Multidisciplinary trauma team care in Kandahar, Afghanistan: current injury patterns and care practices

Injury. 2012 Dec;43(12):2072-7. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.01.005. Epub 2012 Feb 2.


Multidisciplinary trauma care systems have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Medical care in support of the global war on terror has provided opportunities to refine these systems. We report on the multidisciplinary trauma care system at the Role III Hospital at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. We reviewed the Joint Trauma System Registry, Kandahar database from 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2010 and extracted data regarding patient demographics, clinical variables and outcomes. We also queried the operating room records from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010. In the study period of 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2010, 2599 patients presented to the trauma bay, with the most common source of injury being from Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts (915), followed by gunshot wounds (GSW) (327). Importantly, 19 patients with triple amputations as a result of injuries from IEDs were seen. 127 patients were massively transfused. The in-hospital mortality was 4.45%. From 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010, 4106.24 operating room hours were logged to complete 1914 patient cases. The mean number of procedures per case in 2009 was 1.27, compared to 3.11 in 2010. Multinational, multidisciplinary care is required for the large number of severely injured patients seen at Kandahar Airfield. Multidisciplinary trauma care in Kandahar is effective and can be readily employed in combat hospitals in Afghanistan and serve as a model for civilian centres.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Amputation, Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Amputation, Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Amputation, Traumatic / surgery*
  • Blast Injuries / drug therapy
  • Blast Injuries / epidemiology
  • Blast Injuries / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Military
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Male
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Trauma Centers*
  • Triage
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / drug therapy
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery*