Analysis of wounds incurred by U.S. Army Seventh Corps personnel treated in Corps hospitals during Operation Desert Storm, February 20 to March 10, 1991

J Trauma. 1996 Mar;40(3 Suppl):S165-9. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199603001-00036.


One hundred and forty-three soldiers who received ballistic injury were actively treated at U.S. Army Seventh Corps hospitals during Operation Desert Storm. Ninety-five percent were wounded by fragments, 5% by bullets. Many had wounds of several body parts, including 17.3% who received a head wound; 4.3% a neck wound; 5.8% a chest wound; 9.3% an abdominal wound; and 90% who had extremity wounds. Three hospital deaths occurred--a 2.1% mortality rate. Only two soldiers sustained a brain wound; in both, the missile entered below the skull area protected by the Kevlar helmet. One brainwounded individual was treated and lived; the other died from hemorrhage and shock from concomitant traumatic lower-extremity amputations. The current U.S. helmet appears to provide significant protection from fragmenting ordnance as does the armored vest. Hemorrhage from proximal extremity wounds caused hospital deaths. Treatment of such wounds will have to be improved to reduce future combat mortality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Middle East / epidemiology
  • Military Personnel*
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology
  • Multiple Trauma / prevention & control*
  • Protective Devices*
  • United States
  • Warfare*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / prevention & control*