Far forward gynecologic care of the female soldier

John H. Parley, Alma Alexander, Christopher Zahn, Terry A. Harrison, Peter Nielsen, Walter Branch, Wilma Larsen, Dallas Homas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the value, unit cost and medical effectiveness of providing specialized obstetric and gynecologic care far forward, at echelon III, the combat support hospital (CSH), in the operating theater of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), rotation 5. STUDY DESIGN: Between April 2004 and September 2004, records were reviewed from the outpatient gynecology clinic at Bagram Air Field (BAF), in Afghanistan, through an approved protocol request. Cohort analysis was performed on all gynecologic patients. Significant differences in distribution of clinical factors were determined by Student's t test. RESULTS: A total of 62 cases were extracted for analysis over the 6-month period. Fifty-seven total patients were seen at echelon III, the CSH at BAF, while 5 were sent to level IV or V echelon care in Landstuhl, Germany. The average distance traveled for the patients coming to BAF was 158 km, while those sent to Germany averaged 5,204 km. The mean travel time in days was significantly lower among patients seen at BAF, 0.5 versus 7 days for patients sent to Germany. The time to appointment was also significantly lower among those patients seen at BAF 0.04 versus 23 days for patients sent to Germany. CONCLUSION: We devised and implemented the concept of far forward specialized gynecologic care for women participating in OEF. This substantially decreased the woman-hours lost by their individual units. The far forward availability of gynecologic care and the supplies to evaluate and treat abnormal Pap smears should be considered by all military services in their plans for providing health care for the modern female soldier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Military hospitals
  • Military medicine
  • Military personnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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