Top 10 Research Priorities for U.S. Military En Route Combat Casualty Care

Jennifer J. Hatzfeld, George Hildebrandt, Joseph K. Maddry, Dario Rodriquez, Elizabeth Bridges, Anne C. Ritter, Cubby L. Gardner, Vikhyat S. Bebarta, Andrew P. Cap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Within the Military Health System, the process of transporting patients from an initial point of injury and throughout the entire continuum of care is called "en route care." A Committee on En Route Combat Casualty Care was established in 2016 as part of the DoD Joint Trauma System to create practice guidelines, recommend training standards, and identify research priorities within the military en route care system. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Following an analysis of currently funded research, future capabilities, and findings from a comprehensive scoping study, members of a sub-working group for research identified the top research priorities that were needed to better guide evidence-based decisions for practice and policy, as well as the future state of en route care. RESULTS: Based on the input from the entire committee, 10 en route care research topics were rank-ordered in the following manner: (1) medical documentation, (2) clinical decision support, (3) patient monitoring, (4) transport physiology, (5) transfer of care, (6) maintaining normothermia, (7) transport timing following damage control resuscitation or surgery, (8) intelligent tasking, (9) commander's risk assessment, and (10) unmanned transport. Specific research questions and technological development needs were further developed by committee members in an effort to guide future research and development initiatives that can directly support operational en route care needs. The research priorities reflect three common themes, which include efforts to enhance or increase care provider capability and capacity; understand the impact of transportation on patient physiology; and increase the ability to coordinate, communicate, and facilitate patient movement. Technology needs for en route care must support interoperability of medical information, equipment, and supplies across the global military health system in addition to adjusting to a dynamic transport environment with the smallest possible weight, space, and power requirements. CONCLUSIONS: To ensure an evidence-based approach to future military conflicts and other medical challenges, focused research and technological development to address these 10 en route care research gaps are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e359-e365
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume186
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

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