A survey of outpatient visits in a United States Army forward unit during Operation Desert Shield

Mil Med. 1997 Jun;162(6):374-9.


Reports suggest that deployed soldiers during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm remained healthy, but primary care data are limited. We reviewed the outpatient visit surveillance data from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment to obtain information regarding soldiers' health in the field. Nontraumatic orthopedic problems accounted for the highest incidence of primary health care visits, followed by unintended injuries, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and dermatologic conditions. Visits for heat injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, unexplained fever, and psychiatric problems were low, probably due to preventive measures. These results suggest that increased prevention to decrease orthopedic problems and unintended injuries may substantially reduce outpatient visits during future deployments. Medical surveillance during future deployments can be improved by taking advantage of current advances in technology to facilitate patient data retrieval and provide timely information to first- and second-echelon medical personnel.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bone Diseases / epidemiology
  • Bone Diseases / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / epidemiology
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / prevention & control
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heat Stress Disorders / epidemiology
  • Heat Stress Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Male
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Medical Records
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control
  • Middle East
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Warfare
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control