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Trauma Center: Formateur pour la guerre ?

Skill sets and competencies for the modern military surgeon: Lessons from UK military operations in Southern Afghanistan

Ramassamy A. et Al. Injury. 2010 May;41(5):453-9.


British military forces remain heavily committed on combat operations overseas.UK military operations in Afghanistan (Operation HERRICK) are currently supported by a surgical facility at Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province,in the south of the country. There have been no large published series of surgical workload on Operation HERRICK. The aim of this study is to evaluate this information in order to determine the appropriate skill set for the modern military surgical team.


A retrospective analysis of operating theatre records between 1st May 2006 and 1st May 2008 was performed. Data was collated on a monthly basis and included patient demographics, operation type and time of operation.


During the study period 1668 cases required 2210 procedures. Thirty-two per cent were coalition forces (ISAF),27% were Afghan security forces (ANSF)and 39% were civilians. Paediatric casualties accounted for 14.7% of all cases. Ninety-three per cent of cases were secondary to battle injury and of these 51.3% were emergencies. The breakdown of procedures,by specialty, was 66% (1463) orthopaedic, 21% (465) general surgery, 6% (139) head and neck, 5% (104) burns surgery and a further (50) non-battle, non-emergency procedures. There was an almost twofold increase in surgical workload in the second year (1103 cases) compared to the first year of the deployment (565 caps e<s ,0.05).


Surgical workload over the study period has clearly increased markedly since the initial deployment of ISAF forces to Helmand Province. A 6-week deployment to Helmand Province currently provides an equivalent exposure to penetrating trauma as 3 years trauma experience in the UK NHS. The spectrum of injuries seen and the requisite skill set that the military surgeon must possess is outside that usually employed within the NHS. A number of different strategies; including the deployment of trainee specialist registrars to combat hospitals, more focused pre-deploymentmilitary surgery training courses, and wet-laboratory work are proposed to prepare for future generations of surgeons operating in conflict environments


Plaies crâniennes: Un avenir est possible !

Long-term outcomes of combat casualties sustaining penetrating traumatic brain injury

Weisbrod AB et Al. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012;73: 1525-1530


Une prise en charge agressive globale des traumatismes cranio-cérébraux permet le retour à une indépendance fonctionnelle. Leur prise en charge doit donc être parfaite dès la prise en charge et la prévention des acsos un leitmotiv.



Previous studies have documented short-term functional outcomes for patients sustaining penetrating brain injuries (PBIs). However, little is known regarding the long-term functional outcome in this patient population. Therefore, we sought to describe the long-term functional outcomes of combat casualties sustaining PBI.


Prospective data were collected from 2,443 patients admitted to a single military institution during an 8-year period from 2003 to 2011. PBI was identified in 137 patients and constitute the study cohort. Patients were stratified by age, Injury Severity Score (ISS) and admission Glasgow Coma Scale (aGCS) score. Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were calculated at discharge, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. Patients with a GOS score of 4 or greater were considered to have attained functional independence (FI).


The mean (SD) age of the cohort was 25 (7) years, mean (SD) ISS was 28 (9), and mean (SD) aGCS score was 8.8 (4.0). PBI mechanisms included gunshot wounds (31%) and blast injuries (69%). Invasive intracranial monitoring was used in 80% of patients, and 86.9% of the study cohort underwent neurosurgical intervention. Complications included cerebrospinal fluid leak (8.3%), venous thromboembolic events (15.3%), meningitis (24.8%), systemic infection (27.0%), and mortality (5.8%). The cohort was stratified by aGCS score and showed significant improvement in functional status when mean discharge GOS score was compared with mean GOS score at 2 years. For those with aGCS score of 3 to 5 (2.3 [0.9] vs. 2.9 [1.4], p G 0.01), 32% progressed to FI. For those with aGCS score of 6 to 8 (3.1 [0.7] vs. 4.0 [1.2], p G 0.0001), 63% progressed to FI. For those with aGCS score of 9 to 11 (3.3 [0.5] vs. 4.3 [0.8], p G 0.0001), 74% progressed to FI. For those with aGCS score of 12 to 15 (3.9 [0.7] vs. 4.8 [0.4], p G 0.00001), 100% progressed to FI.

CONCLUSION: Combat casualties with PBI demonstrated significant improvement in functional status up to 2 years from discharge, and a large proportion of patients sustaining severe PBI attained FI.

| Tags : crâne

Sauvetage au combat: Connaître et appliquer la procédure

Preventable deaths in trauma patients associated with non adherence to management guidelines

Marson CA et Al. Rev Bras Ter Intensiva. 2010; 22(3):220-228


Connaître, maîtriser chacune des composantes d'une procédure et les mettre en oeuvre est  un facteur de survie des blessés. Le respect de la procédure du sauvetage au combat apparait fondamental. Il est nécessaire de le rappeler.



