Ok, the gunfight is over, the threat is incapacitated and the police are on their way to the scene. You start your post engagement rituals which includes checking yourself for injuries and you realize you have been shot in the leg. You are bleeding! Couple questions, do you have any first aid or trauma medicine training? Do you carry a small trauma medical kit? Do you know how to use the kit? How about a tourniquet? These are all questions that should probably be answered prior to the deadly force engagement.
The military teaches a program titled Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). The TCCC guidelines provide battlefield medics and corpsmen with trauma management strategies that combine good medicine with good small-unit tactics. The three goals are of TCCC are:
1. Treat the Casualty – Which obviously in a non-battlefield setting, may be us treating ourselves because there is no EMTs immediately available.
2. Prevent Additional Casualties – Deal with the threat and make sure they are incapacitated prior to attending any type of medical care.
3. Complete the Mission – For us civilian folks, completing the mission, it winning the gunfight, legally, mentally and physically and enjoying our form of adult beverage with our family by our side.
In future blogs, I will discuss MARCH principles – Care Under Fire:
M – Massive Bleeding
A – Airway
R – Respirations
C – Circulation
H – Head
MARCH is part of one of the three phases of TCCC. The three phases are Care Under Fire, Tactical Field Care and Tactical Field Evacuation. These three phases are not exactly applicable to civilian life, but many great trainers and instructors have made appropriate modifications. I will address these in future blog post.
NOTE: Although I am a ASHI Emergency First Responder/Level 7 Instructor, AHA BLS Instructor, TCCC Instructor and have received advanced trauma training, I am not a medical doctor, or consider myself an authority on Emergency Medicine. I am a reporter and I will discuss my thoughts and ideas on what I consider appropriate emergency medical training.
As you know, you are responsible for yourself and your education, please do your homework and become informed about trauma medicine. Just a little preparedness goes a long way!