Treating the war casualty: case reports of polytrauma

J Hand Ther. 2008 Apr-Jun;21(2):177-87; quiz 188. doi: 10.1197/j.jht.2007.09.002.


The new generation of wounded Warriors is vastly different from those seen in the past, and military occupational therapists (OTs) must adapt to the challenges to meet the needs of these young men and women. Three case reports will be presented demonstrating the adaptability and flexibility of military OTs serving the combat wounded Warrior. The first case report reviews the rehabilitation process of a Sailor who was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) and sustained an open shrapnel wound to his left upper extremity. The second case report presents the complex rehabilitation process of a Soldier who sustained an open distal radius and carpal fractures with soft tissue loss to his left hand from a gunshot wound after his helicopter was shot down. The final case report represents a Soldier who was injured using a table saw while in Iraq and sustained lacerations to his left hand thumb, index, and ring fingers. These case reports represent some of the demands and challenges that military OTs face when treating the war casualty.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel* / psychology
  • Multiple Trauma / psychology
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy*
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Upper Extremity / injuries*
  • Upper Extremity / surgery