Orthopaedic Field Experience at a Level II Navy Surgical Facility During Operation Iraqi Freedom
NAVAL AMBULATORY CARE CENTER GROTON CT
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A review of the orthopaedic surgical experience at a level II Navy field hospital during Operation Iraqi Freedom was undertaken. A retrospective data review was performed to evaluate include demographics of casualties treated mechanism of injury and procedures performed. Results confirm that a majority of the injuries sustained on the battlefield will be to the musculoskeletal system. Both battle and non-battle injuries were administered to. The surgical environment remains austere at the level of the echelon II field hospital, requiring tolerance and improvisation. Management of the wounds remains unchanged, i.e. debridement and stabilization, and may be referred to in present day terms as damage control orthopaedics. Our results differ from the etiology of the injuries seen from other reports of recent campaigns. The majority of the battle injuries attended to at this facility were due to missile wounds as opposed to blast injuries as seen in other recent campaigns. Despite this the majority of wounds remained orthopaedic. The Orthopaedic surgeon is a vital asset to our fighting force in the field.
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