Battlefield medicine, also called Field Surgery and later Combat Casualty Care, is the treatment of wounded combatants and non-combatants in or near an area of combat. Civilian medicine has been greatly advanced by procedures that were first developed to treat the wounds inflicted during combat. With the advent of advanced procedures and medical technology, even polytrauma can be survivable in modern wars. Battlefield medicine is a category of military medicine.
Unlike civilian EMT-Bs , Combat Lifesavers are trained and authorized to perform a number of invasive ALS techniques normally limited to EMT-Is and Ps, such as needle chest decompression, venipuncture, insertion of an indwelling venous catheter for administration of intravenous fluids and use of a multi-lumen blind insertion airway device such as a Combitube or King LT. Furthermore, by the very definition of the role they are intended to fill, they must be capable of performing these ALS techniques rapidly, alone and without expert on-the-spot guidance, which is a level of trust not seen in the civilian world until EMT-P.