Objectives: To evaluate patients treated for traumatic injuries and to identify adherence to guidelines recommendations of treatment and association with death. The recommendations adopted were defined by the committee on trauma of the American College of Surgeons in advanced trauma life support.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study conducted at a teaching hospital. The study population was victims of trauma ≥ 12 years of age with injury severity scores ≥ 16 who were treated between January 1997 and December 2001. Data collection was divided into three phases: pre-hospital, in-hospital, and post-mortem. The data collected were analyzed using EPI INFO.

Results: We analyzed 207 patients, 147 blunt trauma victims (71%) and 60 (29%) penetrating trauma victims. Trauma victims had a 40.1% mortality rate. We identified 221 non adherence events that occurred in 137 patients. We found a mean of 1.61 non adherence per patient, and it occurred less frequently in survivors (1.4) than in non-survivors (1.9; p=0.033). According to the trauma score and injury severity score methodology, 54.2% of deaths were considered potentially preventable. Non adherence occurred 1.77 times more frequently in those considered potentially preventable deaths compared to other non-survivors (95% CI: 1.12–2.77; p=0.012), and 92.9% of the multiple non adherence occurred in the first group (p=0.029).


Conclusions: Non adherence occurred more frequently in patients with potentially preventable deaths. Non adherence to guidelines recommendations can be considered a contributing factor to death in trauma victims and can lead to an increase in the number of potentially preventable deaths.


| Tags : procedure evdg


Retex 13/11/2015


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TXA: Interrogations

 Les études CRASH2 et MATTERS ont mis en évidence l'intérêt de l'emploi du TXA en traumatologie grave.

Il s'agit d'un dérivé de la lysine qui agit en se liant au plasminogène bloquant ainsi l'interaction plasminogène-fibrine, donc la fibrinolyse du caillot. Le TXA franchit la barrière sang-cerveau, diffuse dans le LCR et le globe oculaire

Persistent malgré tout quelques interrogations en matière d'innocuité persistent. Si l'étude crash2 n' pas montré de risque thromboembolique majeurs, ce n'est pas le cas d' l'étude MATTERS avec environ 10 fois plus d'épisodes thrombo-emboliques en cas d'usage de  TXA. Par ailleurs il est rapporté un risque d'hypotension lors de l'administration rapide de TXA et de convulsions lors de l'emploi de posologies élevées. Ceci ne remet pas en cause le recours précoce au TXA dont l'emploi ne doit pas être banalisé et respecter un certain nombre de règles: probabilité forte de coagulopathie traumatique notamment attesté par une hypotension sévère , 1ère dose le plus tôt possible (au mieux dans la première heure) et pas après 3h,  deuxième dose dans les 08h00, administration lente pour éviter hypotension, pas de surdosage facteur de crises convulsives, ne pas administrer en même temps/même ligne que du PLYO. 

Un certain nombre d'études complémentaires sont en cours:

1. L'étude  "Pre-hospital Antifibrinolytics for Traumatic Coagulopathy and Haemorrhage" a pour objectif d'affiner notre connaissance de l'emploi du TXA.

2.L'étude "Design of the Study of Tranexamic Acid during Air Medical Prehospital Transport (STAAMP) Trial: Addressing the Knowledge Gaps" a pour objet d'étuider la mortalité à 30 jours de traumatisés sévères pris en charge par medevac héliportées. 

3. L'étude "Tranexamic Acid Mechanisms and Pharmacokinetics In Traumatic Injury (TAMPITI Trial)"  vise quand à elle à confirmer un certain nombre d'hypothèses sur le mécanisme d'action.

Par ailleurs, le TXA n'est pas le seul antifibrinolyique utilisable.


Antifibrinolytic agents in current anaesthetic practice. Ortmann E. et Al. BJA 111 (4): 549–63 (2013).

Morrison JJ, Dubose JJ, Rasmussen TE, Midwinter MJ. Military Application of Tranexamic Acid in Trauma Emergency Resuscitation (MATTERs) Study. Arch Surg2012; 147: 113-119

Napolitano LM, Cohen MJ, Cotton BA, et al. Tranexamic acid in trauma: how should we use it? J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2013; 74: 1575-1586.

Pusateri AE, Weiskopf RB, Bebarta V, et al. Tranexamic acid and trauma: current status and knowledge gaps with recommended research priorities. Shock 2013; 39: 121-126

| Tags : coagulopathie


Maîtriser l'airway +++, entre autres

Augmentation of point of injury care: Reducing battlefield
mortality—The IDF experience

Benov A. et Al. Injury. 2015 Nov 18. pii: S0020-1383(15)00697-X. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2015.10.078.


