A Perspective on the Potential for Battlefield Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta

J Spec Oper Med. Spring 2017;17(1):72-75.


Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) has a place in civilian trauma centers in the United States, and British physicians performed the first prehospital REBOA, proving the concept viable for civilian emergency medical service. Can this translate into battlefield REBOA to stop junctional hemorrhage and extend "golden hour" rings in combat? If yes, at what level is this procedure best suited and what does it entail? This author's perspective, after treating patients on the battlefield and during rotary wing evacuation, is that REBOA may have a place in prehospital resuscitation but patient and provider selection are paramount. The procedure, although simple in description, is quite complicated and can cause major physiologic changes best dealt with by experienced providers. REBOA is incapable of extending the golden hour limiting the procedure's utility.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta*
  • Balloon Occlusion / methods*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • War-Related Injuries / therapy*