The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) has over 375,000 military personnel, civilian employees, and their dependents. Routine pediatric care is available in theater, but pediatric subspecialty, surgical, and intensive care often require patient movement. Transfer is frequently performed by military air evacuation teams and intermittently augmented by civilian services. Pediatric care requires special training and equipment, yet most transports are staffed by non-pediatric specialists. We seek to describe the epidemiology of pediatric transport missions in INDOPACOM. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients less than 18 years old transported within INDOPACOM and logged into the Transportation Command Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES) database from June 2008 through June 2018 was conducted. Data are reported using descriptive statistics. Patients were categorized into four age groups: neonatal (<31 days), infant (31-364 days), young children (1 to <8 years), and older children (8-17 years). Results: During the study period, 687 out of 4,217 (16.3%) transports were children. Median age was 4 years (interquartile range 6 months to 8 years) and 654 patients (95.2%) were transported via military fixed-wing aircraft. There were 219 (31.9%) neonates, 162 (23.6%) infants, 133 (19.4%) young children, and 173 (25.2%) older children. Most common diagnoses encountered were respiratory, cardiac, or abdominal, although older children had a higher percentage of psychiatric diagnoses (28%). Mechanical ventilation was used in 118 (17.2%) patients, and 75 (63.6%) of these patients were neonates. Conclusions: Within TRAC2ES, nearly one in six encounters were patients aged <18 years, with neonates or infants representing nearly one of three pediatric encounters. Slightly more than one in six pediatric patients required intubation for transport. The data suggest the need for appropriately trained transport teams and equipment be provided to support these missions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health