Une publication particulièrement intéressante car elle émane de collègues militaires qui interviennent dans un contexte très particulier de prise en charge de blessés tels qu'on peut les rencontrer en opérations extérieures mai dans un contexte de réseau de traumatologie civile puisque que les hôpitaux de recueil de ces blessés sont les hôpitaux civils. Les données présentées ne portent que sur la prise en charge de combattants.

Un des points analysé est la performance des équipes dans certains gestes considérés comme essentiel, notamment la gestion des voies aériennes. Comme dans l'armée française l'intubation orotrachéale et la criciothyrotomie représentent les deux procédures mises en oeuvre par des médecins. Manifestement, il existe une grande maîtrise de la coniotomie alors que celle de l'Intubation est moins évidente: 41% de succès et une moyenne de 2 tentatives. Ceci reste problématique lorsque la prise en charge des blessés se fait loin d'un trauma center et qu'il faut envisager la gestion de ces voies aériennes et l'initiation d'une ventilation pendant plusieurs heures (jours ?). Pour ces raisons et même si la probabilité d'être confronté à une telle situation est faible, ce travail rapporte les 2/3 des blessés ne sont pas urgent et que 5% seulement des nécessitent un geste sur les voies aériennes, il s'agit d'un point fondamental en matière de réduction de morts indues.



In 2012, the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps (IDF-MC) set a goal of reducing mortality and eliminating preventable death on the battlefield. A force buildup plan entitled "My Brother's Keeper" was launched addressing: trauma medicine, training, change of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), injury prevention, data collection, global collaboration and more. The aim of this article is to examine how military medical carehas evolved due "My Brother's Keeper" between Second Lebanon War (SLW, 2006) to Operation Protective Edge (OPE, 2014).


Records of all casualties during OPE and SLW were extracted and analyzed from the I.D.F Trauma Registry. Noncombat injuries and civilian injuries from missile attacks were excluded from this analysis.


The plans main impacts were; incorporation of a physician or paramedic as an integral part of each fighting company, implementation of new CPGs, introduction of new approaches for extremity haemorrhage control and Remote Damage Control Resuscitation at point of injury (POI) using single donor reconstituted freeze dried plasma (25 casualties) and transexamic acid (98 casualties). During OPE, 704 soldiers sustained injuries compared with 833 casualties during SLW. Fatalities were 65 and 119, respectively, cumulating to Case Fatality Rate of 9.2% and 14.3%, respectively.


Significant changes in the way the IDF-MC provides combat casualty care have been made in recent years. It is the transformation from concept to doctrine and integration into a structured and Goal-Oriented Casualty Care System, especially POI care that led to the unprecedented survival rates in IDF as shown in this conflict.

| Tags : airway

ATLS: pas de plue value pour la catastrophe

Triage performance of Swedish physicians using the ATLS algorithm in a simulated mass casualty incident: a prospective cross-sectional survey

Lampi et al.Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2013; 21: 90.


On revient une fois de plus sur l'intérêt relativement limité de l'apport de l'ATLS dans un système de santé avancé. L'émergence de nouvelles modalités d'enseignement en ligne, l'introduction de la simulation médicale,  le contenu relativement basique souvent non en phase avec les pratiques médicales du moment et un modèle économique qui interpelle font que l'on doit se poser la question de sa pertinence. Cet article exprime que cet apport n'est pas prouvé en médecine de catastrophe, du  moins sur un aspect important qu'est l'emploi de la mnémonique ABCDE. 


Background: In a mass casualty situation, medical personnel must rapidly assess and prioritize patients for treatment and transport. Triage is an important tool for medical management in disaster situations. Lack of common international and Swedish triage guidelines could lead to confusion. Attending the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) provider course is becoming compulsory in the northern part of Europe. The aim of the ATLS guidelines is provision of effective management of single critically injured patients, not mass casualties incidents. However, the use of the ABCDE algorithms from ATLS, has been proposed to be valuable, even in a disaster environment. The objective for this study was to determine whether the mnemonic ABCDE as instructed in the ATLS provider course, affects the ability of Swedish physician’s to correctly triage patients in a simulated mass casualty incident.

Methods: The study group included 169 ATLS provider students from 10 courses and course sites in Sweden; 153 students filled in an anonymous test just before the course and just after the course. The tests contained 3 questions based on overall priority. The assignment was to triage 15 hypothetical patients who had been involved in a bus crash. Triage was performed according to the ABCDE algorithm. In the triage, the ATLS students used a colour-coded algorithm with red for priority 1, yellow for priority 2, green for priority 3 and black for dead. The students were instructed to identify and prioritize 3 of the most critically injured patients, who should be the first to leave the scene. The same test was used before and after the course.

Results: The triage section of the test was completed by 142 of the 169 participants both before and after the course. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in triage knowledge among Swedish physicians who attended the ATLS provider course. The results also showed that Swedish physicians have little experience of real mass casualty incidents and exercises.

Conclusion: The mnemonic ABCDE doesn’t significantly affect the ability of triage among Swedish physicians. Actions to increase Swedish physicians’ knowledge of triage, within the ATLS context or separately, are warranted


Dexamethasone: Hémostatique cérébral ?

Steroid-loaded Hemostatic Nanoparticles Alleviate Injury Progression after Blast Trauma

Hubbard WD et Al.. ACS Macro Lett., 2015, 4 (4), pp 387–391

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether hemostatic dexamethasone-loaded nanoparticles (hDNP) functionalized with a peptide that binds with activated platelets could reduce cellular injury and improve functional outcomes in a model of blast trauma. Functionalized nanoparticles, or synthetic platelets, offer a wide variety of benefits and advantages compared to alternatives, such as increased biocompatibility and targeting of the injury site (DePalma, 2005). Blood loss is the primary cause of death at acute time points post injury in both civilian and battlefield traumas. Currently, there is a shortage in treatments for internal bleeding, especially for rapid administration in open field combat. In a recent U.K. study, less than fifty percent of soldiers diagnosed with primary blast lung injury (PBLI), the most common fatal blast injury, survived to reach a medical facility (Smith, 2011). This study examines potential therapeutic effects of hDNP on subacute recovery in brain pathology and behavior after blast polytrauma. An established polytrauma model that simulates severe injury, including PBLI and blast-induced neurotrauma (BINT), can be used to evaluate life-saving therapeutics (Hubbard, 2014). Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-based nanoparticles with poly(ethylene glycol) arms and the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide to target activated platelets were fabricated. A blast-induced polytrauma rodent model was used to evaluate the functionalized nanoparticles at an acute stage. After anesthesia, Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to a single, representative “free field” blast wave from an Advanced Blast Simulator at Virginia Tech at a peak overpressure of 28 psi for 2.5 ms duration, operating above 50% lethality risk, in a sidethorax orientation (Hubbard, 2014). After injury, animals were immediately injected intravenously with hDNP, control dexamethasone-loaded nanoparticles (cDNP), or lactated ringers (LR) and physiological parameters were monitored. Sham animals were not injected or exposed to the blast wave. Open field assays were performed on surviving animals to measure levels of anxiety. At one week post-blast, brains were extracted and sections from the amygdala were obtained for immunofluorescent staining using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; activated astrocytes), cleaved caspase-3 (apoptosis), and SMI-71 (blood-brain barrier). According to physiological monitoring immediately after blast, oxygen saturation was significantly decreased in the control and LR groups compared to the active and sham groups. Using the open field test, elevated anxiety parameters were found in the control and LR groups compared to the hDNP group. GFAP was significantly elevated in the control group compared to the hDNP and sham groups in the amygdala. Caspase-3 was also significantly elevated in the control group compared to the hDNP group. SMI-71 was significantly reduced in the LR group compared to the sham group. hDNP treatment has the potential to assist recovery after internal hemorrhage. Immediate intervention to assuage hemorrhage, one source for injury pathology, is crucial to mitigate debilitating injury mechanisms that lead to cognitive and emotional deficits (Shetty, 2014).


It is possible that through prevention of microhemorrhaging of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), hDNP was able to mitigate cellular injury and improve cognitive outcomes. Future studies will evaluate the effect on inflammatory and hypoxia-related proteins after hDNP administration post-trauma.

| Tags : blast, hémorragie

Prédire le besoin transfusionnel tôt ?

Automated analysis of vital signs to identify patients with substantial bleeding before hospital arrival: a feasibility study

Liu J et Al. Shock. 2015 May;43(5):429-36.


Dépister un saignement significatif à partir des éléments standards de monitorage préhospitalier serait possible à en croire cet article. Il existe actuellement un grand nombre de recherche dans ce domaine. A suivre.


Trauma outcomes are improved by protocols for substantial bleeding, typically activated after physician evaluation at a hospital. Previous analysis suggested that prehospital vital signs contained patterns indicating the presence or absence of substantial bleeding. In an observational study of adults (aged Q18 years) transported to level I trauma centers by helicopter, we investigated the diagnostic performance of the Automated Processing of the Physiological Registry for Assessment of Injury Severity (APPRAISE) system, a computational platform for real-time analysis of vital signs, for identification of substantial bleeding in trauma patients with explicitly hemorrhagic injuries. We studied 209 subjects prospectively and 646 retrospectively. In our multivariate analysis, prospective performance was not significantly different from retrospective.



The APPRAISE system was 76% sensitive for 24-h packed red blood cells of 9 or more units (95% confidence interval, 59% Y 89%) and significantly more sensitive (P G 0.05) than any prehospital Shock Index of 1.4 or higher; sensitivity, 59%; initial systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 110 mmHg, 50%; and any prehospital SBP less than 90 mmHg, 50%. The APPRAISE specificity for 24-h packed red blood cells of 0 units was 87% (88% for any Shock Index Q1.4, 88% for initial SBP G110 mmHg, and 90% for any prehospital SBP G90 mmHg). Median APPRAISE hemorrhage notification time was 20 min before arrival at the trauma center. In conclusion, APPRAISE identified bleeding before trauma center arrival. En route, this capability could allow medics to focus on direct patient care rather than the monitor and, via advance radio notification, could expedite hospital interventions for patients with substantial blood loss.


Le consensus d'hartford

Les événements récents ont mis en évidence l'importance de l'organisation des soins en cas d'attentats multisites notamment par armes de guerre. Le consensus d'Hartford est une démarche majeure conduite par nos alliés américains sur la survenue de telles situations. Très globalement il s'agit d'une chaîne de survie à mettre en place, ou bien sûr les professionnels de  santé ont leur place mais aussi et surtout le citoyen et les forces de l'ordre. L'acronyme THREAT réssume la démarche: pour Threat Suppression, pour Hemorrage Control, RE pour Rapid Extrication to safety, A pour Assessment by medical provider, T pour transport to definitive care.


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1/1/1 ou 1/1/2 ?

Transfusion of plasma, platelets, and red blood cells in a 1:1:1 vs a 1:1:2 ratio and mortality in patients with severe trauma: the PROPPR randomized clinical trial

Holcomb JB et All. JAMA Surg. 2013 Feb;148(2):127-36


La reconnaissance et la mise en place de la meilleure stratégie thérapeutique du choc hémorragique traumatique sont des enjeux fondamentaux qui se posent aux équipes de réanimation préhospitalières et hospitalières. L'application du concepts du damage control resuscitation (1) vise par la mise en place d'un stratégie raisonnée d'arrêt des hémorragies (2), d'un remplissage vasculaire mesuré (3) et d'une politique transfusionnelle spécifique (4). Parmi ces mesures, il apparaît important de garantir l'apport équilibré de plasma, de plaquettes et de CGR dans un ration  élevé 1/1/1 ou 1/1/2. Deux études se sont attachées à ce point: L'étude PROMMTT et l'étude PROPPR ici présentée. La première confirme le bénéfice d'une telle stratégie avec une moindre mortalité chez les patients bénéficiant de rapport élevé supérieur mais uniquement dans les 6 premières heures. L'étude PROPPR semble confirmer ces données avec une moindre mortalité précoce par hémorragie mais ne réussit pas à confirmer l'intérêt d'un ratio 1/1/1 par rapport à un ratio 1/1/2 sur la mortalité à long terme.



Severely injured patients experiencing hemorrhagic shock often require massive transfusion. Earlier transfusion with higher blood product ratios (plasma, platelets, and red blood cells), defined as damage control resuscitation, has been associated with improved outcomes; however, there have been no large multicenter clinical trials.


To determine the effectiveness and safety of transfusing patients with severe trauma and major bleeding using plasma, platelets, and red blood cells in a 1:1:1 ratio compared with a 1:1:2 ratio.


Pragmatic, phase 3, multisite, randomized clinical trial of 680 severely injured patients who arrived at 1 of 12 level I trauma centers in North America directly from the scene and were predicted to require massive transfusion between August 2012 and December 2013.


Blood product ratios of 1:1:1 (338 patients) vs 1:1:2 (342 patients) during active resuscitation in addition to all local standard-of-care interventions (uncontrolled).


Primary outcomes were 24-hour and 30-day all-cause mortality. Prespecified ancillary outcomes included time to hemostasis, blood product volumes transfused, complications, incidence of surgical procedures, and functional status.


