Calcaneus Fractures: A Possible Musculoskeletal Emergency
Background- Few published reports have examined the numbers of civilian injuries treated at Military Treatment Facilities in the Afghan Theater of Operations. However, review of Department of Defense Trauma Registry revealed a persistent percentage of civilians treated by NATO, and this study compares the proportion of civilians served by Afghan and Coalition military hospitals between 2009 and 2013. Methods- A retrospective review of records from Department of Defense trauma Registry for Coalition data, and Afghan data from the Office of the Inspector General. We assessed changes in the proportion of civilians served between 2009 and 2013 at Afghan and Coalition hospitals. Results- There was a significant percentage (21.55%) of civilians served at both Afghan and Coalition hospitals. While the total population of Afghan Nationals treated remained steady, the number of total civilians decreased over this time period. To account for this, the percentage of military personnel increased at Afghan military hospitals. In Coalition hospitals the civilian population increased between 2009 and 2011 and then decreased between 2011 and 2013. Conclusions- For all hospitals, whether Afghan or Coalition hospitals, there was a persistent level of civilian admissions. A downward trend for civilian patients in the Coalition hospitals and a similar increase in Afghan hospitals was expected. However the numbers for Afghan hospitals instead showed a downward trend, potentially from the loss of logistical assistance provided by Coalition forces in transferring patients to Afghan hospitals. As evidenced by our data, future missions should plan to provide care for this civilian population, by allocating funding and appropriately training personnel. Additionally, logistical concerns of transferring to host-nation facilities and training host- nation providers will require foresight, planning and diplomatic overtures, not always included in tactical decision making.