PROVIDE INITIAL CARE FOR A CASUALTY SUFFERING FROM
COMBAT STRESS REACTION
Soldiers in combat situations can experience overwhelming reactions to stress
both physically and mentally. These reactions may result from physical exhaustion, the
fear of constant alertness, the trauma of seeing fellow soldiers wounded or killed, the
fear of being killed or maimed, or the fear of killing other persons. Combat stress
reactions can be temporary; the soldier may not always be required to be removed from
combat duty. However, if a soldier cannot function effectively on his job, you, as a
medical specialist, may provide initial treatment or psychological first aid to the soldier.
The critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) is another form of treatment that is
available after a significant event. This requires a team of trained personnel to respond
shortly after the incident.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
a. Combat Stress Reactions. Combat stress reactions are the emotional
reactions that are temporary and experienced by every person who undergoes the
stress of combat (includes both battle fatigue and transient battle reactions).
b. Transient Battle Reactions. Transient battle reactions are the temporary,
debilitating psychological disorders that usually subside following rest and initial
c. Fear. Fear is the emotional response that is aroused by anxiety, panic, fright,
terror, horror, an/or apprehension to real danger.
d. Anxiety. Anxiety is the distress or uneasiness caused by danger or
situational stress that involves the feeling of apprehension, uncertainty, and insecurity.
e. Depression. Depression is the low level of functioning that manifests itself
through the feeling of sadness, despair, hopelessness, dejection, discouragement, and
f. Lethality. Lethality refers to the accuracy and killing power of modern
weapons, which may increase levels of psychological stress.
The battlefield environment may include the possible use of nuclear,
All of the above can increase the level of psychological stress.