Types of injuries among Polish soldiers and civilian staff in the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th rotation of the Afghan stabilization mission
Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(3): SR9-15
Available online: 2012-02-20
Background: The Afghan military theatre is specifically marked by guerilla operations and massive use of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that pose new types of threats for their victims. At the same time, the relevant literature contains only a single, fragmentary analysis on injuries suffered by soldiers serving in the Afghan mission.
Material/Methods: This is a review of medical reports of the Polish Military Contingent deployed within Operation Enduring Freedom, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011; the analysis includes all cases of combat and non-combat injuries in terms of their causes.
Results: In the period under analysis, 380 Polish soldiers were reported injured; 87.1% of cases were combat and 12.9% non-combat injuries. The structure of injuries caused as a result of IED explosions was dominated by multiple limb injuries, associated most frequently with severe body cavities/spine injuries. In the case of other incidents, both combat and non-combat, the predominant consequences were single and, most commonly, less severe injuries. The average number of injuries suffered from IED attacks (3.37) was significantly higher than the number of injuries from other attacks (1.16), and higher than the number of non-combat injuries (1.43).
Conclusions: IED attacks pose a serious medical problem, considering their high number and the severity of injuries they cause.
Keywords: Poland - ethnology, Wounds and Injuries - classification, Military Personnel, Afghanistan