Diagnoses and factors associated with medical evacuation and return to duty for service members participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom

a prospective cohort study

Steven Cohen, Charles Brown, Connie Kurihara, Anthony Plunkett, Conner Nguyen, Scott A. Strassels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Anticipation of the types of injuries that occur in modern warfare is essential to plan operations and maintain a healthy military. We aimed to identify the diagnoses that result in most medical evacuations, and ascertain which demographic and clinical variables were associated with return to duty. Methods: Demographic and clinical data were prospectively obtained for US military personnel who had been medically evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom (January, 2004-December, 2007). Diagnoses were categorised post hoc according to the International Classification of Diseases codes that were recorded at the time of transfer. The primary outcome measure was return to duty within 2 weeks. Findings: 34 006 personnel were medically evacuated, of whom 89% were men, 91% were enlisted, 82% were in the army, and 86% sustained an injury in Iraq. The most common reasons for medical evacuation were: musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders (n=8104 service members, 24%), combat injuries (n=4713, 14%), neurological disorders (n=3502, 10%), psychiatric diagnoses (n=3108, 9%), and spinal pain (n=2445, 7%). The factors most strongly associated with return to duty were being a senior officer (adjusted OR 2·01, 95% CI 1·71-2·35, p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalThe Lancet
Volume375
Issue number9711
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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2003-2011 Iraq War
Afghan Campaign 2001-
Cohort Studies
Prospective Studies
Wounds and Injuries
Demography
Iraq
Military Personnel
International Classification of Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Connective Tissue
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Diagnoses and factors associated with medical evacuation and return to duty for service members participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom : a prospective cohort study. / Cohen, Steven; Brown, Charles; Kurihara, Connie; Plunkett, Anthony; Nguyen, Conner; Strassels, Scott A.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 375, No. 9711, 2010, p. 301-309.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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