The Value of Live Tissue Training for Combat Casualty Care – A Survey of Canadian Combat Medics with Battlefield Experience in Afghanistan


  1. Kim, M.
  2. Torrie, I.
  3. Poisson, R.
  4. Withers, N.
  5. Bjarnason, S.
  6. DaLuz, L.T.
  7. Pannell, D.
  8. Beckett, A.
  9. Tien, H.C.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN);Sunnybrooke Health Sciences Centre - Toronto, ON (CAN);Canadian Forces Health Services, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The optimum method for training military personnel for combat casualty care is unknown. In particular, there is debate regarding the incremental benefit of live animal tissue training (LTT) over inanimate human patient simulators (HPSs). Although both LTT and HPS are currently used for predeployment training, the efficacy of these models has not been established. Materials and Methods: Canadian Armed Forces combat medics, deployed to Afghanistan between 2006 and 2011, were surveyed retrospectively regarding their experience with combat casualty care and predeployment training. HPSs were used to prepare these combat medics for early rotations. In later years, personnel received a combination of training modalities including HPS and LTT, using anaesthetized porcine models in accordance with appropriate animal care standards. Among those deployed on multiple rotations, there was a cohort who was prepared for deployment using only HPS training, and who later were prepared using mixed-modality training, which included LTT. We asked these medics to compare their predeployment training using HPS only versus their mixed-modality training in how each training package prepared them for battlefield trauma care. Results: Thirty-eight individuals responded, with 20 respondents deployed on multiple rotations. Respondents performed life-saving skills during 89% of the rotations. Self-perceived competence and preparedness were notably higher after incorporation of LTT than after HPS alone. O
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-P001 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Feb 2018
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) MILITARY MEDICINE, 182, 9/10:e1834, 2017
Electronic Document(PDF)

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