted for similar equipment…

  • Identify training deficiencies in your immediate organization and actually make a WRITTEN request to your Command for additional remedial training to be included in future non-medical training.

-Attach the article to the request.

  • Identify equipment deficiencies and again, submit a WRITTEN request through multiple channels for proper equipment citing the article, incident report and TCCC guidelines as justification to your MEDLOG, S4, XO and anyone else who can affect the situation.

-Do you have Super Glottic Airways in every aidbag and IFAK? An Emma Capnograph would have helped identify the false passage instantly.

These are just a few things an HRO can EASILY and IMMEDIATELY accomplish. What else can you do to ensure this death of our brother is not in vain?

Podcast Episode 55: JJ and Dennis on HROs. Part 1

The principles of High Reliability Organizations are necessary in those professions where mistakes can cost lives. The airline industry is the classic example and referenced many times in the articles below. Others included are those that could result in massive loss of life such as power plants, refineries, and many industrial chemical plants. Ideally, health care organizions including operational medical programs should also fall in this category. We have a long way to go but the more of us who underatand the principles of HROs, the closer we can get to truly defining our profession in this way.

Principle #1: Preoccupation with Failure

Principle #2: Reluctance to Simplify

Principle #3: Sensitivity to Operations

Principle #4: Commitment to Resilience

Principle #5: Deference to Expertise

Listen to the podcast and read more in the resources below to really understand what this all means…

Element Rescue Quick Reference Guide: Operational Reliability

The Purpose of High Reliability Organizations Daved Van Stralen, MD

High Reliability Organizing and Leadership
Daved van Stralen, MD

Organizing for Transient Reliability:
The Production of Dynamic
Karl E. Weick

Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

Managing the Unexpected

Jacksonville Florida
February 28, 2005
Karl Weick
Kathleen Sutcliffe

Download the episode here!

Podcast Episode 54: SOP for the Ideal SF Clinic?

While no single clinic setup will work for every situation, a common baseline and checklist can make it far easier in customizing a clinic in similar circumstances. This is not professed to be THE way but it is A way in which ONE experienced team has created, tested, revised and rehearsed a clinic with different casualties. Their pictures and diagrams are provided in the hopes that this audience will help refine and finalize a common baseline which any medic can use in he future. Please leave comments on your thoughts.

Continue reading Podcast Episode 54: SOP for the Ideal SF Clinic?

Podcast Episode 53: Ventilating in the Prone?!

What happens when your patient has been given a cric or intubated but continues to decline… SpO2 continues to slowly drop despite taking control of the airway. You have placed your patient on a ventilator and slowly adjusted the PEEP up to 20cmH20… which quickly leads to hypotension. Do you go lower? Higher? Change volume or rate? You are out of bottled O2 and your oxygen concentrator does not seem to have much effect. The SpO2 continues dropping. Telemedicine is not available. You try positioning the patient by sitting them up. You try a couple other recruitment maneuvers you heard about.

Nothing is working.

What would Doug do?

Prone the patient???

Continue reading Podcast Episode 53: Ventilating in the Prone?!

Version 22 of The Prolonged Field Care Card

We have been training teams in various settings over many years and have noticed that there are two categories of care that emerge during prolonged care: Those that react to stimuli and chase their tails and those that have a plan and follow it. Of course this happens on a spectrum Continue reading Version 22 of The Prolonged Field Care Card

Podcast Episode 52: Walking the Fence of Evidence, Environment and Experience with a word on Proning

After a few discussions with JJ who has also appeared in several Element Rescue podcasts, Doug and Dennis talk about using evidence based medicine whenever possible and what to do when no prospective randomized controlled trials exist

Continue reading Podcast Episode 52: Walking the Fence of Evidence, Environment and Experience with a word on Proning

Podcast Episode 51: Tropical Medicine Considerations with CAPT Ryan Maves

Not all PFC is trauma.  Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya and others will take you out of the fight if given the chance.  In this episode CAPT Ryan Maves talks about some of the more concerning and prevalent diseases encountered by deployed military personnel and partner forces and what you can do about it before an infection becomes debilitating or life threatening.

A few things to remember from the episode:

  • History and assessment are key in identifying tropical diseases. Remember to consider both history of exposures as well as the accompanying syndromes in formulating a differential diagnoses.
  • Malaria treatment consists of Malerone, Coartem or both.
  • No one dies without Doxycycline!

Improving Far Forward Care

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