Non-traumatic Pulmonary Emergencies in the Deployed Setting

Curr Pulmonol Rep. 2017;6(2):138-145. doi: 10.1007/s13665-017-0180-1. Epub 2017 May 27.


Purpose of review: Pulmonary disorders accounted for up to 8% of the over 70,000 medical evacuations conducted from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 15 years. This review of non-traumatic pulmonary emergencies provides an overview of deployed military medical treatment capabilities and highlights pulmonary emergencies requiring aeromedical evacuation from theater.

Recent findings: Recent studies have improved the epidemiologic evaluation of non-traumatic pulmonary disease, highlighted specific parenchymal diseases, and revealed infection pathologies unique to the deployed setting. Literature regarding possible chemical exposures in the current deployed environment remains limited.

Summary: Respiratory disorders requiring medical evacuation represent a wide variety of diseases. Complications such as pulmonary emboli, infectious pathogens, and hazardous chemical exposures threaten the deployed warfighter. Adequate medical care requires an understanding of these potential environmental exposures. This review serves as a general overview of this topic; however, more research regarding epidemiologic and environmental exposures is required.

Keywords: Afghan war; Chemical warfare; Critical care; Iraq war; Lung injury; Pulmonary eosinophilia; War-related injuries; War-related trauma.

Publication types

  • Review