Article Text

PDF
ABC to <C>ABC: redefining the military trauma paradigm
  1. T J Hodgetts,
  2. P F Mahoney,
  3. M Q Russell,
  4. M Byers
  1. Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 T J Hodgetts
 Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Birmingham B15 2SQ, UK; Prof.ADMEM{at}rcdm.bham.ac.uk

Statistics from Altmetric.com

“ABC” has now been replaced by “<C>ABC”, where “<C>” stands for “catastrophic haemorrhage”

ABC has become established as the ubiquitous emergency care paradigm, reflected across the spectrum of advanced life support programmes. Military practitioners have been intuitively uncomfortable with this, as experience and evidence indicate that external peripheral haemorrhage is the leading cause of combat casualty death. In the UK military, ABC has now been replaced by <C>ABC, where <C> stands for catastrophic haemorrhage. The rationale for this change is explained in this commentary, together with its relevance to civilian practice.

Military ballistic injury is different from civilian blunt trauma. The nature of ballistic injury varies according to the type of weapon system causing the injury, the type of ballistic protection worn by the casualty and the nature of the conflict (urban, maritime or jungle). Although some injuries are inevitably unsurvivable, death may be avoidable in many cases, with rapid and decisive care at the point of wounding.

Champion et al1 have estimated that 10% of all battlefield deaths are caused by haemorrhage from extremity wounds. On analysis of …

View Full Text

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.