Objective: To examine the experience of the 48th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) while deployed to Afghanistan, with an emphasis on trauma care.
Materials and methods: Before redeployment, a retrospective review was performed on the medical records of all patients treated at the 48th CSH from December 6, 2002 through June 7, 2003.
Results: During the 6-month period, 10,679 patients were evaluated and/or treated. There were 477 hospital admissions (adults, 387; children, 90; trauma, 204) and 634 operating room procedures. The most common mechanisms of injury were land mines/unexploded ordinance (74 = 36%) and gunshot wounds (41 = 20%). Extremities were the most common site. A total of 358 cases was performed on 168 trauma patients (mean, 2 cases per patient; range, 1-12). There were 63 complications in 40 trauma patients and 11 patients died.
Conclusions: The 48th CSH supported military and humanitarian operations with an ongoing process of re-evaluation, adaptation, and medical education that resulted in low morbidity and mortality rates.