Journal 9, September 1999pages: 14-16
Background: In the military environment it is the medics who usually provide the initial care of mass casualties in the field.
Objectives: To determine the number of incidents of trauma encountered by medics in the Israel Defense Forces during peacetime, and to ascertain the role of these medics in providing primary trauma care to the victims.
Methods: A retrospective questionnaire, reviewing the activities of medics in treating injured trauma victims, was distributed to medics who were in service for at least 2 years after their professional training.
Results: Of the 128 responding medics, 87 (68%) had actively participated in the treatment of trauma victims under various circumstances. The average number of trauma events was 1.2 events over a period of 2 years per combat medic, and 0.7 for medics stationed in rear units. Their activities included insertion of numerous intravenous fluid lines (57% of medics), assistance in intubations (37%), tube thoracostomies (23%), insertions of central catheters (14%) or orogastric tubes (28%), and manual ventilations (41%).
Conclusion: Since it is difficult to increase the level of practical experience in dealing with trauma within the military framework, new techniques should be applied to improve the trauma training.