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Special Operations Forces Combat Casualty Care

USArmy-SOF-CasualtyCare[1]

Managing combat trauma on the modern battlefield represents challenges that are scarcely encountered within the civilian community. The advent of tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) represented a fundamental paradigm shift from the care of casualties (CAX) that evolved in the late 1970s. Special operations forces (SOF) engaged in combat operations, removed from conventional forces (CF) and with austere logistical support, represent a set of unique challenges, as well. The limited amount of equipment and medical supplies, coupled with delays in evacuation, add to what is already a frightening experience. Being wounded also generates great fear and anxiety in the CAX. Special operations medics, exposed to hostile fire while caring for CAX, become likely targets, resulting in the special operations medic unintentionally becoming “part of the problem, not the solution” and forcing CAX to care for themselves. The conditions associated with this type of environment demand specialized training for all SOF. We refer to this specialized training as SOF combat casualty care.
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