Get Familiar with TCCC

Get Familiar with TCCC

If you aren’t familiar with the acronym TCCC, you might want to check out a recent article by Gorillafritz, AKA Greg Ellifritz , “Field Medicine for Terrorist Attacks.”

TCCC stands for Tactical Combat Casualty Care and is “the type of training that people need to effectively cope with battlefield injuries.” Gorillafritz details the basic steps we need to become familiar with.

Photo Credit: Garcia

1) Get the patient to safety.  In an active shooting event or terrorist bombing, EMS may not be allowed to enter buildings or bomb sites until they are deemed “safe” by law enforcement personnel.  That may mean a long wait for you or your patient.  If you can get outside to safety, do so.  If you can carry your patient to a safer place to wait for medical care, it would be a good idea.

2) Stop the bleeding.  The number one cause of preventable battlefield death is uncontrolled bleeding from an extremity.  You have to stop the leaks! Direct pressure is the standby solution.  It works well and will stop bleeding in about 95% of battlefield injuries.  For it to work however, direct pressure must be hard and sustained.  That limits the rescuer to treating only one casualty at a time.  It also may be difficult to perform while exhausted or while you are carrying your casualty to safety.

3) Use a tourniquet.  For some wounds, a pressure dressing won’t be enough to stop the bleeding.  That’s where the tourniquet comes in. Tourniquets were once demonized and treated as a “last resort”.  Recent military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has changed medical thinking on this previously controversial practice.  The military is now teaching aggressive tourniquet use and cites it as the single most successful battlefield medical intervention to prevent death from combat trauma.  Not a single soldier in our war on terror has lost a limb from a properly placed tourniquet.

4) Use a hemostatic agent.  What if the bleeding is from a location where a tourniquet can’t be placed?  If the wound is on the shoulder, the neck, or the groin, you may not be able to use a tourniquet.  In that case, you will need a hemostatic agent.  These are basically chemical blood stoppers.  There have been several generations of them over the years, but the current crop stops bleeding well and does not produce the extreme heat that earlier varieties did.

Photo Credit: Garcia

It’s really is worth taking a few extra moments to become better prepared, in case we find ourselves in a situation where there’s no one qualified or the qualified are outnumbered.


Gorillafritz gives details on the specific types of products he prefers as well as links to training that is not only free, it can be done from the comfort of your living room.

You can read the full article here.

Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!

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