Recommendations for Improving Stop the Bleed: A Systematic Review
Military medicine. 2022
INTRODUCTION In response to mass casualty events, The Hartford Consensus brought together subject matter experts across multiple disciplines in health care and public safety to create guidelines and publications intended to improve survivability in active shooter events. Among the recommendations was the earlier recognition and treatment application of life-threatening hemorrhage control. These recommendations culminated in efforts to create the Stop the Bleed Campaign, which aims to empower the layperson to render aid in a life-threatening bleeding emergency. As of February 2020, the program has held over 86,000 courses, trained over 1.4 million attendees, and over 77,000 instructors since its inception. In addition to spreading within the United States, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Stop the Bleed (StB) classes have been held in 118 different countries. This systematic narrative review aims to answer the following research question: What does the ACS StB Initiative do well, and where can it improve? MATERIALS AND METHODS The following search terms were utilized: "Stop the Bleed," "American College of Surgeons," "bleeding control," "first-aid," tourniquet, "wound pack," "direct pressure" hemorrhage, and bystander. The inclusion criteria were that the article needed to speak to the program or some aspect of bystander first aid, the article needed to be in a civilian setting, the article needed to be more than a case study or overview, and the first aid tools needed to be in the StB curriculum. 4 databases were searched, which produced 138 articles for screening. One hundred four full-text articles were able to be retrieved, and 56 articles were determined to meet the inclusion criteria once the full text was reviewed. RESULTS Fifty-six articles were included in the final review and were placed into the following categories: Needs Within the Community, Confidence and Knowledge, Training Modalities, Barriers and Gaps in Training, Instructor Selection, Skill Retention, and Patient Outcomes. The articles were then organized into each outcome for synthesis and reporting of the results. The program overwhelmingly improves short-term confidence, but gaps in skill retention, data collection on patient outcomes, and settings that would benefit were identified. CONCLUSION StB is an effective tool in building confidence in laypersons, which is its biggest strength. A review of the literature shows several areas where the curriculum and materials could be better developed. Research can also be further refined to better quantify the program's impact.
High Tourniquet Failure Rates Among Non-Medical Personnel Do Not Improve with Tourniquet Training, Including Combat Stress Inoculation: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Prehospital and disaster medicine. 2019;:1-6
BACKGROUND The rate of failing to apply a tourniquet remains high. HYPOTHESIS The study objective was to examine whether early advanced training under conditions that approximate combat conditions and provide stress inoculation improve competency, compared to the current educational program of non-medical personnel. METHODS This was a randomized controlled trial. Male recruits of the armored corps were included in the study. During Combat Lifesaver training, recruits apply The Tourniquet 12 times. This educational program was used as the control group. The combat stress inoculation (CSI) group also included 12 tourniquet applications, albeit some of them in combat conditions such as low light and physical exertion. Three parameters defined success, and these parameters were measured by The Simulator: (1) applied pressure ≥ 200mmHg; (2) time to stop bleeding ≤ 60 seconds; and (3) placement up to 7.5cm above the amputation. RESULTS Out of the participants, 138 were assigned to the control group and 167 were assigned to the CSI group. The overall failure rate was 80.33% (81.90% in the control group versus 79.00% in the CSI group; P value = .565; 95% confidence interval, 0.677 to 2.122). Differences in pressure, time to stop bleeding, or placement were not significant (95% confidence intervals, -17.283 to 23.404, -1.792 to 6.105, and 0.932 to 2.387, respectively). Tourniquet placement was incorrect in most of the applications (62.30%). CONCLUSIONS This study found high rates of failure in tourniquet application immediately after successful completion of tourniquet training. These rates did not improve with tourniquet training, including CSI. The results may indicate that better tourniquet training methods should be pursued.
Dynamic Visual Feedback During Junctional Tourniquet Training
The Journal of surgical research. 2019;233:444-452.