No significant differences were detected in mortality at 24 hours (12.7% in 1:1:1 group vs 17.0% in 1:1:2 group; difference, -4.2% [95% CI, -9.6% to 1.1%]; P = .12) or at 30 days (22.4% vs 26.1%, respectively; difference, -3.7% [95% CI, -10.2% to 2.7%]; P = .26). Exsanguination, which was the predominant cause of death within the first 24 hours, was significantly decreased in the 1:1:1 group (9.2% vs 14.6% in 1:1:2 group; difference, -5.4% [95% CI, -10.4% to -0.5%]; P = .03). More patients in the 1:1:1 group achieved hemostasis than in the 1:1:2 group (86% vs 78%, respectively; P = .006). Despite the 1:1:1 group receiving more plasma (median of 7 U vs 5 U, P < .001) and platelets (12 U vs 6 U, P < .001) and similar amounts of red blood cells (9 U) over the first 24 hours, no differences between the 2 groups were found for the 23 prespecified complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiple organ failure, venous thromboembolism, sepsis, and transfusion-related complications.


Among patients with severe trauma and major bleeding, early administration of plasma, platelets, and red blood cells in a 1:1:1 ratio compared with a 1:1:2 ratio did not result in significant differences in mortality at 24 hours or at 30 days. However, more patients in the 1:1:1 group achieved hemostasis and fewer experienced death due to exsanguination by 24 hours. Even though there was an increased use of plasma and platelets transfused in the 1:1:1 group, no other safety differences were identified between the 2 groups.

| Tags : hémorragie


Military medicine in the 21st


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Amputé des jambes: Le bassin aussi !

The incidence of pelvic fractures with traumatic lower limb amputation in modern warfare due to improvised explosive devices

Cross AM et Al. J R Nav Med Serv 2014;100(2):152-6


Excepté l'extraction d'urgence de blessés sous le feu, la prise en charge den cas d'amputation traumatique doit inclure la forte probabilité de traumatisme du bassin. Une utilisation large des immobilisations pelviennes doit donc être à l'esprit. On rappelle simplement la gravité et la difficulté de prise en charge des hémorragies liées aux fractures de bassin.



A frequently-seen injury pattern in current military experience is traumatic lower limb amputation as a result of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). This injury can coexist with fractures involving the pelvic ring. This study aims to assess the frequency of concomitant pelvic fracture in IED-related lower limb amputation.


A retrospective analysis of the trauma charts, medical notes, and digital imaging was undertaken for all patients arriving at the Emergency Department at the UK military field hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, with a traumatic lower limb amputation in the six months between September 2009 and April 2010, in order to determine the incidence of associated pelvic ring fractures.


Of 77 consecutive patients with traumatic lower limb amputations, 17 (22%) had an associated pelvic fracture (eleven with displaced pelvic ring fractures, five undisplaced fractures and one acetabular fracture). Unilateral amputees (n = 31) had a 10% incidence of associated pelvic fracture, whilst 30 % of bilateral amputees (n = 46) had a concurrent pelvic fracture. However, in bilateral, trans-femoral amputations (n = 28) the incidence of pelvic fracture was 39%.


BKA - Below knee amputation; AKA - Above knee amputation


The study demonstrates a high incidence of pelvic fractures in patients with traumatic lower limb amputations, supporting the routine pre-hospital application of pelvic binders in this patient group



Médicaliser: Pour faire quoi ?

Doctor on board ? What is the optimal skill-mix in military pre-hospital care ?

Calderbank P. et Al.  Emerg Med J (2010). doi:10.1136/emj.2010.097642


Le document proposé à la lecture porte sur l'intérêt de la présence d'un médecin dans la plus avancée des structures medevac qui existe actuellement: Les MERT-E des anglais. Seule 1 medevac sur 5 justifiait la présence d'un médecin. L'intervention la plus fréquemment réalisée a été l'intubation/induction en séquence rapide. Bien loin devant d'autres gestes comme la thoracostomie ou le drainage thoracique. Ceci étant dit ce constat est fait dans un contexte spécifique afghan qui ne correspond pas aux opérations actuelles où les délais de prise en charge chirurgicales peuvent être long. Cette pratique est donc essentielle à maîtriser et procède d'une véritable stratégie de formation, avec une rythmicité semestrielle,  débutée dès la formation initiale, associant un parcours structuré de mises à jour technique personnelle (passage en bloc opératoire, participation à des ateliers sur simulateurs de taches) et collective. Il s'agit d'un exemple parmi d'autres où une implication personnelle forte doit être présente.



In a military setting, pre-hospital times may be extended due to geographical or operational issues. Helicopter casevac enables patients to be transported expediently across all terrains. The skill-mix of the prehospital team can vary. Aim To quantify the doctors’ contribution to the Medical Emergency Response TeameEnhanced (MERT-E).


A prospective log of missions recorded urgency category, patient nationality, mechanism of injury, medical interventions and whether, in the crew’s opinion, the presence of the doctor made a positive contribution.


