Background: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA), used to temporize noncompressible and junctional hemorrhage, may be deployable to the forward environment. Our hypothesis was that nonsurgeon physicians and high-level military medical technicians would be able to learn the theory and insertion of REBOA.
Methods: US Army Special Operations Command medical personnel without prior endovascular experience were included. All participants received didactic instruction of the Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma Course™ together, with individual evaluation of technical skills. A pretest and a posttest were administered to assess comprehension.
Results: Four members of US Army Special Operations Command-two nonsurgeon physicians, one physician assistant, and one Special Operations Combat Medic-were included. REBOA procedural times moving from trial 1 to trial 6 decreased significantly from 186 ± 18.7 seconds to 83 ± 10.3 seconds (ρ < .0001). All participants demonstrated safe REBOA insertion and verbalized the indications for REBOA insertion and removal through all trials. All five procedural tasks were performed correctly by each participant. Comprehension and knowledge between the pretest and posttest improved significantly from 67.6 ± 7.3% to 81.3 ± 8.1% (ρ = .039).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that nonsurgeon and nonphysician providers can learn the steps required for REBOA after arterial access is established. Although insertion is relatively straightforward, the inability to gain arterial access percutaneously is prohibitive in providers without a surgical skillset and should be the focus of further training.