Impact of Critical Care–Trained Flight Paramedics on Casualty Survival During Helicopter Evacuation in the Current War in Afghanistan , August , 2012
From the background: "The US Army pioneered medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) by helicopter, yet its system remains essentially unchanged since the Vietnam era. Care is provided by a single combat medic credentialed at the Emergency Medical Technician – Basic level. Treatment protocols, documentation, medical direction, and quality improvement processes are not standardized and vary significantly across US Army helicopter evacuation units. This is in contrast to helicopter emergency medical services that operate within the United States. Current civilian helicopter evacuation platforms are routinely staffed by critical care–trained flight paramedics (CCFP) or comparably trained flight nurses who operate under trained EMS physician medical direction using formalized protocols, standardized patient care documentation, and rigorous quality improvement processes. This study compares mortality of patients with injury from trauma between the US Army’s standard helicopter evacuation system staffed with medics at the Emergency Medical Technician – Basic level (standard MEDEVAC) and one staffed with experienced CCFP using adopted civilian helicopter emergency medical services practices."