2015 Year in Review


The following is a letter from Sean sent out on our big email list.  If you’re not on the list don’t worry because it is posted here in it’s entirety.  The letter  highlights what we have done over the last year and, more importantly, what we have planned for the year to come, specifically  a whole day of Prolonged Field Care specific training

and lectures for SOMSA 2016 in Charlotte…   More to follow on that another time.   I would also like to highlight our continuing partnership with SOLCUS Edu Ultrasound training which will continue to bring unique and relevant ultrasound content to our guys on the ground.  Keep your questions, comments, AARs and pictures coming in by using the feedback box as many of of these have turned into great learning points and shape the priorities of the working group.


Happy New Year! I hope this message finds you well and that your upcoming year is fruitful, rewarding, and full of worthwhile challenges.We’ve had a great 12 months, as we completed a full 2 years since the Working Group was formed. After initiation of the website at SOMSA, December 2014, we have had almost 90,000 hits and over 1900 followers! Most all correspondence and updates are put out through the blogs and educational offerings on the website. Also, THANK YOU to SOMA for their continued support, and additional reference webpage on the main site.

We also receive a steady stream of comments through the website which we (the steering committee and others SMEs) try to answer quickly. Many of these comments are expressions of gratitude from medics, who are also looking for additional information to educate themselves and their units. This is good stuff! Some of these questions drive initiatives that we answer or push to higher (for instance: “What’s the deal with albumin?,” or “We need more info on the management of crush injuries…”).

It’s been a couple of months since my last update and here’s what’s happened:

-We had a PFC WG meeting at Fort Bragg in late October. From that, one of the main outcomes was that we were able to clearly define the problem set and articulate the operational needs to the Joint Trauma Service (JTS) from the Institute of Surgical Research (ISR). This is the same organization that brought you the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG’s) for forward surgical care and the organization that oversees the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). Our close working relationship now allows us to shape requirements for the Big Brains working to answer scientific questions directly to the SOF community.

-The online medical control and consultation service (Virtual Critical Care Consultation, or VC3) was stood up at San Antonio Military Medical Center at the Burn ICU/ISR. This is a 24/7 on-call service for US SOF personnel managing serious and critical casualties in austere settings. A memorandum announcing the service has been circulated through SOCOM channels.

-4 pre-hospital PFC Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are being developed. This came from knowledge gaps that we thought were best addressed by the JTS: Burn management; Crush syndrome; Traumatic Brain Injury; and Pain and Sedation Guidelines. As you can imagine, each will be pretty involved and will take multiple editors and re-writes, but we’re leveraging experienced SOF docs and medics, alongside the ISR researchers, to answer some tough questions and explore the known research. Where we can’t find the answers, we’re pushing for further research. These are the first pre-hospital CPGs that the JTS is tackling.

-“mini-SOMA” meeting in San Marcos, TX in mid-December: I was able to give a PFC “lessons learned” to the Big Army attendees. The presentation is posted on the website, but I again maintain the basics: without a sound foundation of TCCC, you won’t have a patient in a PFC situation. Stick with the basics. Prepare well and plan. Train, train, educate, and train.

-JSOM PFC section: a home for our peer-reviewed publications. If you’ve got good articles, case reports, or reviews, submit it! If you have a good idea for something and want to expand it but need some help, contact me and I’ll link you up with SMEs who can help.

UPCOMING AT SOMSA, May, 2016: We’ve been approved to host a full day pre-conference course of educational offerings. Our biggest challenge will be whittling down the high-value content to give our medics what they want, but in only 8 hours. Stay tuned for details as we develop the agenda and content.

If you have CASES to report (basically, field care managed for 4 or more hours in a pre-hospital setting), JTS is trying to collect any and all information. There is a report format that’s easy to complete. I’ve sent it out before, but PLEASE send info to the JTS team. This will help drive future requirements!

I’m excited by the continued interest in medical education and training. Send responses directly through me or through the website.

Frohes Neues Jahr! (..This is what Google Translate tells me is Happy New Year in German…)


SOMA website (for official references):http://www.specialoperationsmedicine.org/Pages/pfcresources.aspx


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