This is the first in a series of medical manuals that starts with the basics of what to do first in treament of specific trauma injuries.
Today, TCCC is becoming the standard of care for the tactical management of combat casualties within the Department of Defense and is the sole standard of care endorsed by both the American College of Surgeons and the National Association of EMT's for casualty management in tactical environments.
TCCC is built around three definitive phases of casualty care:
Since "90% of combat deaths occur on the battlefield before the casualty ever reaches a medical treatment facility" (Col. Ron Bellamy) TCCC focuses training on major hemorrhaging, and airway complications such as a tension-pneumothorax. This has driven the casualty fatality rate down to less than 9%.
- Care Under Fire: Care rendered at the scene of the injury while both the medic and the casualty are under hostile fire. Available medical equipment is limited to that carried by each operator and the medic. This stage focuses on a quick assessment, and placing a tourniquet on any major bleed.
- Tactical Field Care: Rendered once the casualty is no longer under hostile fire. Medical equipment is still limited to that carried into the field by mission personnel. Time prior to evacuation may range from a few minutes to many hours. Care here may include advanced airway treatment, IV therapy, etc. The treatment rendered varies depending on the skill level of the provider as well as the supplies available. This is when a corpsman/medic will make a triage and evacuation decision.
- Tactical Evacuation Care (TACEVAC): Rendered while the casualty is evacuated to a higher echelon of care. Any additional personnel and medical equipment pre-staged in these assets will be available during this phase.
Medical Tactical Combat Casualty Care MD0554
Initial introduction to TCCC care for the medic.