As part of the operation Sangaris begun in December 2013 in the Central African Republic, the 14th Parachutist Forward Surgical Team (FST) was deployed to support French troops. The FST (role 2 in the NATO classification) is a mobile surgical-medical treatment facility. The main goal of the FST is to assure the initial damage control surgery and resuscitation for combat casualties, allowing for the early evacuation to combat support hospitals (roles 3 or 4), where further treatments are completed. During the first trimester of the operation Sangaris, 42 patients were treated at FST, of whom 29 underwent surgery. Almost 50% of patients operated on were French servicemen. All admissions were emergency admissions. Orthopedic surgery represented two-thirds of surgical interventions executed as a result of the high proportion of limb injuries. Fifty percent of injuries were specifically linked to combat. Surgery in an FST is primarily dedicated to the treatment of combat casualties with hemorrhagic injuries, but additionally plays a part in supporting general medical care of French troops. Medical aid to the general civilian population is justifiable because of the presence of medical treatment facilities, even in the initial implementation of a military operation.
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