About Austere Emergency Care

Field Patient SMS



What is Austere Emergency Care (AEC)?

Prehospital emergency and critical care provided outside normal evacuation timelines in resource-limited environments to prevent or reduce morbidity and mortality of serious and critical casualties until the patient arrives at an appropriate level of care.

Background for AEC

In late 2013, the US military, and Special Operations Forces in particular, began to consider the medical support to operational environments outside the paradigm of robust trauma support encountered in developed Theaters of conflict, notably Iraq and Afghanistan.

What developed from these discussions was the concept of Prolonged Field Care, and with the formation of the Prolonged Field Care Working Group, a robust set of clinical practice guidelines, position papers and operational medicine concepts and best practices evolved.

Prolonged Field Care, however, is not a certification, but rather a description of an operational environment.  As the education and training evolved, there became a need for a course of instruction to better prepare prehospital providers for this space – this was the genesis of the concept for Austere Emergency Care – bringing military best practices to a wider international audience.

Premise of AEC

  • The content builds on TECC.  (this is the expected “first aid”)
  • Intended for prehospital providers functioning in that role (not ad hoc or completely improvised).
  • 2-72 hours duration
  • Focused on recognition and treatment of shock (or “pre-shock”) state, and life- and limb-threatening conditions.
  • Includes:
    1. First aid (TECC)
    2. Initial resuscitation
    3. Life- or limb-saving procedures
    4. Initial medical and pain management
    5. Ongoing treatment and nursing care

How it Fits Into the Prehospital Medical Space

Every system is designed to work with operational timelines.  A chain of support and treatment is based on prehospital planning and resources.  But what happens when these assumptions are confounded by reality?  What happens in remote environments where such factors as distance, weather, or harsh conditions confounds the expeditious treatment and movement of serious casualties to higher levels of care?  What will YOU do?  

If you practice in remote or rural environments, serve on wilderness search and rescue teams, anticipate serving on disaster response or expedition support, this course of study is designed to prepare you for the management of critical and serious casualties managed in remote environments.

"This was the most worthwhile training I have attended in a long time.  Great instructors and relevant and well-researched information.  I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned and use it in my clinical practice.  10/10 would recommend." - Molly