249430 Incidence and causes of air-evacuated non-battle injuries among U.S. Army soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, 2001 2009

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bonnie J. Taylor, PhD , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Nicole M. Kosacz, MPH , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Keith G. Hauret, MSPH, MPT , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Shuva Dawadi, MPH , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Kelly A. Loringer, ND, MPH, CPH , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Bruce H. Jones, MD, MPH , Injury Prevention Program, US Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
Background: Non-battle injuries (NBIs) are a leading health problem for the U.S. Army. Even when soldiers are deployed, NBIs are an important problem. In fact, preliminary data for Iraq and Afghanistan (2001 2006) showed that 35% of Soldiers requiring air evacuation to Germany had an NBI. Purpose: Determine the casualty type, incidence, leading causes, types, and anatomical locations of air-evacuated NBIs among soldiers deployed for the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 2009. Methods: Air evacuation records were examined for all soldiers who required medical air evacuation from Iraq or Afghanistan from October 2001 to December 2009. Medical history and coded diagnosis were used to identify casualty type (Battle Injury [BI], NBI, or illness) and to identify the cause, injury type, and anatomical location for NBIs. Results: Of the 51,519 soldiers evacuated, 34.1% had a NBI (rate: 14.7/1,000 person-years) compared to 17.3% (rate: 7.5/1,000 person-years) for BI. The three leading causes of NBI were: sports/physical training (22.2%), falls/jumps (16.8%) and land transport mishaps (14.0%). Fractures (19.4%), pain/inflammation (15.5%) and sprains/strains/ruptures (12.0%) accounted for the majority of injury types, with the most commonly affected anatomical locations consisting of the back (17.3%), knee (15.5%), and wrist/hand (13.3%). Conclusion: The findings of this report are consistent with earlier data from Iraq and Afghanistan. More soldiers were air evacuated for NBIs (34.1 %) than for BIs (17.3%) or any category of disease. Identifying the leading causes of NBI is the first step toward developing future policy and injury prevention strategies.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the incidence of air-evacuated Non-Battle Injuries among soldiers deployed in Iraq & Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009 2. Identify leading causes, types, and anatomical locations of air-evacuated Non-Battle Injuries among soldiers deployed in Iraq & Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009

Keywords: Injury, Occupational Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the data manager and analyst for the US Army deployment injury surveillance datasets for four years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.