BACKGROUND This project involved the development and evaluation of a new visual bleeding feedback (VBF) system for tourniquet training. We hypothesized that dynamic VBF during junctional tourniquet training would be helpful and well received by trainees. MATERIALS AND METHODS We designed the VBF to simulate femoral bleeding. Medical students (n = 15) and emergency medical service (EMS) members (n = 4) were randomized in a single-blind, crossover study to the VBF or without feedback groups. Poststudy surveys assessing VBF usefulness and recommendations were conducted along with participants' reported confidence using a 7-point Likert scale. Data from the different groups were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank and rank-sum tests. RESULTS Participants rated the helpfulness of the VBF highly (6.53/7.00) and indicated they were very likely to recommend the VBF simulator to others (6.80/7.00). Pre- and post-VBF confidence were not statistically different (P = 0.59). Likewise, tourniquet application times for VBF and without feedback before crossover were not statistically different (P = 0.63). Although participant confidence did not change significantly from beginning to end of the study (P = 0.46), application time was significantly reduced (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS New tourniquet learners liked our VBF prototype and found it useful. Although confidence did not change over the course of the study for any group, application times improved. Future studies using outcomes of this study will allow us to continue VBF development as well as incorporate other quantitative measures of task performance to elucidate VBF's true benefit and help trainees achieve mastery in junctional tourniquet skills.
Effectiveness of the American College of Surgeons Bleeding Control Basic Training Among Laypeople Applying Different Tourniquet Types: A Randomized Clinical Trial
JAMA surgery. 2019
Importance: More than 500000 laypeople in the United States have been trained in hemorrhage control, including tourniquet application, under the Stop the Bleed campaign. However, it is unclear whether after hemorrhage control training participants become proficient in a specific type of tourniquet or can also use other tourniquets effectively. Objective: To assess whether participants completing the American College of Surgeons Bleeding Control Basic (B-Con) training with Combat Application Tourniquets (CATs) can effectively apply bleeding control principles using other tourniquet types (commercial and improvised). Design, Setting, and Participants: This nonblinded, crossover, sequential randomized clinical trial with internal control assessed a volunteer sample of laypeople who attended a B-Con course at Gillette Stadium and the Longwood Medical Area in Boston, Massachusetts, for correct application of each of 5 different tourniquet types immediately after B-Con training from April 4, 2018, to October 9, 2018. The order of application varied for each participant using randomly generated permutated blocks. Interventions: Full B-Con course, including cognitive and skill sessions, that taught bleeding care, wound pressure and packing, and CAT application. Main Outcomes and Measures: Correct tourniquet application (applied pressure of ≥250 mm Hg with a 2-minute time cap) in a simulated scenario for 3 commercial tourniquets (Special Operation Forces Tactical Tourniquet, Stretch-Wrap-and-Tuck Tourniquet, and Rapid Application Tourniquet System) and improvised tourniquet compared with correct CAT application as an internal control using 4 pairwise Bonferroni-corrected comparisons with the McNemar test. Results: A total of 102 participants (50 [49.0%] male; median [interquartile range] age, 37.5 [27.0-53.0] years) were included in the study. Participants correctly applied the CAT at a significantly higher rate (92.2%) than all other commercial tourniquet types (Special Operation Forces Tactical Tourniquet, 68.6%; Stretch-Wrap-and-Tuck Tourniquet, 11.8%; Rapid Application Tourniquet System, 11.8%) and the improvised tourniquet (32.4%) (P < .001 for each pairwise comparison). When comparing tourniquets applied correctly, all tourniquet types had higher estimated blood loss, had longer application time, and applied less pressure than the CAT. Conclusions and Relevance: The B-Con principles for correct CAT application are not fully translatable to other commercial or improvised tourniquet types. This study demonstrates a disconnect between the B-Con course and tourniquet designs available for bystander first aid, potentially stemming from the lack of consensus guidelines. These results suggest that current B-Con trainees may not be prepared to care for bleeding patients as tourniquet design evolves. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier:NCT03538379.
Missing expectations: Windlass tourniquet use without formal training yields poor results
The journal of trauma and acute care surgery. 2019
BACKGROUND Despite significant attempts to educate civilians in hemorrhage control, the majority remain untrained. We sought to determine if laypersons can successfully apply one of three commercially available tourniquets; including those endorsed by the United States Military and the American College of Surgeons. METHODS Pre-clinical graduate health science students were randomly assigned a commercially-available windless tourniquet: SAM(R) XT, Combat Application Tourniquet(R) (CAT), or Special Operation Forces(R) Tactical Tourniquet (SOFT-T). Each was given up to one minute to read package instructions and asked to apply it to the HapMed(R) Leg Tourniquet Trainer. Estimated blood loss was measured until successful hemostatic pressure was achieved or simulated death occurred from exsanguination. Simulation survival, time to read instructions and stop bleeding, tourniquet pressure, and blood loss were analyzed. RESULTS Of the 150 students recruited, 55, 46, and 49 were randomized to the SAM XT, CAT, SOFT-T, respectively. Mean overall simulation survival was less than 66% (61%, 72%, 65%; p=0.55). Of survivors, all three tourniquets performed similarly in median pressure applied (319 mmHg, 315 mmHg, and 329 mmHg; p=0.54) and median time to stop bleeding (91 sec, 70 sec, 77 sec; p=0.28). There was a statistical difference in median blood loss volume favoring SOFT-T (SAM XT 686 ml, CAT 624 ml, SOFT-T 433 ml; p=0.03). All 16 participants with previous experience were able to successfully place the tourniquet compared to 81 of 131 (62%) first-time users (p=0.008). CONCLUSION No one should die of extremity hemorrhage, and civilians are our first line of defense. We demonstrate that when an untrained layperson is handed a commonly accepted tourniquet, failure is unacceptably high. Current devices are not intuitive and require training beyond the enclosed instructions. Plans to further evaluate this cohort after formal "Stop the Bleed" training are underway. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level II; Therapeutic study type.
