I recently spent a weekend taking a TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) course from Myles Francis at Archangel Dynamics. TCCC is a program originally developed by the Naval Special Warfare School to improve battlefield survivability by specifically modernizing immediate pre-evacuation care doctrine. Retrospective studies showed that a significant number of fatalities had been potentially savable, and three specific condition showed through in the data:
– Massive hemorrhage
– Blocked airway
– Tension pneumothorax
New practices were developed to specifically address these issues, and after their rollout to the whole infantry for circa 2010, combat fatalities dropped significantly. The most important element of the new care guidelines was much greater use of tourniquets to stop bleeding. Prior dogma had it that use of a tourniquet was for only the worst possible situation, because it was said that tourniquet use would result in limb amputation. This was shown to be quite demonstrably not true, and use of tourniquets is now encouraged as an immediate response to massive limb bleeding.
These military care doctrines have come full circle into use by civilian trauma responders. First-world medical care is generally excellent, but that only matters once an ambulance arrives on the scene of an injury. The injuries addressed by TCCC happen in the civilian world, caused by things like car accidents, industrial accidents, power tool accidents, and civilian shootings, either defensive or criminal.
I came away from this class with a great amount of new information and skills. I’m certainly no paramedic, but what I learned gives me the basics needed to potentially safe a life before the professionals can arrive to a scene. I think it’s very worthwhile training to have for anyone, and doubly so for anyone around firearms on a regular basis.
Disclosure: I paid for this class fully out of pocket, and received no remuneration from Myles or Archangel Dynamics.