Site Search
Trauma-List Subscription


Would you like to receive list emails batched into one daily digest?
No Yes
Modify Your Subscription


Home > List Archives

Document request

Roger Kieffer Rkieffer at oakcreekwi.org
Fri Aug 14 17:51:30 BST 2015

As a Tactical paramedic (TEMS) attached to a SWAT team we base a lot of our protocols based on the modalities and recommendations set forth by the Committee on Tactical Casualty Care (C-TCCC) and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (C-TECC) which is the civilian form of TECC. C-TECC is comprised of a broad range of interagency operational and academic leaders in the practice of high threat medicine and fire/rescue from across the nation, including members from emergency medicine, emergency medical services, police, fire, and the military special operations community. It is the responsibility of C-TECC to maintain and update the TECC guidelines, incorporating new information and technology and reflecting the best evidenced-based medicine principles. Key word being EVIDENCE based.  I have attached a study that compared the efficacy of a preferred unvented with that of a vented chest seal that you may find helpful.

Based off of C-TECC recommendations our Tactical Paramedics  with needle decompression capabilities use a non-vented chest seal. Other prehospital providers that cannot perform a needle thoracostomy use vented chest seals to help mitigate the potential  for developing a tension pneumothorax. Also to address the comment made about most field needle decompressions not being effective due to the needle not being long enough, most tactical teams have switched to using the ARS needle which is a 14 GA needle at 3.25 inches long compared to your usual 14 Ga IV catheter generally used by prehospital paramedics which is only 1.75 inches long.

Stay safe,
Firefighter/Paramedic/TEMS Assistant Team Leader

7000 S. 6th Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154

TEL: (414) 570-5630
CELL: (414) 659-2881
FAX: (414) 570-5631
rkieffer at oakcreekwi.org

-----Original Message-----
From: trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org [mailto:trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org] On Behalf Of Stuke, Lance E.
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2015 9:13 AM
To: Trauma-List [TRAUMA.ORG]
Subject: RE: Document request

Our medics routinely perform needle decompression. Similar to what's been mentioned before, about half don't even enter the thorax due to needle size. Additionally, I don't think the procedure is indicated in the vast majority of cases, but this is difficult to prove retrospectively in the hospital. One thing our medics are doing, which I totally agree with, is they have adopted the military/TCCC  policy- all trauma codes (unless isolated head trauma) get bilateral needle decompressions. We haven't tracked post-procedure empyema rates but this would make for an interesting study.


Lance Stuke, MD, MPH, FACS
Associate Program Director
LSU Department of Surgery
PHTLS - Associate Medical Director
New Orleans, LA

From: trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org [trauma-list-bounces at trauma.org] on behalf of Young, Regena [Regena.Young at erlanger.org]
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2015 8:29 AM
To: Trauma-List [TRAUMA.ORG]
Subject: Re: Document request

Failure rates of needle decompression are usually related to not having a Large enough bore needle/catheter &/long enough one.  In addition, securing the catheter so that it does not dislodge during transfer is a challenge.

As far as chest tubes go, it depends on the agency's policy & adequate training w/ medical director approval of pre-hospital providers inserting them.

For instance, our flight paramedics are trained to insert them where ground paramedics in this community are not.

Hope this helps.

Regena Young

Sent from Divide

On Aug 14, 2015 9:00:13 AM, Greg Chapman <chapmgre1 at gmail.com> wrote:

So the question at hand is in a open (sucking) chest wound what would work
best.   Some recent data from the military suggests that the application of
a non-vented chest seal (or three sided dressing that has malfunctioned) can actually do more harm than no care at all.  If you take a simple pneumothorax and turn it into a tension by placing an occlusive dressing have we provided good patient care?

Greg Chapman BS.,RRT, REMT-P
Director, Center for Prehospital Medicine Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte NC

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 8:41 AM, Charles Krin <cskrin2 at hughes.net> wrote:

> I don't know about McSwain's Dart, but I understand that the failure
> rate of needle decompression is rather high...through a combination of
> adverse anatomy and diagnostic problems.
> Chuck
> On 8/14/2015 07:20, Robert Smith wrote:
> > Is there  a difference in empyema rate or other complication rates
> > chest
> tube vs. needle decompression?
> >
> >
> > Robert F. Smith MD, MPH
> > Cook County Trauma (ret)
> >
> >> On Aug 14, 2015, at 7:03 AM, Charles Krin <cskrin2 at hughes.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> I agree with Larry, but also pointed out that it is NOT something
> >> US paramedics are routinely educated and trained to handle, nor
> >> something that generally falls under a paramedic scope of practice
> >> to the best of my knowledge.
> >>
> >> And as more military medics transition back to civilian life, it
> >> will be interesting to see how it affects the National Registry and
> >> other Paramedic certifying groups. It is nice that most of the
> >> military medics are now able to test for appropriate NR levels
> >> (something that was not directly available when I was enlisted back
> >> in the early 1980s), but medics and corpsmen have been able to do
> >> *many* more procedures than their civilian counterparts, at least on other military members.
> >>
> >> Chuck
> >>
> >>
> --
> trauma-list : TRAUMA.ORG
> To change your settings or unsubscribe visit:
> http://www.trauma.org/index.php?/community/
trauma-list : TRAUMA.ORG
To change your settings or unsubscribe visit:

The information or documents contained in this electronic mail message are intended to be privileged and confidential information only for the use of the entity named herein or above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copy of this message or document is strictly prohibited. If you have received this electronic mail transmission in error, notify the sender by e-mail and delete all copies from your system. Erlanger Health System is not responsible for errors in this electronic mail message. Any personal comments made do not necessarily reflect the views of Erlanger Health System.
trauma-list : TRAUMA.ORG
To change your settings or unsubscribe visit:
trauma-list : TRAUMA.ORG
To change your settings or unsubscribe visit:


The City of Oak Creek is subject to Wisconsin Statutes related to public records. Unless otherwise exempted from the public records law, senders and receivers of City email should presume that this email message is subject to release upon request, and to state records retention requirements.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: TCCC	Vented_versus_unvented_chest_seals_for_treatment 26 (1).pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 694603 bytes
Desc: TCCC Vented_versus_unvented_chest_seals_for_treatment	26 (1).pdf
URL: <http://list.mistral.net/pipermail/trauma-list/attachments/20150814/31029c70/attachment-0001.pdf>

More information about the trauma-list mailing list