Characterizing red blood cell age exposure in massive transfusion therapy: the scalar age of blood index (SBI)
BACKGROUND The mortality of trauma patients requiring massive transfusion to treat hemorrhagic shock approaches 17% at 24 hours and 26% at 30 days. The use of stored RBCs is limited to less than 42 days, so older RBCs are delivered first to rapidly bleeding trauma patients. Patients who receive a greater quantity of older RBCs may have a higher risk for mortality. METHODS AND MATERIALS Characterizing blood age exposure requires accounting for the age of each RBC unit and the quantity of transfused units. To address this challenge, a novel Scalar Age of Blood Index (SBI) that represents the relative distribution of RBCs received is introduced and applied to a secondary analysis of the Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios (PROPPR) randomized controlled trial (NCT01545232, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01545232). The effect of the SBI is assessed on the primary PROPPR outcome, 24-hour and 30-day mortality. RESULTS The distributions of blood storage ages successfully maps to a parameter (SBI) that fully defines the blood age curve for each patient. SBI was a significant predictor of 24-hour and 30-day mortality in an adjusted model that had strong predictive ability (odds ratio, 1.15 [1.01-1.29], p = 0.029, C-statistic, 0.81; odds ratio, 1.14 [1.02-1.28], p = 0.019, C-statistic, 0.88, respectively). CONCLUSION SBI is a simple scalar metric of blood age that accounts for the relative distribution of RBCs among age categories. Transfusion of older RBCs is associated with 24-hour and 30-day mortality, after adjustment for total units and clinical covariates.
A Novel, Perfused-Cadaver Simulation Model for Tourniquet Training in Military Medics
Journal of special operations medicine : a peer reviewed journal for SOF medical professionals. 2018;18((4):):97-102.
BACKGROUND Exsanguinating limb injury is a significant cause of preventable death on the battlefield and can be controlled with tourniquets. US Navy corpsmen rotating at the Navy Trauma Training Center receive instruction on tourniquets. We evaluated the effectiveness of traditional tourniquet instruction compared with a novel, perfused-cadaver, simulation model for tourniquet training. METHODS Corpsmen volunteering to participate were randomly assigned to one of two tourniquet training arms. Traditional training (TT) consisted of lectures, videos, and practice sessions. Perfused-cadaver training (PCT) included TT plus training using a regionally perfused cadaver. Corpsmen were evaluated on their ability to achieve hemorrhage control with tourniquet(s) using the perfused cadaver. Outcomes included (1) time to control hemorrhage, (2) correct placement of tourniquet(s), and (3) volume of simulated blood loss. Participants were asked about confidence in understanding indications and skills for tourniquets. RESULTS The 53 corpsmen enrolled in the study were randomly assigned as follows: 26 to the TT arm and 27 to the PCT arm. Corpsmen in the PCT group controlled bleeding with the first tourniquet more frequently (96% versus 83%; p < .03), were quicker to hemorrhage control (39 versus 45 seconds; p < .01), and lost less simulated blood (256mL versus 355mL; p < .01). There was a trend toward increased confidence in tourniquet application among all corpsmen. CONCLUSIONS Using a perfused- cadaver training model, corpsmen placed tourniquets more rapidly and with less simulated-blood loss than their traditional training counterparts. They were more likely to control hemorrhage with first tourniquet placement and gain confidence in this procedure. Additional studies are indicated to identify components of effective simulation training for tourniquets.
Effect of a fixed-ratio (1:1:1) transfusion protocol versus laboratory-results-guided transfusion in patients with severe trauma: a randomized feasibility trial
CMAJ Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2013;185((12):):E583-9.
