Trauma Medicine

Overview

Provide trauma medical training and equipment to first responders

Law Enforcement

For many medical and trauma emergencies, law enforcement personnel are the true first responders, arriving on the scene before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and are tasked with providing basic medical care to injured victims. Immediate application of trauma medical devices such as tourniquets and pressure bandages may stabilize patients long enough for EMS to arrive on scene or to be transported to the next echelon of care, ultimately increasing the chances of preserving life in serious circumstances.

In one study, more than 80 percent of law enforcement agencies responded to medical emergencies, and approximately 50 percent of agencies provided some form of on-scene patient care. A more recent survey found that 40 percent of the officers in two large agencies had worked the scene of a seriously injured fellow officer. A full 70 percent of that subset had arrived prior to civilian EMS.

Mass Casualty Scenarios

In recent years, the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of large-scale incidents involving penetrating trauma or blast injuries. Active shooter incidents present an environment that resembles combat, with multiple patients located in a hot-zone environment that may not be safe for EMS personnel. The provision of tourniquets and other trauma-stabilizing equipment to law enforcement officers can allow for the rapid triage and treatment of individuals, including other officers, at risk of death from severe hemorrhage.

The events of the Boston Marathon bombing highlight the potential benefit of equipping law enforcement with tourniquets. During that incident, it was identified that the rapid application of a tourniquet resulted in multiple individuals surviving who might otherwise have died from exsanguinating hemorrhage. While emphasis has been placed on response to motor vehicle accidents and violent crime, officers are often first on the scene during tornadoes, floods, and other unique hazards. The core concepts are no different: responding officers should be able to assess the scene for threats and manage them once found.

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Self-Aid

In addition to providing medical care to injured members of their communities, law enforcement officers may find themselves providing care to colleagues, either during periods of active threat when conventional EMS cannot enter the scene due to safety concerns or prior to the arrival of EMS. On average, 156 line-of-duty deaths are reported each year. On average, 54 officers are murdered in the line of duty each year. An officer is assaulted somewhere in the United States on average every 9 minutes, and one is injured every 33&nbspminutes.

Inside a Trauma Kit

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Tourniquet:

used for occluding life‐threatening external hemorrhaging from limb injury

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Decompression Needle:

used for emergency treatment of a tension pneumothorax, often resulting from a gunshot wound or other penetrating trauma

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Pressure Bandage:

used to control bleeding and encourage blood clotting without constricting normal blood circulation

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Chest Seal:

designed to treat penetrating chest wounds along with securing other wound dressings

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Nasopharyngeal Airway (NPA):

used to secure a temporary airway due to obstruction in a semi-conscious or unconscious victim's airway

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Quick Clot Dressing:

a hemostatic dressing used to pack wounds and accelerate blood clotting

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Trauma Shears:

multipurpose safety shears designed to cut close to skin