Between July and November 2008, MERT-E flew 324 missions for 429 patients. 56% of patients carried were local nationals, 35% were UK forces. 22% of patients were T1, 52% were T2, 21.5% were T3 and 4% were dead. 48% patients had blast injuries, 25% had gunshot wounds, 6 patients had been exposed to blast and gunshot wounds. Median time from take-off to ED arrival was 44 min. A doctor flew on 88% of missions. It was thought that a doctor’s presence was not clinically beneficial in 77% of missions. There were 62 recorded physician’s interventions: the most common intervention was rapid sequence induction (45%); other interventions included provision of analgesia, sedation or blood products (34%), chest drain or thoracostomy (5%), and pronouncing life extinct (6%).


MERT-E is a high value asset which makes an important contribution to patient care. A relatively small proportion of missions require interventions beyond the capability of well-trained military paramedics; the indirect benefits of a physician are more difficult to quantify.

| Tags : airway


Demain: Quels enjeux ?



Plaie cérébrale et coagulopathie

Quelques faits

1. Elle est fréquente voire très fréquente: Greuters et al. Critical Care 2011 15:R2   doi:10.1186/cc9399 


2. Elle est + fréquente en cas d'hypoTA: Wafaisade  Neurocrit Care. 2010 Apr;12(2):211-9


3. Elle est de mauvais pronostic: J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2013 Jul-Sep; 6(3): 180–185


4. Elle est mise en évidence plutôt par thromboélastographie (r TEG) : Sixta al., J Neurol Neurophysiol 2014, 6:5

rTEG TBI Coagulopathy.jpg

Un point plus complet

| Tags : coagulopathie


Damage Control: Vraiment bénéfique

Changing Patterns of In-Hospital Deaths Following Implementation of Damage Control Resuscitation Practices in US Forward Military Treatment Facilities

Langan NR et Al. JAMA Surg. 2014;149(9):904-912


Analysis of combat deaths provides invaluable epidemiologic and quality-improvement data for trauma centers and is particularly important under rapidly evolving battlefield conditions.


To analyze the evolution of injury patterns, early care, and resuscitation among patients who subsequently died in the hospital, before and after implementation of damage control resuscitation (DCR) policies.

Design, Setting, and participants

In a review of the Joint Theater Trauma Registry (2002-2011) of US forward combat hospitals, cohorts of patients with vital signs at presentation and subsequent in-hospital death were grouped into 2 time periods: pre-DCR (before 2006) and DCR (2006-2011).

Main outcomes and measures

Injury types and Injury Severity Scores (ISSs), timing and location of death, and initial (24-hour) and total volume of blood products and fluid administered.


Of 57 179 soldiers admitted to a forward combat hospital, 2565 (4.5%) subsequently died in the hospital. The majority of patients (74%) were severely injured (ISS > 15), and 80% died within 24 hours of admission. Damage control resuscitation policies were widely implemented by 2006 and resulted in a decrease in mean 24-hour crystalloid infusion volume (6.1-3.2 L) and increased fresh frozen plasma use (3.2-10.1 U) (both P < .05) in this population. The mean packed red blood cells to fresh frozen plasma ratio changed from 2.6:1 during the pre-DCR period to 1.4:1 during the DCR period (P < .01). There was a significant increase in mean ISS between cohorts (pre-DCR ISS = 23 vs DCR ISS = 27; P < .05) and a marked shift in injury patterns favoring more severe head trauma in the DCR cohort.

DCR BeforeAfter.jpg

Conclusions and relevance

There has been a significant shift in resuscitation practices in forward combat hospitals indicating widespread military adoption of DCR. Patients who died in a hospital during the DCR period were more likely to be severely injured and have a severe brain injury, consistent with a decrease in deaths among potentially salvageable patients



| Tags : remplissage


Prolonged field Care: Novateur ? Pas vraiment

Prolonged Field Care Working Group Position Paper Prolonged Field Care Capabilities

Bal JA et All. J Spec Oper Med. 2015 Fall;15(3):78-80

Le concept du TCCC, issu de l'analyse des décès au combat lors de la guerre de Somalie, a vu toute sa pertinence prouvée en afghanistan. Des gestes simples réalisés par des soldats et des combat medic ont permis d'éviter le décès de nombre de soldats. Ces derniers étaient alors évacués rapidement vers des structures chirurgicales. Le concept afghan permettait cela.


Ce n'est pas le cas des conflits actuels, conflits pendant lesquels le combattant blessé doit se voir appliquer pendant plusieurs heures une démarche de prise en charge (remplissage, analgésie, nursing,..) très proche de la réanimation préhospitalière. C'est bien compte tenu de l'absence de médecins et donc de connaissances en la matière que cette pratique de prise en charge est considérée par nos collègues US comme nouvelle. Ce concept ne doit donc pas probablement être considéré comme novateur pour nous car il s'agit d'une démarche de convergence d'une pratique anglo-saxonne vers notre médicalisation de l'avant. 


