An analysis of US Africa command area of operations military medical transportations, 2008–2018

Brandon Carius, William T. Davis, Carlissa D. Linscomb, Mireya A. Escandon, Dylan Rodriguez, Nguvan Uhaa, Joseph K. Maddry, Kevin K. Chung, Steve Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: With personnel scattered throughout a continent 3 times larger than the United States, a lack of mature medical facilities necessitates a significant transportation network for medical evacuation in US Africa Command (AFRICOM). We describe medical evacuations analyzed from the US Air Force Transportation Command Regulating and Command & Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES). Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all TRAC2ES medical records for medical evacuations from the AFRICOM theater of operations conducted between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2018. We abstracted free text data entry in TRAC2ES for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions performed prior to the patient movement request. Results: During this time, there were 963 cases recorded in TRAC2ES originating within AFRICOM. 961 records were complete for analysis. Most patients were male (82%) and military personnel (92%). Most transports originated in Djibouti (72%), and Germany (93%) was the most common destination. Medical evacuations were largely routine (66%), and routine evacuations were proportionally highest amongst US military personnel compared to all other groups. A small portion of patients were evacuated for battle injuries (4%), compared to non-battle injury (33%) and disease (63%). Within disease, the largest proportion of patient complaints centered on gastrointestinal symptoms (13%), behavioral health (11%) and chest pain (8%). Prior to evacuation, only 55% of patients were document as receiving any medication. Pain control was documented in 21% of cases, most commonly being NSAIDs (7%). Discussion: Extremely low numbers of battle injuries highlight the unique nature of AFRICOM operations compared to areas with more intense combat operations. Limitations of the dataset highlight the need for a data collection mandate within AFRICOM as within other areas for optimization and performance improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalAfrican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Africa
  • Evacuation
  • Medical
  • Military
  • Transport
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Carius, B., Davis, W. T., Linscomb, C. D., Escandon, M. A., Rodriguez, D., Uhaa, N., Maddry, J. K., Chung, K. K., & Schauer, S. (2020). An analysis of US Africa command area of operations military medical transportations, 2008–2018. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 10(1), 13-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2019.09.005