Concept: United States Department of Defense
On July 13, 2015, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the military anticipates lifting its ban on service by transgender persons, those whose gender identity does not match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Although an estimated 12,800 transgender personnel currently serve in the U.S. armed forces (see table for explanations of estimates), they must conceal their gender identity because military policy bans them from serving and prohibits military doctors from providing transition-related care. Although some transgender people do not change their bodies to match their gender identities, government agencies, courts, and scientists agree that for many, transition-related . . .
A recent large civilian randomized controlled trial on the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) for trauma reported important survival benefits. Subsequently, successful use of TXA for combat casualties in Afghanistan was also reported. As a result of these promising studies, there has been growing interest in the use of TXA for trauma. Potential adverse effects of TXA have also been reported. A US Department of Defense committee conducted a review and assessment of knowledge gaps and research requirements regarding the use of TXA for the treatment of casualties that have experienced traumatic hemorrhage. Here we present identified knowledge gaps and associated research priorities. We believe that important knowledge gaps exist and that a targeted, prioritized research effort will contribute to the refinement of practice guidelines over time.
Training of emergency procedures is challenging and application is not routine in all health care settings. The debate over simulation as an alternative to live tissue training continues with legislation before Congress to banish live tissue training in the Department of Defense. Little evidence exists to objectify best practice. We sought to evaluate live tissue and simulation-based training practices in 12 life-saving emergency procedures.
Prevalence, Distribution, and Development of an Ecological Niche Model of Dermacentor variabilis Ticks Positive for Rickettsia montanensis
- Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
- Published almost 4 years ago
Rickettsia montanensis has long been considered a nonpathogenic member of the spotted fever group rickettsiae. However, the infection potential of R. montanensis is being revisited in light of its recent association with a case of human infection in the United States and the possibility that additional cases may have been misdiagnosed as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. To this end, DNA was extracted from American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) removed from Department of Defense (DoD) personnel and their dependents at DoD medical treatment facilities (MTFs) during 2002-2012 (n = 4792). These 4792 samples were analyzed for the presence of R. montanensis (n = 136; 2.84%) and all vector DNA was confirmed to be of D. variabilis origin using a novel Dermacentor genus-specific quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction procedure, Derm, and a novel Dermacentor species multilocus sequence typing assay. To assess the risk of R. montanensis infection, the positive and negative samples were geographically mapped utilizing MTF site locations. Tick localities were imported into a geographical information systems (GIS) program, ArcGIS, for mapping and analysis. The ecological niche modeling (ENM) program, Maxent, was used to estimate the probability of tick presence in eastern United States using locations of both R. montanensis-positive and -negative ticks, climate, and elevation data. The ENM for R. montanensis-positive D. variabilis estimated high probabilities of the positive ticks occurring in two main areas, including the northern Midwest and mid-Atlantic portions of the northeastern regions of United States, whereas the R. montanensis-negative D. variabilis tick model showed a wider estimated range. The results suggest that R. montanensis-positive and -negative D. variabilis have different ranges where humans may be at risk and are influenced by similar and different factors.
The purpose of this study was to describe changes in hearing, using the permanent threshold shift metric, among United States Air Force servicemembers, including active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard components, for demographics, job categories, and career fields. In the United States Air Force, only servicemembers who are occupationally exposed routinely to hazardous noise are monitored. Audiogram records and demographic variables were analyzed for servicemembers from 2005 to 2011 using data from the Department of Defense system that captures occupational hearing tests worldwide. Results suggest that occupational hearing loss was larger in males than females, in officers than enlisted populations, and in Reserve and Air National Guard than in active duty. Compared to similar civilian career fields, active duty has lower prevalence rates for occupational hearing loss overall, although Reserve and Air National Guard prevalence rates were more similar to the civilian reported rates. The proportion of personnel with permanent threshold shifts varied between 4.6 - 16.7% within active duty career fields, which includes 76% of the population for study timeframe. Permanent threshold shift was larger in small job categories, and in jobs that are not considered exposed to hazardous noise routinely which is comparative with results from civilian data analysis of occupational hearing loss. Further investigation into testing practices for Air Force specific groups, use of the system for non-occupational hearing testing, and challenges to follow-up compliance is warranted. Increased surveillance procedures for occupational hearing loss are needed to address concerns on the prevalence of servicemember hearing loss, the role of recreational and lifestyle factors to contribute the high reported hearing loss prevalence of veterans compared to non-veterans.
The burden of alcohol misuse is unknown among shipboard U.S. Navy and Marine Corps military personnel immediately prior to deployment and may be elevated.
The natural history of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion remains poorly defined and no objective biomarker of physiological recovery exists for clinical use. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) established the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium to study the natural history of clinical and neurobiological recovery after concussion in the service of improved injury prevention, safety and medical care for student-athletes and military personnel.
The Department of Defense uses a universal prevention framework for sexual assault prevention, with each branch implementing its own branch-wide programs. Intensive interventions exist, but would be cost effective only if targeted at high-risk personnel. This study developed actuarial models to identify male U.S. Army soldiers at high risk of administratively recorded sexual assault perpetration.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently announced that he wanted to end tobacco sales on all Navy installations. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, citing both financial costs and tobacco’s harmful effects on readiness, added that military tobacco policy in general should be reviewed, including the possibility of ending tobacco sales and establishing smoke-free military installations. Currently, a Department of Defense review of the tobacco issue is under way, 5 years after the Institute of Medicine called for a tobacco-free military.(1) Military personnel are required to pass fitness tests, undergo periodic drug tests, and meet weight and body-composition standards or . . .
- Biosecurity and bioterrorism : biodefense strategy, practice, and science
- Published almost 6 years ago
In 2005 and 2009, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) staged deliberate releases of a commercially available organic pesticide containing Bacillus amyloliquefaciens to evaluate PFPA’s biothreat response protocols. In concert with, but independent of, these releases, the Department of Homeland Security sponsored experiments to evaluate the efficacy of commonly employed air and surface sampling techniques for detection of an aerosolized biological agent. High-volume air samplers were placed in the expected downwind plume, and samples were collected before, during, and after the releases. Environmental surface and personal air samples were collected in the vicinity of the high-volume air samplers hours after the plume had dispersed. The results indicate it is feasible to detect the release of a biological agent in an urban area both during and after the release of a biological agent using high-volume air and environmental sampling techniques.