Mg++: Médicament de la coagulopathie ?

Both acute delivery of and storage with magnesium sulfate promote cold-stored platelet aggregation and coagulation function

Meledeo MA et Al. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Oct;79(4 Suppl 2):S139-45


Il y a quelque mois était publié un travail de recherche portant sur  l'intérêt de l'administration de Adénosine/Lidocaïne/Mg2+ ALM (1, 2, 3). Une hypothèse faite par les auteurs  serait que L'ALM agirait comme un antifibrinolytique en activant la voie du thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) plutôt que celle de la protéine C. Cette action passerait par un mécanisme antiinflammatoire, une modification de la polarité endothéliale et une action sur la fonction plaquettaire. Le travail expérimental dont l'abstract est présenté met en avant l'intérêt de l'adminsitration de magnésium pour la restauration de la fonction plaquettaire après conservation de palquettes d'aphérèse au delà de 5 jours.



The platelet storage lesion causes loss of function and viability over time. A new paradigm for platelet storage is desired to enable safer, more effective transfusions while reducing waste. We hypothesized that repletion of Mg, which is chelated by citrate anticoagulant, could reduce platelet storage lesion severity when given in conjunction with storage at a refrigerated temperature.


Apheresis platelet units were collected from healthy donors and stored at 22°C or 4°C. On Days 0, 2, 4, and 8, samples were collected for analyses of receptor-mediated aggregation, coagulation, adhesion to collagen under flow, and viability. In the first series, samples were given anacute dose of MgSO4 before testing; in the second series, storage bags were supplemented with 0-, 3-, or 6-mM MgSO4.


Acutely delivered MgSO4 induced a more rapid coagulation time in apheresis platelets, further enhanced by storage at 4°C. Plateletadhesion to a collagen surface while exposed to arterial shear rates (920 s) was enhanced by MgSO4 supplementation-acute MgSO4 had a large effect on adhesion of fresh platelets, which diminished more rapidly in 22°C samples, while storage with MgSO4 showed significant benefits even out to Day 4 at both temperatures. Although 4°C storage improves the longevity of platelet aggregation responses to agonists, MgSO4 supplementation did not change those responses.


Acute MgSO4 reduces clot time likely through the transient increase of free Ca. Limited differences between platelet function inacute delivery of and storage with MgSO4 diminish the possibility that Mg-induced metabolic inhibition of platelets synergizes with 4°C storage. Regardless, magnesium supplementation to platelets is an exciting possibility in transfusion because the adhesion response of 22°C-stored platelets on Day 4 is significantly enhanced when stored with 6-mM MgSO4

| Tags : coagulopathie


IED à pied: Amputations 2aires fréquentes

Outcomes after Long-Term Follow-Up of Combat-Related Extremity Injuries in a Multidisciplinary Limb Salvage Clinic

Casey K et Al. Ann Vasc Surg. 2015 Apr;29(3):496-501

Background: Although the incidence of casualties from the Global War on Terror is decreasing, there remains a focus on the long-term sequelae from injuries sustained in the combatPatients with prior significant limb injuries remain at risk of future complications. This study examines our institution’s experience with a multidisciplinary team approach toward this challenging patient population.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed on all patients treated in a single institution Limb Preservation Clinic over a 2-year period. Those patients who sustained a combatrelated injury in theater were examined. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, amputation rates, time to amputation, and reasons for failure were examined.

Results: Ninety-four patients were evaluated in our multidisciplinary Limb Preservation Clinic over a 2-year period. Twenty patients (21%) were seen for combat-related injuries. Sixteen patients were evaluated and treated for chronic complications at a median of 13 months from their injury. All 16 patients were male with a median age of 24 years (range, 20e35). Ten patients sustained injuries secondary to a dismounted improvised explosive device (IED). All 16 patients had extensive soft tissue injuries and associated fractures. Only 2 patients sustained a vascular injury. The median number of prior surgeries to the affected limb was 8 (range, 3e19). The limb salvage rate of 37% was lower than our noncombat cohort (47%). The most common reasons for delayed amputation included chronic pain, osteomyelitis, and soft tissue infections.

Conclusions: The high secondary amputation rates seen in this cohort underscores the need for long-term follow-up. Despite successful initial outcomes, many patients eventually progress to limb loss. Patients who sustain a dismounted IED are at greatest risk for a delayed amputationIdentifying and addressing those factors which lead to delayed amputation should be a priority for returning war veterans and focus of future studies.