BACKGROUND Hemorrhage coupled with coagulopathy remains the leading cause of preventable in-hospital deaths among trauma patients. Use of a transfusion protocol with a predefined ratio of 1:1:1 (1 each of red blood cells [RBC], frozen plasma [FP] and platelets) has been associated with improved survival in retrospective studies in military and civilian settings, but such a protocol has its challenges and may increase the risk of respiratory complications. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the feasibility of a 1:1:1 transfusion protocol and its effect on mortality and complications among patients with severe trauma. METHODS We included 78 patients seen in a tertiary trauma centre between July 2009 and October 2011 who had hypotension and bleeding and were expected to need massive transfusion (>= 10 RBC units in 24 h). We randomly assigned them to either the fixed-ratio (1:1:1) transfusion protocol (n = 40) or to a laboratory-results-guided transfusion protocol (control; n = 38). The primary outcome, feasibility, was assessed in terms of blood product ratios and plasma wastage. Safety was measured based on 28-day mortality and survival free of acute respiratory distress syndrome. RESULTS Overall, a transfusion ratio of 1:1:1 was achieved in 57% (21/37) of patients in the fixed-ratio group, as compared with 6% (2/32) in the control group. A ratio of 1:1 (RBC:FP) was achieved in 73% (27/37) in the fixed-ratio group and 22% (7/32) in the control group. Plasma wastage was higher with the intervention protocol (22% [86/390] of FP units v. 10% [30/289] in the control group). The 28-day mortality and number of days free of acute respiratory distress syndrome were statistically similar between the groups. INTERPRETATION The fixed-ratio transfusion protocol was feasible in our study, but it was associated with increased plasma wastage. Larger randomized trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of such a protocol in trauma care. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. NCT00945542.
A review on decision support for massive transfusion: understanding human factors to support the implementation of complex interventions in trauma
BACKGROUND Critically bleeding trauma patients require coordinated and efficient decision-making processes to ensure optimal management of their massive transfusion (MT) requirements. Human factors (HFs) is a discipline that investigates factors influencing work processes from the organizational, group, and individual levels. Given the complexity of trauma resuscitation, implementing any intervention for decision support in MT is challenging and may benefit from a HFs-assisted approach. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A systematic review was performed to identify reports of the introduction of any type of decision support for the provision of MT in critically bleeding adult trauma patients. Crucial contributions reported to influence design and uptake of the intervention were categorized into four HFs categories (environment, human, machine, and task). Extracted information was supplemented by surveying the contact authors. Evidence of clinical practice changes resulting from the intervention was also considered. RESULTS We identified nine studies that had reported an intervention implementing new practice guidelines or a MT protocol. All were before-and-after comparative cohort studies and used historical controls as the preintervention cohort. CONCLUSION Based on the identified reports, this review provides a HFs-assisted approach to aid clinicians and policy makers with the implementation of decision support for MT in the trauma care setting. Copyright 2012 American Association of Blood Banks.
The use of trauma transfusion pathways for blood component transfusion in the civilian population: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Transfusion Medicine. 2012;22((3):):156-66.
This study was undertaken to determine if, amongst civilian trauma patients requiring massive transfusion (MT), the use of a formal trauma transfusion pathway (TTP), in comparison with transfusion without a TTP, is associated with a reduction in mortality, or changes in indices of coagulation, blood product utilisation and complications. A systematic review of three bibliographic databases, reference lists and conference proceedings was conducted. Studies were included if comparisons were made between patients receiving transfusion with and without a TTP. Data were extracted by two independent reviewers on population characteristics, transfusion strategies, blood product utilisation, indices of coagulation, clinical outcomes and complications. Data were pooled using a random effects model and heterogeneity explored. Seven observational studies met all eligibility criteria. Amongst 1801 patients requiring MT, TTPs were associated with a significant reduction in mortality (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.55, 0.87). No significant increase in the mean number of PRBC transfused between TTP and control patients was seen (MD -1.17 95% CI -2.70, 0.36). When studies assessing only trauma patients were considered, TTPs were associated with a reduction in the mean number of units of plasma transfused (MD -2.63, 95% CI -4.24, -1.01). In summary, the use of TTPs appears to be associated with a reduction in mortality amongst trauma patients requiring MT without a clinically significant increase in the number of PRBC transfused and a potential reduction in plasma transfusion. Effects of TTPs on platelet transfusion, indices of coagulation and complications remain unclear. A randomised controlled trial is warranted. Copyright 2012 The Authors. Transfusion Medicine Copyright 2012 British Blood Transfusion Society. DO http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3148.2012.01150.x