Splenic Injury Sustained During Body Hardening Drills and the Utility of Ultrasound in a Prehospital Combat Medical Environment

Everett, John J.; Laselle, Brooks; Kendall, John
March 2010
Military Medicine;Mar2010, Vol. 175 Issue 3, p182
Academic Journal
This report describes a case of intra-abdominal hemorrhage from body hardening drills in a U.S. soldier during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In body hardening, participants allow themselves to be repeatedly punched and kicked in an effort to impart physical resilience. Portable sonography was used to diagnose hemoperitoneum and to guide the decision for urgent surgical evacuation, ultimately resulting in splenectomy. The case illustrates the risks of body hardening, the medical challenges unique to a prehospital combat environment, and the utility of ultrasound in this setting.


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