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The TCCC course is the military counterpart to the Prehospital Trauma Life Support Course. It is designed for military medics, corpsmen, and pararescuemen who are preparing to deploy in support of combat operations. Casualty care on the battlefield must be the best possible combination of good medicine and good small-unit tactics.
The specifics of casualty care in the tactical setting will depend on the tactical situation, the injuries sustained by the casualty, the knowledge and skills of the first responder, and the medical equipment at hand. In contrast to a hospital Emergency Department setting where the patient IS the mission, on the battlefield, care of casualties sustained is only PART of the mission.
There are three phases of care in TCCC:
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;
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; and
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.
Training objectives included tourniquet application/hemorrhage control, needle decompression, patient movement/splinting, nasopharyngeal (NPA) airway insertion, MEDEVAC request/9-Line and rotary wing/loading procedures. Also, the participants had to be able to evaluate each other, design their own scenarios and perform other instructor skills so that they would be able to return their own units able to teach on their own.