Accession Number:



Battlefield Extremity Injuries in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Extremity injuries account for the majority of wounds incurred during US armed conflicts. Information regarding the severity and short-term outcomes of patients with extremity wounds, however, is limited. The aim of the present study was to describe patients with battlefield extremity injuries in Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF and to compare characteristics of extremity injury patients with other combat wounded. Data were obtained from the United States Navy-Marine Corps Combat Trauma Registry CTR for patients who received treatment for combat wounds at Navy-Marine Corps facilities in Iraq between September 2004 and February 2005. Battlefield extremity injuries were classified according to type, location, and severity patient demographic, injury-specific, and short-term outcome data were analysed. Upper and lower extremity injuries were also compared. A total of 935 combat wounded patients were identified 665 71 sustained extremity injury. Overall, multiple wounding was common an average of 3 wounds per patient, though more prevalent amongst patients with extremity injury than those with other injury 75 vs. 56, P .001. Amongst the 665 extremity injury patients, 261 39 sustained injury to the upper extremities, 223 34 to the lower extremities, and 181 27 to both the upper and lower extremities. Though the total number of patients with upper extremity injury was higher than lower extremity injury, the total number of extremity wounds n 1654 was evenly distributed amongst the upper and lower extremities 827 and 827 wounds, respectively. Further, lower extremity injuries were more likely than the upper extremity injuries to be coded as serious to fatal AIS 2, P .001. Extremity injuries continue to account for the majority of combat wounds. Compared with other conflicts, OIF has seen increased prevalence of patients with upper extremity injuries. Wounds to the lower extremities, however, are more serious.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)

Distribution Statement: