A descriptive analysis of casualties evacuated from the Africa area of operations

Steven G. Schauer, Michael D. April, Jason F. Naylor, Joseph K. Maddry, Donald E. Keen, Cord W. Cunningham, Tyson E. Becker, Thomas Walters, Sean Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The United States (US) military has expanded its area of operations into Africa. This medically immature theater is spread across a large region where prolonged field care (PFC) events are likely to occur. We describe trauma cases reported in the Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of operations to date within the Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DODTR). Methods: We queried the DODTR for all subjects evacuated from the AFRICOM area of operations from January 2002 to June 2017. Results: There were 49 subjects in the registry during our time frame from AFRICOM. Most of the evacuations came from Djibouti (53%). The median age was 29 years, most evacuees being male (92%). Non-battle injuries accounted for most of the injuries (82%), and most were US military (90%). All battle injuries were gunshot wounds (GSW). Composite injury scores were low (median 4, IQR 4–9.5). All subjects survived to hospital discharge. GSWs (22%) and sports injuries (24%) accounted for most evacuations. Serious injuries most frequently involved the extremities (18%) and the thorax (12%). The most frequent major injuries were open fractures (22%) and abdominal injuries (10%). The most frequent facility-based interventions performed were wound debridement (29%) and fracture/joint dislocation reduction (22%). Discussion: Based on this dataset, most of the injuries from AFRICOM were non-battle injuries. All battle injuries were GSWs. Our study highlights the differences in casualty care needs in this region which contrast the primary explosive-based injuries seen within United States Central Command (CENTCOM) operations. The limitations of this dataset highlight the potential value of a Joint Trauma Service (JTS) data collection mandate and resource support for units within this region to facilitate targeted improvements in medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S43-S46
JournalAfrican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Evacuation
  • Field
  • Military
  • Prolonged
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Gerontology
  • Emergency
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Critical Care

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  • Cite this

    Schauer, S. G., April, M. D., Naylor, J. F., Maddry, J. K., Keen, D. E., Cunningham, C. W., Becker, T. E., Walters, T., & Keenan, S. (2019). A descriptive analysis of casualties evacuated from the Africa area of operations. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 9, S43-S46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2018.09.004