Inpatient hospitalizations of U.S. military personnel medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related traumatic brain injury

Kevin J Heltemes, Amber L Dougherty, Andrew J MacGregor, Michael R Galarneau
Military Medicine 2011, 176 (2): 132-5
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been called the signature wound of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The aim of the present study was to describe and assess the incidence of inpatient hospitalizations of U.S. military personnel who were medically evacuated from OIF and OEF with combat-related TBI. Inpatient medical records from 2003 to 2008 were used to determine incident episodes of TBI requiring hospitalization in Landstuhl or CONUS Regional Medical Centers. Denominator data for calculating incidence rates were available from the Defense Manpower Data Center. During the study period, 1,213 U.S. military personnel from OIF and OEF were hospitalized with combat-related TBI. Of these, the largest proportion (40.9%) occurred in 2007. The rate of inpatient hospitalization with TBI was 10.4 per 10,000 troop strength (95% confidence interval: 9.9, 10.9). Future research should examine the incidence of TBI in-theater and include an analysis by injury severity.

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